Coronavirus. It Got Real Over Here...

"This is a story all about how, my life got flipped turned upside down..." but seriously it did. And guess what? There's nothing I can do about it. It's above me. I thought 2019 was terrible, but 2020 takes the cake, and we are only one quarter of the way through the year. Lord, help us.

When I first heard that the COVID-19 (coronavirus, The Rona, Ms. Rona, whatever you want to call it) was sweeping through China, I never imagined that our daily lives would drastically change and life as we once knew it would never be the same. We unknowingly were being forced into a new normal. However, I going about my daily life as normal, and I honestly didn't take COVID-19 as seriously as I should until it hit close to home.

At the beginning of March, I had a fever for a few days along with body aches, chills, and major fatigue. I felt fine after a few days minus the fact that I lost my sense of taste and smell. I passed it off as a sinus infection, which it very well could've been since I never officially got tested for COVID-19. A few weeks later, my cousin who I was recently around tested positive for COVID-19 after coming in contact with someone who had been exposed. Thankfully she didn't have any major symptoms and recovered quickly, but this was a wake up call for me. I officially started my "self-quarantining" process on March 15th after I had spent my weekend socializing and partying with friends. It was also around this time that the CDC announced that loss of taste and smell was now being considered a symptom of COVID-19. At this time, this and a mild cough were the only symptoms I was still experiencing from my self-diagnosed sinus infection. If you know me, then you know I'm a hypochondriac, so I lowkey panicked, assumed I had the Rona, and decided to stay home.

In the midst of all of this, I already had plans to move to Chicago to start my dream job at the beginning of April. After deciding to break my lease in Atlanta, I found the perfect studio apartment and signed my lease in Chicago. I also scheduled and paid for my movers to pick up all of my belongings. While sitting in my Atlanta apartment with my entire life in boxes, I got a phone call saying that I couldn't start until July. That phone call threw a wrench in my financial plans for the year, but I was prepared to thug it out and move as planned because I figured things would be back to normal by then.

My movers came, picked up my items, and my entire life was on its way to Chicago. I planned to make my way to the Windy City the following week. In the meantime, COVID-19 was spreading like wildfire throughout the country and across the world, and things seemed to be getting worse. Yet here I was, in my apartment with only a twin-sized mattress, 19-inch television, a suitcase full of winter clothes, and a suitcase full of "coronavirus supplies" (Clorox wipes, Lysol spray, paper towels, toilet paper, etc) that I stocked up on when everyone went into panic mode a few weeks prior.

I was literally counting down the days until I could ditch my air mattress and be reunited with my belongings at my beautiful new apartment in Chicago, but God and the COVID-19 pandemic said "aht aht!" Less than 48 hours after my entire life was basically on it's way to Chicago and the $3,000 moving charge hit my card, sh*t got real. I received a phone call informing me that my job offer was on hold indefinitely until the COVID-19 pandemic was over. Sadly, there is no end date in sight because the pandemic is getting worse each day. Luckily, I didn't sell my car the week before as planned, so I made the executive decision to halt my move to Chicago. Within 24 hours, I had to cancel my lease, utilities, and renter's insurance in Chicago, redirect my movers to put my stuff in storage up there, and drive six hours to Florida to stay with my parents until God knows when. Talk about stressful. I honestly was overwhelmed and panicking, but at the same time I was at peace because there was literally nothing I could do thanks to the coronavirus. NOTHING.

So if you were wondering why I was posting palm trees instead of snow and the Chicago skyline, this is why. This is also the reason why I keep posting the same sneakers and hardly any pictures of myself - all of my stuff is tucked away in a storage unit in Chicago, and I'm sitting in Florida. How convenient. This past month has been beyond stressful to stay the least. Is it weird that I'm most stressed out about the fact that my plants I shipped to Chicago will be dead by the time I see them again? Oh well. At least I'm okay, my family is okay, my friends are okay, and I'm grateful for that. So, here I am in Florida with a suitcase full of sweaters, thigh high boots, and a few athleisure wear outfits. Yes, I wish I had my swimsuits, Xbox, skincare products, more sneakers, paint supplies, summer clothes, and sandals, but on the bright side, I have my health, family, sanity, and more.

Before I decide to throw 2020 completely away, I'm reminded to just be grateful. I finally got my sense of taste and smell back after a month. I went on a run, and was hit with the beautiful scent of flowers. As cliché as it sounds, I was reminded that sometimes we need to slow down in life to stop and smell the flowers, so we can appreciate the little things and never take life or anything else for granted again. I think this entire pandemic has shown all of us that. Honestly at this point, surviving during this pandemic is my #1 goal for 2020. I'll focus on everything else once this is over. In the meantime, you can catch me at Club Quarantine, a Zoom happy hour, Debbie Allen's dance class, live yoga session, or a music battle...all from the comfort of my home.

This has been a trying time for everyone. My prayers are with everyone who has lost loved ones due to this terrible virus. PLEASE stay safe, STAY HOME, and be blessed!

<3 ShanMichele


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