by Laurie Becker, Seattle, WA
My husband has tested positive for the Coronavirus.
This may be the first time you have a connection with someone who’s got it—but unfortunately not likely the last. Seems like we take things more seriously when we actually know people who are impacted. That’s why I’m posting this here.
If you’re not yet taking this seriously, now is the time. If you aren’t in the Seattle area, please take our lead and follow the strict guidance of Public Health – Seattle & King County, whether your place is issuing this guidance or not.
Husband is doing ok for now, and we are fortunate to have lots of support and resources. I’m not symptomatic as of this writing, and am working hard to keep it that way. We’re not in any further need right now. I’m only posting this in the public interest, hoping this raises some level of awareness.
Be well all.
by Jan Gallagher, Seattle, WA
Ruth, thank you so much for thinking of our mental health as well as the physical. My mental health is impacted by little things like thinking of going out for pizza then catching myself with an “OH NO!” or literally weeping that my Ikebana class is cancelled (OH NO!), or worrying if I have enough books to get me through the quarantine (although I have about 300 on my Kindle). I am mildly annoyed that an item I ordered from Amazon is going to be two days later than expected, and then catch myself with an “OH NO!” None of that is what’s really worrying me.
So many little things are different that I find myself focusing on those things instead of the big “OH NO!” — We are in serious personal danger. For some of us, maybe for the first time ever.
If I spend too much time thinking about the whole situation, I tend to see the worst possible case scenario (50 years of nursing will do that for you).
So, while not by nature an ostrich, I have promised myself to keep informed, but not to the point of anxiety. I will not dwell on numbers (human, material or financial), or the incompetence of our leaders, or the perceived inability of our society to handle such a huge problem.
My parents’ generation coped with WW ll. My grandparents coped with WWl, the flu epidemic of 1918, and the Depression. I believe we all come from strong stock and will cope with this.
We will get through it, not without some losses, of course, but come out the other side to see our world as a very different place. Hopefully a smarter, stronger world will be our legacy, if we all stand together to share the burden.
by May Collier, Caldwell, ID
As I sit here for my 5th day of being shut in, I’m really beginning to get cabin fever. If only I could get rid of this cough and stuffy nose! Patience has never been my virtue, but I would never want to bring illness upon another by exposing them to any illness I have.
Sitting here at the computer this morning, I thought of the fearfulness of some who have no support system to see them through times like this. It must be a very dark time indeed for them. I have great support systems; I have many spiritual practices, and a direct line to God/Creator… and I know that if my illness is the C-19 type, that I have gotten a much gentler strain of it than I would have expected from hearing the news. Today, mostly my energy is a little sapped—but I’m pretty much OK otherwise, except for this incessant coughing!
So maybe I’ve missed the news item that defines for how long we must isolate ourselves before returning to the community? Do I dare to get my mail? When can I shop? If I were to be in an establishment and break out into a couple of coughs, would an angry crowd jump me out of their own fears? What would be the reaction of others?
When I sit here pondering these issues, I think there are things we can do to stay safe, but I believe it is almost a futile situation. Mail and packages get delivered, and we don’t know how many hands they have gone through before reaching us. I wash my hands now after reading my mail—but is that enough? Going to the store we also take a risk—handling produce and packages that many have touched. I’m now washing everything that lends itself to soap and water and am grateful for that huge package from Amazon of my favorite fruit and veggie wash. I could probably stand on the corner and sell it now!
There was a lady in Idaho, in recent days, who paid someone going to the store to buy her groceries for her. She was afraid of infecting herself by going into the store. How sad this all is. Yet, there are moments of greatness, when we all step up to help another—even here from my isolated space, there are things I can do to help, and I am. I may not be able to go to church, but I will be mailing a donation to ensure that the church I love will continue to get my support. I am also donating to my local acupuncture clinic to ensure they will be able to open their doors when the time comes.
There will be many mild cases of this virus—and the more we think in that way, the safer we will be. The mind can stand firm in the storm and bring us through to the other side.