“We are all in this together….”
I was seven years old, crying in the doctor’s office holding my mom’s hand as they scraped one of the unknown sores on my leg to get enough cells to look at under the microscope. I had seen so many specialists who had poked and scraped me to study the rash that had taken over my body.
It wasn’t until years later that the rare rash that had forced me out of school and quarantined me to my house was identified as erythema multiforme, which is a rare skin disorder that mainly affects children. It’s a rash that looks similar to ring worm and took over my entire body.
There was not a lot of information on this disease in the early 80’s so it went undiagnosed for years. I had five outbreaks between the ages of seven and ten, each time I was treated like a leper and was not able to go to school and was forced to stay home taking trial medications and crying because the sores itched and my body hurt. It wasn’t contagious, but no one knew that at the time, so it was better to be safe than sorry. Needless to say, I know what it’s like to be quarantined with an illness that there wasn’t a lot of information on.
What is happening in the world today is scary to some, dismissed by others and confusing to many. There are so many articles out there on the coronavirus COVID-19 and personally I think the press and social media are making many panic. However, is it wrong to panic, none of us know. I think what’s best in a situation that many of us have never seen happen before is to stick together and stop getting angry at the CDC for suggesting we limit large gatherings.
Yes so many things are being affected:
- International travel, we don’t just travel for vacation there are valid reasons for travel and it’s affecting personal and business.
- Weddings that are being cancelled. Catering companies are being affected and the bakeries who already made the wedding cake for the wedding that was cancelled for next weekend.
- Concerts are being cancelled left and right, including: Celine Dion, Bob Dylan and Cher.
- Broadway in New York is going dark.
- NYC half marathon, The Boston Marathon (at least postponed) and so many other sporting events.
- The NBA!
- NCAA tournament (This one left me a little sad for a few seconds [then I got over it] as I’m a KU alum and I am pretty sure KU was going to win it all this year)
- The “Happiest place on earth” Disney Land AND Disney World shut down.
- Women who are pregnant and their due date is any day. Are they going to have their baby in the hospital? What kind of risks are they at or their unborn child at?
- The single mom whose kids are out of school, but she is an ER nurse and knows she needs to be at work to help with the flood of people at hospitals.
- Funerals, can you even mourn the death of a loved one right now with friends and family?
- Prom, I’m guessing many high schools will be cancelling them.
- Small businesses forced to shut their doors for a period of time, will those employees be paid? Or the 250,000 food and beverage workers in Colorado (and many more across the country) will they lose their jobs?
- Social distancing in prisons, they don’t really have that option, do they?
“We all have a right to respond to situations in our own way…”
I don’t want to write a blog today to tell you to “stay calm” or “stop worrying”, or “worry a little more because you are taking this too lightly”, that you should do this and this and this…we all have a right to respond to situations in our own way, but trying to practice self-care during ANY time of stress in your life, whether it be a virus, a divorce, financial issues or a death of a loved one…is important.
If you read any of my previous blogs or my posts on Instagram, you will see a theme. They are about getting through life –the ups and the downs, the good times and the bad. That is not just in our personal individual lives, but in LIFE, like the BIG DADDY LIFE that all of us are in together. So many of my quotes I feel could relate to the current worldwide situation:
- “Do something that lifts you up today…you’ll never get this day again”
- “When life puts you in tough situations don’t say ‘Why me’, say ‘Try me’!”
- “Not all storms come to disrupt your life…Some come to clear your path”
- “Setbacks are just bumps in the road…turn a setback into a comeback!”
- “Get to know you, embrace your alone time”
There are a TON of articles out there on practicing self-care during the COVID-19 outbreak, so I’m not going to rehash any, you can just Google “self-care during the coronavirus” and you’ll be flooded with suggestions. For me the top 3 things I am practicing right now for self-care are:
- Breathing: Just taking deep breaths, just 3 at a time when I’m starting to get anxious or antsy. For me, I honestly feel a change in my body after 3 deep breaths. So doing this throughout the day is good for me.
- Exercise: This is hard because all the rec centers near me closed down and I was just getting my groove back with swimming since I can’t run yet. But on to plan B. I know exercise is good for me and makes me feel better than sitting on the couch and watching Netflix all day (not judging you if that is yours…but might I suggest doing some sit ups between episodes…or not, you do you).
- Sleep: Staying up until midnight searching the internet for the next update on what closure is happening is not helping me sleep. Looking at my phone right before I go to bed is not helpful either. I’m trying to disconnect a little (of course we all need to stay informed) but I’m limiting my time online and making sure it’s very minimal at night and blocking out time to get my ZZZs.
The world will get through this. There are going to be a LOT of bumps along the way for all of us. Our economy is going to suffer, the stock market is going to suffer, small businesses are going to suffer and many will get sick and lose their lives. We are going to have to rebuild and it won’t be overnight, we will see affects for a while, but life will go on for many, things will just be a little different, “Change is the only constant in life.”
When bumps happen in your personal life, we get stronger during those difficult times and then we are usually better because of it. During those personal shitty times, do you want to be alone? Do you want to go through it alone? Most of us I think would say no, so let’s remember that during a worldwide issue, we can’t overcome it alone. We need to stick together, lean on each other, not play the blame game and do our best to keep plugging along.
COVID-19 will teach us many things and this tiny virus (like so many other things) is part of the journey of life. Kind of a sucky part right now, but all we can do is try to take care of ourselves, our loved ones, and maybe a neighbor that is elderly and is too scared to go to the grocery store. What’s going to happen will happen, we just have to try our best to stick together. Do your part to take care of yourself and help those around you that might need a little extra support.
Because of a strange disease at a young age, I learned how isolation and quarantine can be hard, humans are generally in need of community. While we are practicing social distancing, implementing a self-quarantine or perhaps you have been required to quarantine yourself, just remember you aren’t alone. We have FaceTime now, Skype, texting, cell phones and other ways to communicate to stay engaged. And use this time also to embrace your alone time if you are feeling a little lonely (remember Google “selfcare during the coronavirus”).
Practice a little self-care today, take deep breaths and know this too shall pass. What that means for each of us is different and it is going to be harder of some than others. All we can do is be kind and keep moving forward, one day at a time, even on those difficult or unknown days.
Remember, We Got This!