Cyndi wilkins

1 year ago · 4 min. reading time · visibility ~10 ·

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Welcome To Exile Island


Welcome To Exile Island

As it has been said:


"Love and a cough

cannot be concealed.

Even a small cough.

Even a small love."

~Anne Sexton (1928-1974)


Anne Sexton - American poet known for her personal & confessional verse, won the Pulitzer Prize for poetry in 1967 for her book, 'Live or Die'.


"Human history offers an endless list of several types of exile, which have been interpreted in many different ways." 


In the story of Romeo and Juliet, exile is a personal matter that becomes political...For these two young people, death and exile are synonymous because they cannot bear to live apart.

So what is the symbolic function of exile in the current world crisis of COVID-19? And furthermore, what exactly does that mean for those currently infected?

Human history offers an endless list of several types of exile, which have been interpreted in many different ways. 

Certainly being separated from friends and family, not to mention feeling like a leper, has emotional consequences. So how does one restore peace of mind when they feel banished from society?

Sure, this is all done in an effort to protect everyone...from YOU...the infected. But our sense of 'belongingness' is threatened. And we may very well feel abandoned by those we love.


"My symptoms began with the sudden onset of body aches, fever/chills which quickly elevated to a crushing headache and overwhelming fatigue."


I would like to briefly share my personal experience with this virus in the hope that it may help to ease some fears and misconceptions. I am no infectious disease expert, but I am one of the infected, and would like to offer some perspective on the impact of this issue.

I was initially infected back in late June, Father's day weekend to be exact. My symptoms began with the sudden onset of body aches, fever/chills which quickly elevated to a crushing headache, overwhelming fatigue and a sore throat. After a few days I leveled out with a lingering dry cough, nasal congestion and mild chest/upper back discomfort.

My first thought was I had mild heat exhaustion and dehydration. The weekend was particularly warm and we spent the entire time at the beach. The only escape from the sweltering temperature was to jump in the lake! Absolutely lovely mind you, but it was covered with pollen, and I am extremely allergic to tree mold. So my senses told me 'allergy attack'.




Unfortunately, the following week I received a call from the friend I had spent the weekend with that both she and her husband had tested positive for COVID-19. At this point, the worst of my symptoms had abated, but I did notice I had lost my sense of smell (a big red flag) so I got tested. That first (rapid) test was negative, but I quarantined anyway as a precaution.

Fast forward to July 27th when I was tested again in preparation for pending knee surgery. I received the deeper, 48 hour version of the nasal swab and tested positive for the virus. However, this time I was relatively symptom-free.

Regardless of being free of symptoms, my surgery was immediately canceled and I was punted to primary care. Apparently specialists don't deal with COVID patients unless they are working in an ER.

This virus levels the playing field. Your money and social status doesn't matter here. What matters is who is in worse shape than you are... And that is how it should be. Mother Nature is a great triage nurse. She knows what she's doing.


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Once you have a positive test, or contact with someone who has tested positive, a COVID team will be assigned to your case. These people are a life-line in a time of feeling isolated. Answer the call, ask questions and be respectful. Some people may feel pestered by the daily check-ins. But remember, these folks are doing their job...to be there for you when others cannot.

In my case, it seems the virus is still lingering in my system (hence my A-symptomatic positive test) as a result of my initial infection in June. Should I test positive again, and remain 'symptom-free', I will be considered a non-infectious post-viral positive and not be required to quarantine again. However, having antibodies does not give me a licence to run around without a mask. Besides, they only last about three months.


"The danger of this virus is very real, but to fear it is a choice."


The difficulty in this situation is in our lack of understanding the path of this unknown assailant...and who it will target next. In order to effectively address something, we need to understand it. And at this point, we are all just theorizing on it. The danger is very real, but to fear it is a choice.

The smoldering embers of the Novel Coronavirus are likely to burn for decades to come. At some point, we are all bound to experience the long term physiological and psychological effects of having been infected and/or quarantined and the feelings of exile that result.


"The good news is, preliminary studies have shown the plasma from recovered COVID-19 patients appears to raise the survival rate of the hospitalized."


One of the goals here is to protect as many people as possible until there is an effective vaccine available. However, to what degree of immunity we can expect to experience is completely theoretical at this point. We simply have no idea.

The good news is, preliminary studies have shown the plasma from recovered COVID-19 patients appears to raise the survival rate of those hospitalized with the disease by boosting their immune systems ability to fight off the virus.

This puts all of us who have been infected and subsequently recovered in a unique position to help save the lives of others. Hopefully, with all the world's infectious disease experts working together to develop a vaccine, we can do our part to help raise the survival rate among the infected and lower the number of deaths due to complications.

So until then, please...WEAR THE DAMNED MASK!


As always, I welcome your thoughts and suggestions. I'd love to hear from others who have gone a few rounds with COVID-19. I encourage everyone to share their story....even if it is privately. Talking about it with someone you trust helps to process those feelings of isolation and helplessness.

