Virtual therapy
by Eileen, Oregon

I “saw” my therapist today for our weekly appointment. I am also a therapist, and we are both coping with changes. Two weeks ago, I was still seeing clients in my physical office. I was anxious when I went to bed on Friday night March 13, and on Saturday morning, I knew I could no longer contain my anxiety while meeting with clients face-to-face. I was done working in my office for awhile. I felt a lot better.

Last week, my therapist was still in his physical office but starting to do videocall visits with those who requested them, including me. This week, he was “seeing” all his clients from his computer at home. We mostly talked about the anxiety related to the world we are currently living in. He asks questions about how I’m doing and I ask questions about how he’s doing. In two short (or long) weeks, my entire way of working and living has changed. Two weeks ago, I was grappling with applying for authorization from insurance companies to meet with clients via video calls. Today, there appears to be blanket approval across all insurance companies for telehealth visits during this emergency. Everything, as we all know, is changing so fast.

So I work from home now. Some of my clients are taking a break, others are embracing the video connection. It’s not ideal. It doesn’t always work right, and sometimes it turns into a telephone call. I’ve always felt that sitting in the same physical space with another person is much better than video, but now I am so glad to have this other way of sitting with others. It’s important we all stay connected.

Going with the flow
by Sue Robin, Los Angeles, CA

The waves wash over me like the ocean. Well, truth be told, I am a bit of a ‘fraidy cat at the ocean, and only go in waist high. The waves just gently lap there. In real life, we must all play in the ocean of life and haven’t a choice to avoid the waves or sit on the sand. In this crisis, I move from inundated and back to standing firm on the ground in the blink of an eye. With moments of going with the flow squeezed in between.

I always love going to my favorite little park to take a walk, but last week there were too many people to have safe social distancing. Too bad. I will definitely miss watching the baby ducks grow, and the turtles and coyotes,too. The biggest miss of all is my son and his family. They live in Paris now and while he hasn’t lived in the same city as I do for a long time, I always knew he was out doing regular kinds of things like stopping for groceries, calling me on his walk home, taking his wife and the kiddos for an outing. Now he is in lock down thousands of miles away. I cannot hop a plane to help. I could not help even if I lived around the corner. A difficult notion to not be able to help the ones you love so dearly.

In the end, I am grateful for so much more than I am missing.  My son and family are all healthy and safe in their new home. We are safe and healthy, too. My nephew has recovered from Covid-19. My neighbors and I have created the Skyline Street Walkers and the three of us are committed to walk down the block with six feet between us. It definitely beats being six feet under! And while I may be going a little stir crazy every now and then, I am doing what I love to do: walk, cook, read and write. Stay well, stay safe, and stay home!

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