Disabilities, Thoughts and feelings

From Rubella to Corona!! Born with damage from one pandemic as it nears it’s end, to living and experiencing the beginning of another.

Ok so the tittle of this blog seems a little bit dramatic to most of you I suppose, since the pandemic of the rubivirus, also known as rubella, or German measles (yes rubella is a form of measles), started in the 60s.  1962 to be exact, spreading throughout Europe and then throughout many parts of the world.  By the time I was born in the 80s, a vaccine had been found and things started to calm down.  I was what I call a trickler, as by the 80s, fewer cases were being seen as the vaccination program began, with probably a small spattering of babies born with CRS (congenital rubella syndrome) here and there.   So those of us born in the 80s were born in small trickles, rather than a big sweep of cases as the pandemic was slowed down.

By the early 90s, measles and rubella were almost eradicated in first world countries like USA, and UK with one or two little trickles here and there, with cases almost unheard of.  To the point that it became so rare, that research was halted and by the millennium, medical professionals were not being trained on or being given information on congenital rubella at all.  So many medical professions hardly know much about it, or can even identify symptoms in a baby born with damage from rubella.  In fact when many rubella babies mention they have CRS, and talk about symptoms or ask about more info, doctors look at them like they have two heads.  Rubella became something of a rarity in first world countries offering vaccination.  As I say almost unheard of.

When the rubella pandemic started in the 60s, they were given the same sort of basic advise as we’re getting with the coronavirus pandemic.  Wash your hands, wipe down surfaces, don’t get too close to anyone who’s infected and so on.  However there was none of this big stand still, people did not think to stockpile shop, or panic, treating it like an apocalypse.  No one even knew to stay away from pregnant women till later in the late 60s early 70s perhaps, when babies were born defected, with sever disabilities and defects.

As I say I was born towards the end of the Rubella pandemic and ended up with some of the damages from having contracted rubella in the womb.  Having been born with a few disabilities and defects.  I certainly didn’t expect to experience a second pandemic, and yet here we are dealing with  the coronavirus.  I never imagined things would be like this.  Of course things are slightly different, the rubella virus isn’t harmful to those outside the womb.  It’s only harmful to babies with are yet to develop properly.  But today’s pandemic feels so bizarre, like a dystopian film of sorts.

Things are different with today’s pandemic of coronavirus  This one seems even more dangerous, perhaps more like earlier pandemics with serious consequences like the plague, or influenza and such.  Because this one won’t just leave you with multiple disabilities, but can seriously kill you.  The coronavirus sounds damn scary and it’s something I don’t want to experience to see how much damage it can cause.  I’m living with damage from one pandemic and don’t want to be living with another, or have worse have my life end from another.  That would be a terrible irony, to have your life start with damage from one pandemic, to having your life ended and destroyed from another.  Not a happy thought I tell you.

My thoughts and feelings on this whole situation has been full of confusion as my feelings on it kept changing.  The past month has been confusing, frightening and just a whirlwind of thoughts and emotions.  At the beginning I didn’t really take it all that seriously.  People kept convincing me that it was like any other flu, and reminding me that we’ve been through things like Ebola, swine flu etc, and got through those, so we didn’t need to worry.  That was before the lock down, before people were dropping like flies.  People were convinced it only killed those over the age of 70 like the normal flu.  So taking the advice of people who I always felt knew more than me, I was very skeptical of the severity of the coronavirus. Until it really hit home, when I started to hear of friends of friends actually dying of this thing, and seeing the numbers of death rising in the papers, and having shops, restaurants, and businesses close, and then schools.  It all started to become more serious and I realised that if things had to be closed in order to save lives and beat these things, then it had to be something a lot more serious than people had made out.  Seeing the whole country go into lockdown, made it all too real.

Things got very confusing though when they made a list of vulnerable people, who needed to be extra cautious.  The list kept changing, and people with congenital heart conditions became confused, because it was told that people with heart and respiratory conditions were the ones dying.  But there was no list of which heart conditions or even if they meant all heart conditions.  But heart conditions were not mentioned in detail, so I had no idea for a long time weather my heart condition would affect me.  It turns out not all heart patients are classed as vulnerable.  According to the British heart foundation, it was stated that not everyone would be vulnerable or at risk, but EVERY heart patient needed to be vigilant and very careful as they could become more poorly than those with a normal healthy heart.  So basically I have no idea what this thing will do to me, if I get it.  Which leaves me very scared.  I don’t want to catch this thing, and I don’t want to find out the hard way what the consequences would be for someone like me, with a repaired ASD (Atrial septal defect) more commonly known as a hole in the heart.

I’ve not been out since March, maybe only twice since then to do essential shopping.  I didn’t like the experience of going out, having to do things with gloves on either.  It makes things really hard to do things.  I really hope this does not become the new normal.  But I can’t see things calming down, since people don’t seem to adhere to the rules and are not taking this seriously enough.  Which really annoys me.  How are we supposed to slow down the curve or defeat this thing, if people just don’t help bring the curve down?

Since this thing started my anxiety has been all over the place, some days are horrible and other days I’m ok.  But this pandemic has caused me to lose the motivation for writing, drawing and things I normally would enjoy doing.  I just can’t seem to motivate myself to doing any of those things, and my ideas have suddenly disappeared.  Some days ideas come, but they go as quickly as they come.  I just haven’t been able to do much at all.  It’s really strange.  I don’t know why my mind has gone into writer’s block mode.  Apparently I’m not the only one.  Which is why this post is a mess.  I started it in early March, or maybe February before I took the pandemic seriously.  But then my feelings kept changing, and so did the basis for this post.  I don’t really know what else to write, but I thought I’d post something, since I haven’t posted much lately.  And I thought I’d put out my thoughts on this pandemic, you know because everyone’s doing it, and I thought can’t beat them, join them.  Might as well put my two pence worth in.  I really don’t want this to be our new normal.  I want this to go back to how they were, I want the pandemic over.  I want normality back.  But who knows when we’ll have that back or when.

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