Nigerian author, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, has expressed fears over the coronavirus pandemic because her husband is a doctor and is in the frontline.
In a post she shared on social media, the Half of a Yellow Sun writer also revealed that she fears for his life because her closest aunt had also died from brain aneurysm.
She took to Instagram to pen down a long note to her fans explaining how she is dealing with her fears amidst these times.
Last week, my family suffered a devastating tragedy, the very sudden death of my closest aunt, from a brain aneurysm. One day she was well and happy and the next day she was gone. Our time is filled with pain whose cause still does not feel fully true. We cry and yet we feel as though she is not really gone.
And it is more surreal to grieve a sudden death in these strange times when the world has shut down, places once full are empty, heavy with the ghosts of silent gatherings, and across the world people are dying alone. Coronavirus is a menace in the air, a menace inside our heads. Every day I am reminded of how fragile, how breakable we are.
My husband is a doctor and each morning when he leaves for work, I worry. My daughter coughs and I worry. My throat itches and I worry. On Facetime I watch my elderly parents. I admonish them gently: Don’t let people come to the house. Don’t read the rubbish news on whatsapp.
This is a time to cope in the best way we can. There are moments when our spirits will sag. Moments when we will feel tired after doing absolutely nothing. But how can we not? The world as it is today is foreign to us. It would be strange not to be shaken to our core.
I cannot imagine thinking of over-achieving, or of accomplishing more than usual, when all around you the world as you know it has changed, perhaps never to return to what it used to be. And yet we must continue to go on day by day.
We must choose to live. And to do so we can set small goals. Like drink more water, if you’ve spent the past ten years wanting to be more hydrated. Like learn something every day, no matter how small. Like call loved ones – not text them, call them. Like help someone – with a small cash transfer, an encouraging message, a shared laugh.
I believe in allowing myself to feel what I feel. But endless negative feelings are enervating. And so to manage it I give myself time to feel what I am feeling – an hour, or two, or three, or four – and then when the time is up, I try to push my mind into a different territory. It doesn’t always work. But it’s worth trying for when it does work.