As we prepare to head out into the world, I am reminded very bluntly that the old times are no more. The days of a well-packed diaper bag, a small wallet, and a handful of hope leave you naked to the elements as soon as you stand outside the door.

The diaper bag has undergone many transformations since the Virus hit and the world began its steady descent. A change of clothes and a diaper were once all we required for a short trip. The large gym bag I now carry would have been laughed upon. Today, I continue to leave the house with the daunting feeling that I am leaving something important behind, and I just hope our supply run is brief enough that my shortcoming will not be noticed by small outreaching hands.

We begin to prepare in the morning before the sun has fully risen, and yet we will not leave the house until it has started its descent, at the very earliest. Beginning my routine before the kids awaken allows me a substantial amount of time to frantically wonder what I am forgetting while throwing random supplies into my bag. It provides at least enough time that prying little eyes won’t ask cautiously what I am doing.

I prepare our mask, drinks, change of clothes, sunscreen, snacks, and so on until the zipper begins to put up a fight to hold on, and even then, I add a few more items. Then, feeling exceptionally foolish when I walk the children to the place, they will find a safe haven until we return. A place no further than the end of our driveway and a home with enough supplies to sustain my entire family for weeks if so needed, but to dwindle the supplies and to stress the gracious host would be foolish in times like these.

Rarely but becoming more frequent, my youngest begs to travel with us. A supply run is not fit for a child during these times, but somehow leaving him behind to scream with tears flowing down his face seems like a horrible punishment for a child who has no responsibility for the times he was born in. Yet, the hug from big brother to little brother right before we load up makes me question my decision in the pit of my heart.

The oldest barely remembers the days before the epidemic but knows the world has changed drastically, and the words from his mouth following his last supply run still flow through my mind every time I think he may be safer with us than without. “Everyone is just so sad and angry,” came out of a boy with tears running down his face and a voice that was cracking up while trying to hold back what emotions he could. 4 years old, an empath, and a worldwide pandemic were not a good mix. The mother that fought so hard to keep him physically safe realized the downfall of her actions and, with tears sneaking out from my eyes as I held him in my arms, promised, “you don’t have to go again if you don’t want to.”

The rare instances he chose to go out into the masses were focused on making it a good experience and keeping his attention, still, sometimes he would get overwhelmed, but that was to be expected from an empath when the world had been turned upside-down.

Putting a mask on a tiny human would make even the strongest human concerned if they had been able to look into the future. We affix them to our faces out of nothing but pure habit at this point. Segregation has begun in the bigger cities and outlying areas. Those who have believed the promise of a cure are freed of their face coverings. Those who refuse will start seeing more substantial repercussions than a face-covering soon.
With people still becoming infected, the promise of a cure was nothing but a watered-down antibiotic to delay the second round of the plague for a few more moments. Word has not been spoken loudly regarding the effectiveness or re-infection rates, and those who speak are silenced quickly.

A society that screams individuality and equal rights are just a sea of eyes—conforming themselves to fit into the boxes recommended by the government. Yes, you can boost your sexuality, gender, rights, and freedoms, but please do so while standing in one of the two lines laid out by the state officials. Talks of a passport for those who obliged the government make even the most rebellious wary of what is to come.

The poisoned water is proving to hold no cure, yet many are still drinking it willingly. The pressure to do so is building. At every turn, you see signs, have someone persuading you, and hear of the riches given out if you do oblige. It will only get worse, and with every turn, we are shown the apparent signs of being silenced, yet we do not suspect a thing.

As we wander out, we make quick and precise movements, only keeping us in the view of wandering eyes for as long as needed. Medications are coming at more of a cost for those not waiting impatiently for their call to be “saved”. Children are being held at leverage in hopes of swaying the ones standing on the verge of breaking. How will they lead everyday lives if they are exiled from society? Still, those of us who escape to the outlying areas of humanity and set our children free are being watched, but admitting we are being watched would deflect from the false expectations of privacy and freedom they serve us on a silver platter, so we take what we can.

There is no water hot enough to wash off the weight of the world once you come home. There is no erasing the scared eyes of those who are simply trying to survive. What do we do when the government attempts to segregate us more? Where do the peaceful hide when the all-seeing eyes are taunting us with falsehoods and more reason to deny our neighbors than ever before?

We have simply slipped into an abyss that I fear can only be reconciled with war and further separation of our country. Why have we not learned from the past and instead recreated the exact terms our previous Civil Distress caused?
When they look you in the eyes and tell tall tales with promises of grandeur, will you believe them when they try to turn you against your loved ones? Have you already?

  • The Un-Traditional Mother

For Entry #1 check out