And remember, we are not helpless. We are strong when we stick together and help each other. We are all ONE.



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Cyndi wilkins

Cyndi wilkins

1 year ago #16

#16
Thank you for that Ken Boddie...Perhaps it was all the BS and fear mongering that kept my fingers idle on the keyboard...I simply had nothing to say. However, after experiencing this virus first hand, I felt it important to share an 'up-side' in the midst of all the commotion. And that is, the more we learn about this from a logical perspective, the more we can help others and quell a substantial amount of fear. Like I said in the article, the danger is real, but the fear is a choice. Happy to hear things in Aussie land are relatively well...You had your fair share of destruction with those horrendous wildfires. My heart goes out to you as well...Stay safe and don't let your guard down on this thing...This sneaky sucker is always looking for an open door;-)

Pascal Derrien

Pascal Derrien

1 year ago #15

Sorry to hear you had to go thru this but glad to know you have recovered Cyndi :-)

Ken Boddie

Ken Boddie

1 year ago #14

In a world so full of BS and mistruths about COVID-19, it’s refreshing to read a commonsense and logical tale of your own experience. Take care, and thanks for taking the time to put fingers to keyboard on this subject. Meanwhile, by comparison, we appear to be relatively well off here in Australia, although the challenges of social distancing, mask wearing and virus hygiene affect us all.

Cyndi wilkins

Cyndi wilkins

1 year ago #13

#14
Thanks Franci\ud83d\udc1dEugenia Hoffman, beBee Brand Ambassador...I hope so;-)

Franci 🐝Eugenia Hoffman, beBee Brand Ambassador

Thank you for sharing what you endured because of the virus. I feel this will be very helpful to others, Cyndi wilkins. The more "real stories" we read, the more educated we are. I hope you are feeling better every day and yes, those that can should wear a mask!

Fay Vietmeier

Fay Vietmeier

1 year ago #11

#11
Cyndi wilkins Yes Cindy ... “People need hope now more than ever” “HOPE is a good thing, maybe the best of things, and no good thing ever dies.” ~ Shawshank Redemption (so many rich lessons in this movie) Why it is vital to guard the heart & guard the mind. This principle is truth: What we feed grows Feed fear or doubt Feed hope or faith As I encourage my son, I encourage myself in this: Sow what you want to harvest. Oh "best of sweet bees" ... You have many good things "simmering" inside.

Cyndi wilkins

Cyndi wilkins

1 year ago #10

#6
Thank you again for your thoughts Fay Vietmeier...Your sentiments here are exactly why I wrote this piece... "Life is fragile for so many ... it is a vital time to “reach out & touch someone” ...Even if we are not in isolation, communication by sharing the knowledge gained is what helps us all to 'guard our state of mind' I am grateful to have a story to share that may help the many others struggling with this right now...And as well, I am fortunate to have regained my ability to piece together a cohesive thought...It was certainly lost on me for a while....simmering on the 'back burner' so to speak...Perhaps this was my lesson in being patient until I had enough experience with it to share. There is a lot of frightening information out there fueling the fear...I thought I would offer a more 'hopeful' outlook...People need hope now more than ever.

Cyndi wilkins

Cyndi wilkins

1 year ago #9

#5
Thank you ...My darling daughter and family are well...I so appreciate your thoughtful sentiment;-)

Fay Vietmeier

Fay Vietmeier

1 year ago #8

#2
Randall Burns Hello "Chef" ... and Glad to hear you are well in Canada ... and your family. Perhaps you can carve out a day & create a FUN blueberry dish with Bryce ... kid-size ADVENTURES to pass on your culinary talents "the test of an enjoyment is the remembrance it leaves behind" I am amazed at the skill level of some of the children I see on cooking shows. Totally agree about NOT caving in to fear. Fear hangs out on every corner like a gangster ... inviting company. I say "no" to bad company ... refuse to cooperate with the spirit of fear.

Fay Vietmeier

Fay Vietmeier

1 year ago #7

Cyndi wilkins continued... 4) I want to clarify re: Jim (his exile is not corona related ... but “skinny-dipping in lava” is an apt description) ... words of encouragement are priceless. 5) ... Gratitude & patience in the face of adversity is a catalyst for growth ... I’ll leave you with a thought from a book recently gifted to me: Gift from the Sea ~ by Anne Morrow Lindberg “The sea does not reward those who are too anxious, or too impatient. To dig for treasures shows not only impatience and greed, but lack of faith. Patience is what the sea teaches.”

