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I also got COVID in November 2020 while working as an ER nurse in a large hospital. I lost my job, ER nurses need to multi-task, remember a LOT of protocols, work with multiple distractions, and tolerate 12 hours on their feet. My 40 year career came to a screeching halt. The intellectual stimulation, socialization and just having a place where I 'belong' is gone along with feeling valuable and successful .
Isolation and grief are ever present. IF I have energy in the morning, I can get simple errands done but the day is done with me anytime after 1pm. I've cancelled a litany of social engagements, holiday gatherings, family events, live music and sports events. This year I didn't even make plans.
I am working with a therapist to help me through the profound grief of loosing everything my life was and accepting this new normal where walking for 45 minutes is a win and letting go of past marathons, world travel, saving lives, stimulating intellectual conversation, driving more than 20 minutes, intimacy and leave all that in the past.
The world has moved on and forgotten those of us who fought this pandemic at the frontlines, the ER being the front of the frontline. The general public has no idea what we are talking about when we are too exhausted to sit up or talk, or ask for instructions/directions be repeated multiple times because I cant remember a list. I need a notepad and record important phone calls because I get lost in the story.

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Replies to "I also got COVID in November 2020 while working as an ER nurse in a large..."

Hi, everyone, and
Hi RMS, your post really resonated with me!

RMS, thank you for your service as a nurse! I can only imagine how difficult it was in the early days of Covid. And "difficult" is a completely insufficient word to describe it.

RMS, I was a classroom teacher until my first bout of Covid in Oct. of 2020. I am pretty sure that I caught it at school even though I was super vigilant about following all protocols. Unfortunately, many of my co-workers and the school families were not.

Long Covid in 2020-- nobody believed it! Such gas-lighting. I was made to feel guilty about not returning to work or doing extended family chores. The doctors were little help-- not really their fault at the time. Post-exertion malaise was accute! It's been 2 years and 364 days, and I still am not back to where I was pre-Covid. I can't work.

RMS, your use of the word "grief" to describe the loss of a profession is so apt. That is how I have been feeling. While I didn't save lives like you, I hope that as a teacher I helped my students improve theirs. I miss everything about teaching. Well, I don't miss doing grades, to be scrupulously honest. Since my own children are grown and out of the house, my students really filled that void. I miss the intellectual stimulation, the conversation with colleagues, the challenges...all the stuff you mentioned. It's like my purpose in life is gone. I don't have grandkids, and I think that realistically my husband might be better off without me now.

I am talking with a therapist, and she has been very helpful, especially with bizarre post-Covid anxiety. We haven't really discussed the grief aspect of not teaching anymore.

A few weeks ago-- probably at the start of the new school year, I finally realized that I probably will never have my own classroom again, never will teach again. It's time to give away or throw out all of the goofy things that I kept around my classroom to make it a cheerful, fun, happy place. And all of the tests and handouts and learning aides that I worked so hard on to help my students learn...Still makes me wanna cry now as I type.

I'm afraid to volunteer because of Covid and because of the immunosupressant (spelling?) medication I take for another, pre-existing condition.
I'm afraid to socialize inside for the same reasons. Most of my siblings are anti-vaxers and don't follow any kind of protocols-- even though they know what kind of medication I take.
I have one friend left.

Here's my last bit: When the governor of my state closed all of the schools in March of 2020, I found out when I had an IV dripping my immune-system suppressing medication into my arm. It was a shock. It was a good idea to shut down but still a shock. One of the most challenging times of my life was teaching via Zoom and computers. The students struggled mightily, too.

Well, if anyone has read all of this post, I thank you!
I never would have believed it, but there is comfort to be had on this computer forum, knowing other people feel the same things!

Brain fog and stupid = me, too!

Hope everyone has "as good as it gets" ! 🙂