At the end of January, my family became sick with Covid-19. All of us were symptomatic with various versions of extreme fatigue, high fevers, GI issues, nausea, chest pain and coughing. It has been about five weeks at this point and my daughter and husband are fully recovered, my son and I are still have days with lingering fatigue, headaches and intermittent fevers mixed in among very good days. Needless to say, it was challenging to do any “learning” when getting out of bed for a few minutes felt like a major accomplishment so I needed to prioritize and did so instinctively. Following my intuition on what to do, what to keep up with and what to drop, we managed to find a daily rhythm. Granted the daily rhythm involved a lot of naps but in-between it was a lot of cuddling and read alouds in bed, reading through entire series and rereading favorites, listening to audible for hours on end, and creating art (mostly drawing) from bed. It was a time of respecting what our bodies and minds were capable of at that time (not easy to do).
I had a fantasy when I had first gotten sick, that as soon as I had a little more energy, I was going to start painting and creating art in bed and was trying to channel Frida Kahlo (didn’t exactly pan out for myself but did so for my son). This went on for at least two weeks where I’d wake up with a great art plan that quickly turned into a nap, followed by another nap, cooking a meal, and bedtime. The art managed to slip away. Then, my son started to get his energy back and began to draw while listening to audible for hours a day until he was once again exhausted. He inspired me to scale back on the fantasy that was wearing me out and be ok with keeping a sketch bad in bed and on the couch to just draw whatever came to mind without there needing to be a “finished product.” I learned to not put so much pressure on myself that it’s ok to spend time in bed not doing much or just doing what feels good when you’re sick and even sometimes when you’re not.
I learned that good books are still my best friends and my kid’s as well. When you’re sick, and feeling alone, it’s a good book that can talk to you and keep you company while distracting you just the right amount. I think I’m going to continue with the long stretches of just laying in bed reading well after the sun comes up at least a day or two a week.
My son’s drawings really flourished and he developed a confidence in his drawing as he drew so much more in a day than he had drawn in combined time over months previously. Being home, sick, under a foot or two of snow helped to reestablish a time of creativity and a time to just think. I’m so thankful that we are recovering and realize how lucky we are.
Finally, I also learned, I NEVER want COVID again 🙂