Life During the Pandemic

Life During the Pandemic

Hello readers, I hope this post finds you healthy and safe at home. If you are the front lines during this pandemic, medical professionals, those who work in any medical facility in general, EMS, etc – I thank you for your service during this terrifying time.

I also want to say thank you to the grocery, pharmacy and convenience store workers who remain open at this time for the sake of everyone being able to eat and have essentials for everyday life.

March has been an interesting month, to say the least. I feel as though 2020 had been flying by and now for a scary reason we are forced to slow down while wishing the time would speed up and bring us back to normalcy.

We really didn’t see this one coming, did we? I know I didn’t. I never prepared myself in any way for a pandemic. I never honestly thought about something like this happening. I sooner imagined the possibility of a weather emergency, or even nuclear war (seriously!), before this. Our parents never experienced a pandemic, and neither have we. So it is not a surprise that we all feel so unprepared to be existing in this new reality.

Initially, I felt very anxious. Sick to my stomach, heart racing. I’m still dealing with these feelings daily but I’m learning what I need to do to work through it. What I’ve been doing, which is helping me and may help you too if you’re struggling with anxiety right now is to decrease the social media / news exposure.

Everywhere you look whether online or the TV there is coverage on the virus. Some of it true, some of it not. But regardless it’s very overwhelming. I’m learning to limit my exposure to the news and trying to fill my time with tasks I’ve been putting off (cleaning, organizing, reading) as well as keeping myself busy by keeping Julia busy.

Every now and then I forget what’s going on for a little bit. It helps. The thing is you can read or watch the news all day long or you can keep your mind off it by filling your time with other distractions. At the end of the day, one thing remains true: you can’t change what’s going on, you can only change how you react to it, and how well you follow precautions. That’s it. Obsessing over the news, if it’s only going to make you feel sick, isn’t helping yourself or anyone else.

Social distancing, though difficult, is necessary. The thought of not being able to see family members for an unknown period of time at this point, especially our older relatives is heartbreaking. This is precious time being lost. But it’s a necessary precaution for everyone’s safety.

I’m very thankful my husband can work from home for now, and we have found a set up that works without Julia distracting him. He works for a hospital so we are very fortunate he doesn’t have to be exposed right now.

We have only left the house for groceries to hopefully last two weeks, and even then I have been trying to shop as smart as possible, cutting down our meat consumption to stretch things longer, etc. But even still, I’ve got a child who drinks milk and needs diapers and wipes so I can’t isolate myself as much as I want. I still have to venture out at least once every 2 weeks (as long as we are well. Otherwise I would hope I could find someone to help us out) to get milk for my daughter.

We already have a few cases in our city and many in our state. I think there was an early misconception that “only” older and immunocompromised people were at risk. Which, first of all, it doesn’t matter if *you* are not in a high-risk category – we ALL need to be taking the same strict precautions. It’s so frustrating to see people on social media still having friends over, gatherings, etc even though it has been advised against. People are not taking this seriously. But as I was saying, this virus does not only affect the old and immunocompromised. We are starting to see more young people getting very ill, some are dying even without having had prior health complications.

This is serious. We all need to be taking the utmost precautions, which in addition to increased handwashing, disinfecting of common areas, doorknobs, etc also includes social distancing.

Your household is your quaran-“team” right now and the only people you should be spending in-person time with unless you are required to be working at this time.

I’ll be honest, as a stay-at-home-mom social distancing/isolation hasn’t been the greatest challenge for me. I do miss the ability to get some out-of-the-house time, go out to grab a coffee solo or go to a location to read or write. But more so as a parent, it hurts my heart to see my daughter missing out so much. Julia misses going to the park, seeing her cousins and running errands, something we did almost daily. She is a very social being. We all miss seeing our family. Our weekends used to be filled with family visits, and bi-weekly breakfasts with Kevin’s 92-year-old grandmother. My heart aches thinking about when we will get to do that again.

But until things go back to normal, and it may be a very long while until that is, we [all] have to learn to accept this new reality and adapt to it.

We cannot visit family and friends in person for now, but we can text more and do video chats. We can reach out to friends we may not have heard from in a while and check up on them, catch up over the phone.

We could use this time to explore a new hobby or finish reading a pile of books we’ve put off. There has never been a more perfect time to start a journal, just sayin’.

At the very least we should take this time to take care of ourselves and our household as best as we can. If that means making sure you go to bed at a reasonable hour or making sure you limit your screen time/news coverage then that is more than enough.

Check up on each other. Check on your elderly relatives, family in general, friends, those who struggle with mental illness, those who are working on the front lines.

When you do have to leave the house, be it for a walk, or to pick up groceries, keep your distance but remember to be kind.

Offer a smile to those around you, even if they don’t return it.

Be extra kind to your cashier/employees and make sure to say thank you.

Remember, when they signed up for this job they probably never imagined this scenario either. They aren’t getting paid enough to be as scared as they must be each day.

Be kind, we are all struggling with this in one way or another.

 

Sending love & light,

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