Its been a weird few days. I’ve known about the coronavirus for a few weeks now. I have mostly sat back and watched the panic ebb and flow with each news report and statistic that comes in about it.
Things are much worse in other places than it is right here. We are safe and secure for the time being, we have enough toilet paper and other supplies on hand to keep us for a little while, and for now at least, we can still go out and get more supplies when we need to. Well, with the exception of paper goods. Food, water, gasoline, all still widely available.
We have reduced outings mostly to just have to do stuff like go get groceries, but we do still get together with a friend or two once a week.
Money is super tight. Which is to be expected I guess. The first thing that stops when shit hits the fan is the spending of money on non-essentials. It sure adds to the stress and tension though when you provide non-essential services in the grand scheme of things.
Things were all as good as could be expected for me, until yesterday. Yesterday, my whole world shook. Literally.
A 5.7 magnitude earthquake hit about 50 miles south of me first thing in the morning. I woke up to things falling off my bookshelf and hitting the floor.
My whole house was trembling and growling. It didn’t last very long, and yet it was long enough for my barely awake brain to run through several scenarios.
A plane crash landed nearby. Someone dropped a bomb on us. Our 30 year old house was crumbling down around us. An earthquake was the last thing I thought of.
I got up and went to get some coffee and the roommate had the radio on. He was listening to phone calls from all over the state reporting their experience with the quake that wa felt in at least 3 states. Utah, Idaho, and Wyoming.
There were reports of people feeling in in Nevada also when I giggled it later on, but they weren’t calling in to our Utah radio stations.
About 40 minutes later, the house shook again. It wasn’t as intense as the first one, but it was definitely noticeable. I almost fell off my stool.
At first, I thought it was the cat we have in a kennel under medical care scratching and bumping the side of the kennel. You know how they do that rapid scratch with their back foot. I turned to look over my shoulder and rhe whole hutch agains the was was trembling and the chandelier above the dining room table was sawaying back and forth.
The intensity of the shaking jumped and I literally had to grab the counter to steady myself on my stool to keep from falling off. That quake was only a 4.6.
That one was the one that shook me for the rest of the day. Maybe it was because I was fully awake and aware, maybe it was because it was the 2nd one, it was definitely the one that scared me.
It came out of nowhere. There was no warning. With the worst thunderstorms comes a flash of light before the boom of thunder rattles the whole house. You know the boom is coming. You are prepared for it.
There was no flash of light. We were lucky. It was just a 5.7 on the Richter scale. There was a lot of reported damage from one end of the state to the other. Minor in the grand scheme of things. No one was injured and no one died. There are not massive piles of rubble being gone through looking for survivors.
I’ve been kind of messed up ever since though. I’m ok for the most part. I’m still just going about my business same as always, but there is anxiety and fear building on my inside.
I tried not to really think about it, and that is when it really hit me. I was back in my room working on some writing and my other cat was perched in the window. The only sounds were my nails on the keyboard and my desk fan blowing on low.
Suddenly, the window started to rattle. My heart stopped and my whole body stiffened. Was this it? Is this how it is going to end?
I turned my head to look over my shoulder and my cat was scratching the top of his head. His paw was banging against the window at a rapid pace. He stopped and looked at me.
The rattling stopped and it wasnt followed by the whole house trembling. My heart started beating again. I exhaled a long and relaxing breath and got back to work. Or tried to at least.
I sent out messages to check on my local friends and give updates to my daughter. I told her about nearly dying because of a cat scratching his head. We had a good laugh and my day went on.
At lunch time, I went out and made sandwiches and sat down to eat. The house started to shake again. It wasn’t as bad and didnt last nearly as long as the first two. I froze until it stopped though.
I spent the literal rest of the day, waiting for it to happen again. I couldn’t focus on writing. I needed to know I wasn’t going to die the next time the house shook and I needed to know when that was going to be.
I went to bed well after midnight last night, afraid to fall asleep and wake up to the house falling down all around me. Every noise and bump in the night shaved a year off my life expectancy.
Today, there was no shaking. Ive been up for 3 hours already and nothing. If there have been aftershocks since those 2 yesterday, I havent noticed them. Yet, today, that feeling of when will the next one be, haunts me.