Here we are almost four months in and things are not improving. I’ve posted my thoughts and feelings about the isolation involved with staying safe and I must admit that my resolve to stay productive is waning a bit. As a result, I’m reading a lot of books. You’ve probably noticed all the book reviews on Crooked Creek.
Thanks for bearing with me. I cannot believe that I have all this time and suddenly I have so little to say. I’m not sure what this means for the future of this blog, but time will tell.
These are unprecedented times. No one living has experienced such a pandemic in their adult lives. Restrictions depend upon where you live, but almost everyone is restricted in some way. Each country’s precautions are a little different and in the US it is up to each state to decide how much we must restrict our movements.
Regardless, we have all had to adjust to a new normal and there is nothing about it that feels, “Normal.” We must remember that physical distancing, masks, gloves and stay at home orders are designated to protect others as well as ourselves.
So-called social distancing is hard for me a hug loving, social being. I miss my friends. I miss my family. I miss going to the grocery and volunteering and driving and everything else that made up my daily life before COVID-19 dropped in on us.
I am trying to cope by taking one day at a time. This isolation is so open-ended at this point that it is depressing to think of the month or months stretching ahead. I try to have a goal (or two) for each day and when I achieve those I feel energized. The goals are too mundane to share, but of course, include such chores as reorganizing a closet.
This is also a wonderful opportunity to read. I have many books on my shelves that beg to be re-read and I have about fifty on my Kindle that I have not read. Reading is always informative and it swallows up a lot of free time.
This final coping mechanism should have been listed first because I think it is probably the most important. Here in Kentucky, I feel very fortunate that this pandemic has occurred in springtime. The sun shines bright almost every day and there are flowering trees and plants sprinkling color all around. Each day I go for a walk in the neighborhood and I am grateful that this virus did not visit in winter.
One last thought: Many people are making it possible for us to live during this trying time. Let’s remember those working in hospitals, grocery stores, law enforcement, and other essential capacities.
As our governor, Andy Beshear, reminds us each day, “We will get through this together.”
How Are You coping?
“Think first of the action that is right to take, think later about coping with one’s fears.” Barbara Deming
One of my readers made an important point in a personal discussion we were having today and I feel it is worth mentioning here.
During the current COVID-19 pandemic many more patients are being put on respirators (ventilators) to assist in breathing. Many, if not most, will recover and are again able to breathe on their own. They are discharged to fully recover.
For some, this may be a reason to re-think one’s Living Will or written instructions for a health care surrogate. If your legal document(s) currently says, “no ventilator,” is this still your desire?
This is a valid point and I present it for your consideration.
All the world is experiencing unprecedented challenges. We are in a state of shock at what is happening and we have no idea what is next. Global pandemics like the one we are dealing with today are once in a lifetime phenomenon.
Can We Still Laugh?
Even though people are losing their jobs and lifetime savings; Even though people are dying is it okay to still laugh? I say we must. Laughter is good medicine and right now we need some good medicine. As we are restricted in our movements and activities we need to see humor wherever it exists and I believe it is good to manufacture it, too.
We are a family of huggers. We give big hearty hugs when getting together and when saying goodbye. A week ago before things were quite as strict, we got together to celebrate my daughters’ birthdays. Via text Dianne, the oldest reminded us that we needed to keep more distance and not hug. I thought no more about it until Allison, the younger, arrived. She got out of their car and walked to the front door like this:
Silly? Yes, but her isolation get-up produced howls of laughter that partially took the place of our usual hugs.
Maintaining our ability to laugh at life and at ourselves in no way minimizes the seriousness of our time. COVID-19 is not funny, but life still is. Let’s smile each day and laugh when given the opportunity.
“Against the assault of laughter, nothing can stand.” Mark Twain
Some officials and other “experts” who hold press conferences about COVID-19! While they announce emergencies and give out advice regarding social distancing and other precautions they stand shoulder to shoulder and shake hands like they are at a political gathering. This is a pandemic and it should not be too much to expect those providing vital information to model safe behaviors.
A novel form of coronavirus originating in China late last year has spread globally. There is no vaccine for this particular type of corona, named COVID-19. I won’t list the morbidity and mortality statistics here because they are changing by the hour and news coverage is widespread and nearly constant. It is important that we listen to and read reputable news sources. Social media and even some government representatives can be misleading. We need scientific statistics, not hunches.
I have known for some time that there are a few things that should be on hand at home if we are to be prepared, but I have not followed through. Today I plan to at least be sure I have some extra food and over-the-counter remedies available in addition to the gloves, masks, and disinfectants that I already have in stock.
Prepare For What?
Isolation – staying at home to protect yourself from others
Infection – staying at home to protect others from yourself
There is no dearth of good information available regarding what to do to protect ourselves from this virus. It includes masks, gloves, hand sanitizers, and new greetings to take the place of handshakes. I’m not going to outline them here.
We know that should we become ill with flu-like symptoms we should isolate ourselves from others and treat the symptoms. If developing a fever or in the case of more serious symptoms we should go to a healthcare facility where they may or may not have test kits for COVID-19. Regardless, the more serious symptoms and complications can be treated by health care professionals when the virus is too serious for self-treatment.
Older individuals and those weakened by other diseases are most susceptible to more serious complications. Some thought should be given to who would care for such individuals in your family should they contract COVID-19.
At this point, we do not know how much worse this situation will become, but we have all the information necessary to plan and make the most of what could be a horrific pandemic. Test kits are lacking, there will not be a vaccine for 12-18 months, but we have information that is crucial even if it sounds too simple, like “do not touch your face.”
Are You Prepared?
“Life belongs to the living, and he who lives must be prepared for changes.” Johann Wolfgang von Goethe