Fay Vietmeier

Fay Vietmeier

1 year ago #6

Cyndi wilkins Most lovely bee, Cyndi ~ ... I appreciate the update about your friend. She is blessed to have loving, supportive people around. Many people suffer trials which result in isolation. I will share with you that I had what I’ll call a “season of captivity” that lasted for a decade (it was related to loss) I learned deep heart-lessons in that time. 2) I pull this from “paper-cuts to the heart” Life is fragile for so many ... it is a vital time to “reach out & touch someone” ... those hurt by the isolation of “social distancing” ... hurting people all around us (sometimes we never know) More than ever, we need to be mindful of the human spirit. “Heart-to-heart” make calls … write thoughtful words in a card or letter. This will be as balm to sooth a lonely heart … a reinforcement of your LOVE and caring While family & friends might be removed for a time … intimacy with God … is a sure way to overcome “isolation” … anytime. During isolation is vital time to guard the state of your mind … spirit & heart 3) I mention this post: “I want to break free” written by Renee in response to my last poem: “Breaking Free” ... there was an honest, deep exchange of comments ... I mention this only because it is about human suffering. Why COVID? Why cancer? To hard questions there are no easy answers https://www.bebee.com/producer/@renee-iseli-smits/i-want-to-break-free-264941 Ongoing I say: “I do not have the answers to many questions but I know the One who does ;~) (part 1)

🐝 Fatima G. Williams

🐝 Fatima G. Williams

1 year ago #5

My lovely Cyndy girl Cyndi wilkins I bet you kicked the damned virus in a back :) I am super glad to hear you are doing okay and yes wear the damned mask is good advice. How's your princess doing? Sending love to both of you.❤️ And I love the poem great pick!

Cyndi wilkins

Cyndi wilkins

1 year ago #4

#2
Randall Burns...We are like 'two peas in a pod"...Chefs reference;-) Believe me, the level-headedness has been a challenge amid the fear that surrounds this situation. Thank you so much for staying in touch! I am very happy to hear things are well in Canada...Here in the US...Not so much. My home state of Massachusetts is considering a rollback to phase 2 in the midst of an uptick in new cases. I appreciate your comment about the dangers of 'crossing the street'...Do we let that stop us? No...We do not. I'd rather die crossing the street than sit idle for the remainder of my days...At least I'll be moving forward;-) Much love to you and your family my friend...Stay well!

Cyndi wilkins

Cyndi wilkins

1 year ago #3

#1
Thank you for your thoughts Fay Vietmeier...My friend is still with us fighting fiercely to make sure there is funding for researching her type of rare cancer...She is receiving infusions whenever she is well enough to do so...and we have just had a fundraiser in her honor to celebrate her birthday. Thank you for asking...You are a very thoughtful and kind soul. I have been MIA by choice...but please know I have been a silent observer and have read many of the posts you mention....And much like Jim, I have really had no desire to write...especially about COVID_19...However, since my experience with it, I felt a strong urge to do so. Perhaps the silent 'signal sender' thought it was appropriate;-) My hope is that I emerge from this more attuned to the needs of others...And right now there is an overwhelming need to reach out to those who feel alienated by their families as well as their communities. There is a great deal of pain akin to that of mourning the death of a loved one. It is the death of a life we once knew. The loneliness of being separated from the ones you love...A trial of faith that tests your resilience...It causes you to take stock in your connections and deeply examine your circumstances with a fresh set of eyes. As I resurface, I will look back on this time as one of the most tumultuous, foreboding and hopefully blessed experiences of my life. Thank you again for your love and support...You are a very special bee;-)

Randall Burns

Randall Burns

1 year ago #2

Thanks for sharing Cyndi wilkins. Very informative and level headed post with a positive message,. yes there are many questions and not too many answers. I appreciate your sentiment of: "The danger of this virus is very real, but to fear it is a choice." (Crossing the street can be a danger but do we fear that?) luckily we're doing OK here in Canada, everyone is taking responsibility and we're minimizing the risks as much as we can although pondering if we will ever return to a "normal" life again, although in 20 years this may/probably be the "norm". Hang in there Cindy, great to hear from you.

Fay Vietmeier

Fay Vietmeier

1 year ago #1

Cyndi wilkins Cyndi~ Perfect was the poem you chose by Anne Sexton. I often wonder what is happening in a person’s life when that seem MIA ... off the bee-radar Please know that even though I did not know the details ... you have been in my thoughts & my prayers (as is your friend who you mentioned months ago ... who has a rare cancer/any update?) “signals we emit via thought” The Signal-sender: God never sleeps, nor His Spirit Many thanks for sharing your experience here. Important what you share about separation. There can be rich lessons in times of exile. But it is vital not to cooperate with a spirit of separation. I wrote 3 posts about corona. Not sure if you caught them or not. I only mention them as to the lessons & encouragements: ... Redeem the Time ... “Paper cuts to the heart” A side-effect of social-distancing ... Worms, worriers & warriors A couple days ago another well-known bee shared his “life-altering” experience “skinny dipping in lava” (not corona) https://www.bebee.com/producer/@jim-murray/volume-1-six-months-in-another-universe I share this out of caring about the “best-of-bees” The “Field-of-Bees” is SWEET ... bees are precious and we should encourage one another. Your strong spirit shines ;~) Be well with all your being.

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