The Fatigue of Caution

31 May

Denial – Anger – Bargaining – Depression – Acceptance

We are all familiar with Kubler-Ross’s stages of grief. In the case of Covid19, acceptance has been a moving target. What the heck are we accepting anyway? Oops, that sounded just a tad like anger…sigh.



When I was a kid in the 50’s, eons ago, I had asthma. The doctors had no definitive diagnostic tools and threw everything but the kitchen sink at my poor parents. I slept in an crank up hospital bed since I couldn’t breathe lying flat. For months I wasn’t allowed to get my hair wet. No swimming. My mother, bless her heart, found a dry shampoo to clean my hair. With three younger than me, it must have made her life difficult.


I remember having difficulty breathing looking at this picture.

One doctor wanted to remove my tonsils, yikes. Thank God that didn’t happen. I’m probably one of the few people of that era with intact tonsils.

Then came allergy testing. There were weeks of trays of needles used to insert little pillows of allergens under the skin up and down my arms. My mother would take me for an ice cream sundae after appointments. I cherished the time alone with her. I hated the needles.

The list of things I was allergic to was a mile long, chocolate, chicken, mold, dogs, dust. For a year my mother adhered as much as possible to a strict diet for me (we did not however get rid of the dog). Five children and one a special needs kid must have been hard. Nothing seemed to help my asthma, fatigue set in, and the diet went out the window.


So many pictures had dark circles under my eyes.

Being constantly on guard is exhausting. Whether it’s monitoring a diet or the distance someone stands nearby in the grocery store, it gets old. The stages of grief are not linear. I’m at the point where I want everyone else to be really really careful so I don’t have to be. Is that denial or bargaining? How long can I continue to look over my shoulder? Will I be locked in this house forever?

All I can do is take care of today. Lisa and I talk and make decisions day by day and don’t look back. We also try not to look forward which is very different. We always had our eyes down the road. Not any more.

Please stay home if you can. Take care of vulnerable populations around you. Be especially kind to our essential workers. Know that I love you.


When all is over, I will look for you and I will hug you so tight that we will forget time.

When all is over, I will need you more than ever.

(Translated from The Cathedral Restaurant, Oaxaca, Mexico)


10 Responses to “The Fatigue of Caution”

  1. Becky Engram May 31, 2020 at 10:25 am #

    Thank you for sharing. I’ve been a little angry today too. It helps reading You and knowing I’m not alone with these thoughts.

    On Sun, May 31, 2020 at 10:08 AM the adventures of dos tortas wrote:

    > afish25 posted: “Denial – Anger – Bargaining – Depression – Acceptance We > are all familiar with Kubler-Ross’s stages of grief. In the case of > Covid19, acceptance has been a moving target. What the heck are we > accepting anyway? Oops, that sounded just a tad bit like anger.” >


  2. PJsArtFun L May 31, 2020 at 10:26 am #

    I see you

    My sister went through a lot of similar asthma experiences, so I’m being very careful for her sake even more than my own. We actually took a chance on taking a ride in the same car this week because she missed rides with Buddy and me so much. We didn’t hug or even get close enough to touch.

    I still have my tonsils too!

    Y’all take care of yourselves, and that adorable baby Stela.


  3. emilys72016 May 31, 2020 at 1:12 pm #

    Your childhood sounds like mine. Asthma, allergies, allergy testing, allergy shots. We had to give our beloved kitty to a friend, because a lot of my problems resulted from a severe allergy to felines. I still have my tonsils too! Thanks for the post. It is difficult to live in this state of perpetual limbo, but it beats the alternative, as they say. Take good care, both of you.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Thrive2Day May 31, 2020 at 6:36 pm #

    Hi Alex, thanks for that vulnerable and insightful post. You capture beautifully how many of us have been feeling. Love you.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Trish Callahan May 31, 2020 at 6:41 pm #

    Hi Alex, thank you for that vulnerable and insightful post. You capture beautifully how many of us are feeling these days. Love you,

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Mary Ellen Heath May 31, 2020 at 7:17 pm #

    Oh Alex, thanks for this post. You have a lot to say. This helped me. Today I have been sad, sad, then angry, then sad again. The new ‘normal’, getting tired of hearing this. Anyway, thanks. Everything will be ok!!! (?)

    Liked by 1 person

    • afish25 May 31, 2020 at 7:47 pm #

      Today I watched the movie Harriet. It put things into perspective. I pray everyday. Now we need faith.


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