• Voices of Quarantine

A World Full Of Strokes

Isolation, freedom, anxiety, possibility, and fear

Familiar. That is a theme that keeps coming back to me. FAMILIAR. I had a stroke seven years ago. A massive, debilitating, traumatic stroke that spawned a new existence and perspective for me and for those around me. When someone's earth is altered in such a dramatic and extreme force, the space that you inhabit changes everything and everyone around you. So, it should not surprise anyone that I often see the world as I know it now through the lens of my stroke.

When I got home from the hospital, I was basically immobile. So, I had a lot of time in my apartment and I was relating to the world through my computer much like my current state. So, now that I have been in this pandemic a while sitting in the middle of New York City, familiar is what I feel every day as I get up, shower, make coffee, go to my computer eat, write, blow off Netflix steam and go to bed.

As I sit on my computer day to day the familiar feeling begins to take shape and forms into a collective whole. Its collectively becoming a movement. A revolution. I can't help reflecting on a revolution that has been brewing in all of us for many years now. Mine manifested in a stroke and how I began to see my life as it was in the present, but now the world is feeling it and seeing it and experiencing it. We have to ask ourselves; why are we here? How did we get here? And where will we go?

And with this new and old revolution, I think a new world has to be revealed and an old world must be mourned and rebirthed. Things may be different, but we have to ask ourselves if we were on the right path? When we come out of this anew, what do we want to be different?

Like my stroke, we are being forced to look and be in a world that is completely changed forever. We can never go back. We must face the issues of the past head-on and not push them aside; inequality in a world of haves and have not, inequality of race under hundreds of years of oppression, an imbalanced economy, a fast-paced existence that doesn’t allow for time to breathe and reflection, the healing of our planet from ruin. We have destroyed our lives for progress but not for real self-worth. We have been the true virus all along and change is the only antidote.

I am not stating that I have the answer or that my stroke was connected to all of this but what if it was on a small part of something greater than ourselves. A change that was suddenly thrust upon us whether we wanted it or not much like my stroke. And maybe collectively, we can begin again together taking more responsibility for ourselves and each other and that would be the real reason for a pandemic. Change is what we need. Change is the antidote.