I have re-watched ten out of the twenty-one seasons of Law and Order SVU, conquered two bags of Doritos, one cherry popsicle and ice cream sandwich.
Good thing my parents aren’t at home. They would be furious at my junk food binging.
What else could a college student do? I surfed on Facebook, Insta, Twitter, so I deserved a “break”.
Two months ago, the school send everybody a massive email about transitioning to virtual classes due to COVID-19.
CNN. COVID. Fox News. COVID. NBC. COVID. Cardi B. Coronavirussss.
When it begun, I was thrilled and questioned the seriousness of the virus. How bad could it be? Doesn’t everybody win in this situation?
That change about a week ago when New York was named as the hotspot for the coronavirus in terms of cases and deaths from all ages. The New York governor, Andrew Cuomo, announced the state to be on lockdown.
The once lively Times Square is now a ghost town become a strange image to my eyes. Everything has changed. People are scared to be physically close to one another, wear masks, and become prisoners in their homes.
I have not expressed any of feelings to my parents or Facebook, because I like to keep certain feelings to myself and recently journaling become an outlet.
Two month since my “imprisonment”, I have become a pensive twenty-one year old.
Yup, get ready, it is getting to be very profound.
From age five to a day ago, I declared myself to be a rebel; at age five, I sat in the back of the school bus with the “older” and “cooler” kids. I rejected floral skirts and dresses at eleven and wore denim jeans and jackets with studs. Age fifteen, I experimented with marijuana and stopped--it tasted disgusting! Last year, I had my “first” with a cute guy I met on Tinder. Man, it was a mind-blowing fling.
Don’t worry protection was used! My doctor parents gave the sex-ed lecture way back then. No birds and bees analogy, just diagrams of the sexes and fetus in utero.
My parents and I have a love-hate relationship; though I am not doubting their love but they have a different definition of success--like majoring in Biology or Chemistry, going to medical school, and contributing to society in a meaningful way.
Didn’t I follow that path? Absolutely not.
Through all of the arguments and nagging contests, they still supported my aspirations as future New York #1 best selling author and New York Times editor-in-chief.
Writing an article or book doesn’t nearly compare to those who save the sick as my parents are working more hours in the ER and slept in the garage to alleviate infection in the house.
To protect me.
Deep down, I am afraid that my parents would be part of the statistic--COVID causalities--as they serve the front lines. The reassuring texts, notes, and calls did little to convince my brain to stop playing all of the possible worst scenarios.
In our daily lives, we fail to express gratitude to those who have been fighting wars, rescuing people from burning buildings, protecting the innocent, and saving lives. Our “soldiers” are lacking PPEs and N95 masks yet still continue on with their duties--to save the lives of others at the expense of their own.
“I will remember that I remain a member of society, with special obligations to all my fellow human beings, those sound of mind and body as well as the infirm. If I do not violate this oath, may I enjoy life and art, respected while I live and remembered with affection thereafter. May I always act so as to preserve the finest traditions of my calling and may I long experience the joy of healing those who seek my help.” 1
After twelve hour shifts, my parents recited the Hippocratic Oath to a naivete twelve year-old girl who didn’t understood the path that they walked on.
Upon this moment, I have seen thousands of thousands of New Yorkers and non New Yorkers come together; we have truly, at this moment, reunited as humans.
Upon this moment, I have truly appreciate both of my parents love and devotion not only to me, their daughter, but to the all of people with COVID.
To all of the doctors and nurses, your act of bravery and undying kindness will withstand time as history will remember you as the best face of humanity has to offer.
Dr. Bennett and Dr. Bennett, I am so proud to be a daughter of two of the most compassionate doctors in the New York and universe. Mom and Dad, when everything is over, I would like us to have mom’s infamous meatloaf and molten chocolate cake. Dad, this time, I am going to assist you with baking the cake! Also you two will have a lifetime rights to nag me. It is a promise!
When I become the New York Times best selling author, I will buy that house that you like in the Hamptons--your retirement home! I will also include a golden retriever with it! Every night I would do the chores and snuggle with you both while we watch “America Got Talent”. I am open to have a couple of try outs with Dr. Johnson’s son. He may not have sparkling emerald eyes and gorgeous blonde hair but he is a cardiologist and makes a good living. Though we need to work on the sense of humor side with him and also find a way to decrease the oil in his hair. Have you told Dr. Johnson I am ill-tempered? I won’t send to his son to the graveyard but if his son is controlling and macho, then he would be send home with bruises…
But I will be on good behavior and be ladylike. Hell, I will wear that skirt that has been hiding in the back of my closet.
Mom and Dad, you know I am horrible at verbal and emotional communication with you two. Please come back home safe. I love you.
I am trying my best to continue journaling and knowing putting my pen will leave unspoken words buried.
I miss mom making lasagna as she was taking care of my fever. I miss dad when you educate me about the male anatomy--the best awkward experience. I miss you both when you come to my room and kiss me on the cheek before going to the night shift.
Mom and Dad, we are separated by a door, by the coronavirus but there is something that can never be separated.
Our heart. Our memories within it.
Mom and Dad, you have taught me to love unconditional to those precious around me.
I think I finally get it.