Three weeks ago I made a blog post about finding ways to keep yourself busy as we learned to deal with the newly coined termed, social distancing. To be honest, at that time I never thought we would STILL be worrying about this let alone having no end in site. As many of you did, I thought it would be a short lived mild inconvenience. Boy was I wrong!
My emotions are all over the place these days and I’ve been told that is normal. They come and go without warning. I’m not prone to anxiety or depression but these times are challenging for ALL of us. I’ve read that what we are dealing with as a society right now are stages of grief and loss. I definitely believe that to be true. These are the most common emotions for me right now…
I was not able to be there when my precious little grandson was born due to hospital restrictions. I was able to see him a few days later before our Stay Home order was enacted. It breaks my heart that it will be weeks before I get to see him again. Luckily he, my daughter and son in law are all healthy and keep me supplied with pictures and videos. It’s not the same though.
I’ve seen the videos from nurses, doctors, first responders and they break my heart. I hear about peope dying alone in the hospital because their loved ones are forbidden to be with them. Funerals that can’t be held. Seniors in nursing homes that have no visitors. Seniors in high school that missed out on prom and graduation. My 19 year old firefighter/ EMT son who lives on his own and had no one to hug him when he comes home at the end of a tough shift.
It makes me sad to see normally kind people say things online they wouldn’t ordinarily because they are scared. People are already turning on each other. This is the time to be our best selves, not our worst.
I’m angry at the way our government is handling this situation. The blatant lies and misdirection. The things I hear people say during press conferences makes me want to throw things. I’m not talking about all the spin reporters like to put on their stories on both sides of the aisle. I’m talking about the things I hear for myself on live tv. I don’t need a reporter to point out the back pedaling and false statements, I can hear them myself! Normally I brush off politics because there is a lot of corruption in the whole damn government…but now I am just ANGRY. This is NOT a time for patting your own back and thinking about your election strategy. This is not about power plays, blame or ego. This about is about saving human lives. PERIOD.
It’s been 3 weeks! How long can we expect our businesses to go on like this before people start losing their homes, jobs, etc. At what point are we just going to have to accept the risk and get back to work? Not everyone can stay home. Even with government help that may come eventually things are going to start getting really tough, really soon.
I don’t understand why the whole country isn’t following the same restrictions. Why is our state closed down and our businesses suffering when other states just have suggested guidelines?
Why is it taking so long to get more tests and to start using them? We can’t possibly get an accurate number of people infected so how will we actually know when we have flattened the curve? There are so many people out there who are sick but told not to come to the hospital, they need to be tested too! These numbers are going to get a lot worse before they get better.
I’ve spent the last three weeks reading, playing games and watching tv. I have to get up every now and then to reposition myself and stretch out my limbs. We go for walks everyday and as the weather turns warmer we will be able to stay out longer but it’s still pretty cold out there. I’ve organized and cleaned and have no more projects that need to be done. I am someone who needs to feel productive!
We downsized 9 months ago and we don’t have much space in our new home. It never felt small until now. We have an open living/dining/kitchen space. If my hubby or I want to do different things one of us has to hang out in one of the 2 bedrooms. We don’t have a yard. We do have a balcony and by the end of April will have the patio furniture out there and that will at least open up another living space.
I’ve lost all sense of time and days. Without meetings or my volunteer gigs, I never have anywhere to be. 4 am and still awake?! No big deal. Not eating anything til 2pm..who cares ?! I’m trying to get back into my normal sleep schedule but it’s a struggle. I’m considering setting my alarm in the mornings and forcing myself to get up just to try to get back to a normal sleeping pattern.
I put this one last because honestly it the the one I feel the least. I do worry about getting sick and I’m taking all the right precautions not to. If I get the virus it will suck but I’ll most likely survive it. I’m a girl who grew up just outside of Detroit wearing second hand clothes, ate cheese that came in a big block and food that came in black and white boxes, shopping at Kmart and living in places where coming home to notices on the door were common place. My mom was a “factory rat” as were most of my friend’s parents, and we grew up dealing with the highs and lows of overtime, shut downs and layoffs. Those roots run deep and it takes a lot to scare me now.
If I allowed myself to I could be afraid of all of the “what ifs”. But I am NOT allowing myself to go there. I have survived this long by taking a deep breath, dealing with the problems one at a time and then letting it go. We can’t live in fear. That’s not really living. We HAVE to be able to look towards the light at the end of the tunnel and focus on that.
At the end of last week I reached a mental breaking point (won’t be the last I’m sure). I couldn’t read one more political tweet, one more post debating whether or not people should head north to their cabin, or watch one more first responder video that made me cry. I was obsessing and it wasn’t good for me. So I began to limit my social media/ news coverage time.
5 days later I feel more out of touch with the world but more in touch with my friends and family. I’ve taken to calling/texting a couple of different people each day. I’ve also been mailing out letters/cards. I’m trying to use this time to reconnect with people and focus more on those relationships. I’m concentrating on my own little circle because it is too much to think about the entire planet right now. When I allow myself to dwell on it then I can’t control the emotions and that’s not healthy.
I can’t change what is happening out there in the world but I can change how I respond to it.