By Sasha Chapple Rozenblad
Queerantine Stories are personal essays or artistic pieces about the queer and trans community during the Coronavirus Pandemic. We hope their stories will help show their varied experiences in different communities within the Jersey City area and throughout the nation.
Is this real life?
Like others, I came into 2020 shouting, “This is going to my year!”
If you would've told me that my life would be completely turned upside down, I would've laughed in your face with the power of a thousand ancestors.
OK, we will be home for a few weeks, while this gets under control. No big deal! I'm not even that social. I won’t miss a few happy hours with friends. The number of newly reported cases rose exponentially and so did the unemployment rate. “Alexa, Play FEAR by Kendrick Lamar.”
I will admit I didn't take Covid-19 seriously. Until, it started hitting very close to home. My mother was hospitalized with pneumonia for two weeks, and it was the scariest time of my life. Thankfully, she is home after being traumatized from seeing the damage that this invisible entity has wreaked.
What I do see are economic and political systems being dismantled giving a chance to rebuild . As we embrace this new normal, I would if our “normal” was ever working for us. Social distancing has been a blessing in some ways. Traveling on crowded NYC subways, I didn’t realize how that six feet can give you some room to breathe. It has given time to appreciate stillness and remain grounded in gratitude. I've also saved $1000 dollars by switching to Quarantine! If you are like me, you’ve been drowning yourself with memes. After all, we gotta laugh to keep from crying.
I'm getting through this with the power of community. We are forced to go back to our old ways. We exchange information and resources with each other as a larger community. We learn from and need each other.
While this pandemic has shaken up our whole world, I urge us to take a deep look into how we take care of ourselves and others. We have survived more than this. Love, compassion, and radical self-care is what will get us through.
A wise woman, Ms. Elena Bernabe has said, “How others will react to this quarantine is none of your business. Make a commitment to change and not forget. Make sure this storm shakes you up so much that it completely revolutionizes your life."
In the meantime, Miss Rona honey, you have completely worn out your welcome. It’s time for you to go. I have enough toilet paper.
Sasha is a Black, Queer and born and raised Jersey City resident.
She is a community based advocate, Full Spectrum Birth and End of Life Doula and Founder of Conscious Comfort Doula Services. IG: SashaTheDoula