I have vivid memories of my parents telling me that the end of the world is going to happen in my generation. They’re not conspiracy theorists or anything, they just have firm beliefs that society is the worst it has ever been. So that meant the Apocalypse was bound to happen sooner or later, right? Every demi-decade or so, a worldwide crisis would ensue and they’d kind of side eye me like, “Don’t wanna say ‘We told you so’ but…”.
Older Tiffany really feels like all of it was just a tongue-in-cheek way of keeping Younger Tiffany in check. But, naturally, it would really upset me if they ever brought it up. Like what the heck, Mom and Dad?! I haven’t lived my life yet! I haven’t graduated college! I haven’t moved out of the house! Luckily, the world didn’t end with Y2K, H1N1, or even The Rapture and I haven’t really heard any versions of their predictions since then.
Fast forward to end of February 2020 and this COVID-19 thing hit the news.
As a Floridian, I deal with the possibility of impending doom on the regular. The mass hysteria? The empty shelves at the grocery store? The required days off work or school? It’s a rite of passage for growing up in The Sunshine State. An annual ritual for whatever Hurricane is in our path! (What letter of the alphabet are we on this year anyway?) Floridians are pros at “preparing” for disaster and using facetious memes about our plights as a form of therapy. A week or so in quarantine? I can stock up on some snacks! Corona virus-shmarona virus, I thought! We got this! At least we will have electricity and wifi…
They are suddenly enforcing online classes and business meetings.
They constrain sit-down restaurants and bars to take-out only.
THEY CANCEL ALL SHOWINGS OF HAMILTON! HAMILTON! We had been waiting nearly 2 years to see this!
As privileged as it may seem, THAT is when I realized: Yo, this shit is real.
Which leads me to the whole reason I even started writing this. It is a result of something that happened to me this morning. I walk into work, greet my coworker, and remark, “Everything is so crazy, right? It’s like we are living in a movie or something!”. She agrees and proceeds to tell me how she has her freezer fully stocked, how she has planned her escape routes, and that “this could be the end of the world. Did you hear about this book written by Sylvia Browne? Everything that is going on right now coincides with how she described the Apocalypse! It’s uncanny! So anyway… what have you been doing to prepare?”
I sat there in momentary silence. I thought about my fridge full of beer. Will that help me in a post-apocalyptic world? Maybe I can barter or something…
Coooooould it be the end of the world? I mean… I used to watch Sylvia Browne on Montel Williams! She mostly talked about dead relatives, unsolved murders, and lost cats, but she seemed credible enough. I had a quick flashback of those moments in childhood where my parents joked about the end-of-times. Like what the heck, coworker? I haven’t lived my life! I haven’t crossed off all the places on my travel bucket list! I haven’t met my husband yet! I haven’t had a son!
I snapped myself back to reality (oop there goes gravity! oop there goes Rabbit he choked…). If you know me, it takes a lot to get worked up. Admittedly, that coworker nearly had me for a second there. She didn’t transform me into full panic mode, but what she did do was really get me thinking. I’m sure with this quarantine and having all the free time in the world, you are taking some moments to reflect. Staring into the dark abyss easily does that to people. Thankfully, I still have a regular schedule because I work in the medical field. But I definitely still have been doing my own versions of reflection.
I surely want to share some insights here. This was written back in March 2020.
How my life has been affected by this.
What’s it like in the laboratory right now?
I’m Miss Brightside
How Friends From All Over the World are Faring