These are dark, uncomfortable times, friends. This pandemic is something straight out of a horror movie, and I think the one thing we American’s can agree upon is that none of us common folk thought it would get this bad. Schools shut down, at first a for a few days to clean, now bordering on 30-day closures, maybe even until the “end” of the school year. Local businesses shuttered—major corporations too. The day this former Las Vegan thought she would see the Vegas Strip shut down was literally the day the Mojave dessert froze over. Disney shutting down hits all the families right in the gut. How can you feel fine when the Happiest Place on Earth is empty? It feels awful because this virus, this organism that is so small, feels so much bigger than any of us or our efforts to stay safe. But yet—there is so much we can do and so much to be grateful for even though many of us are experiencing questionable symptoms and financial loss coupled with this isolation.
Let me be clear, I’m not trying to hide my head in the sand. I’m with you. I have sick family. I have family in the trenches working at a hospital in a major city. My spouse and I have already lost thousands of dollars in the matter of two weeks due to loss of business. My dad is traveling abroad trying to get back to California. Our neighbor was just tested positive for COVID-19 which means we are waiting to see if we might have it too. I’m trying to homeschool a feisty five year old and it’s already led to many tears and fights in a matter of five days. When disasters happen, I typically let my wild and fiery anxiety take the wheel. Surprisingly, however, I’ve been calm and patient. And here is why:
First, most of us have someone we can count on right now to curb the isolation and pain of a lock down.
Since the recent Nashville tornados, I have seen first hand how those who have been displaced or without basic needs have received an abundance of love and support from strangers and neighbors alike. WE ARE NASHVILLE STRONG, and we rally for each other. We may be at home, safe and sound today, FaceTiming each other (thank God for technology!), but in the matter of a moment? We would have tens if not hundreds of people helping us if the you-know-what hit the fan.
Second, stores might not be stocked at the end of the day, but we are not a depleted county.
Shelves are being restocked. Factories are still operating. People are still delivering our precious Amazon packages and driving big rigs across the nation delivering goods just as fast as they can. Stores that are limiting the number of patrons and supplies sold per customer are smart because this keeps us safer and keeps the chaos subdued. Mail is being delivered. Most major hospitals, clinics, and pharmacies are open and helping as many people as they can. We have brave doctors, nurses, NPs, techs and specialists working around the clock while news stations and social media keeps us informed and connected to each other with important updates.
Third, the worst thing being asked of us is to stay home.
That’s it. Stay home, love our children, play with our children, watch Netflix, PBS, Disney + with our children. You can work as much as you can, when you can… Welcome all of us to the hustle of work from home, homeschooling, or suddenly becoming a full time parent—but at least these are options. Typically, my husband and I used to get one to two nights a week where we saw each other. Now he’s home every night. Sadly, it’s due to his second job being suspended. But we are getting projects done and actually spending quality time together. I guess, I just don’t want to waste what I have been missing for so long with tons of stupid worry. We have a healthy child who is 100% loving being home with us and (eventually) enjoys all the activities I have been planning. Her school did their best to protect her, and now it’s our turn.
Pandemic means this virus is global and a very big deal. PLEASE, PLEASE help #flattenthecurve and stay indoors because COVID-19 doesn’t care what area code you live in, what your social status is, if you are a single parent or a starving student. It is deadly to many and a threat to all, but the fact is that we can do something to slow the spread by hunkering down and calming our energy. Loving our family through this and being a supportive neighbor, sharing supplies with those without and using this time Mother Nature has mandated for us to learn from this experience to be more prepared in the future is important. Just like the effects of natural disasters or a cancer diagnosis that could also bankrupt a family in a matter of months, we do have a responsibility to become more prepared. We also need to reflect on what really matters right now and that is the love of our families and our children and that there are some things that can never be taken from us.