The world is cancelled! How did we get here? The entire globe is talking about one thing: Coronavirus.
Right now, our school district (I work in special education) is closed for spring break. Yesterday, however, we were told we’ll stay closed until March 30. As of now, my only outings are to the grocery store and walks around my neighborhood. I stocked up on dry foods, frozen veggies, toilet paper, soap, etc. weeks ago, before this became a pandemic.
On February 13, I came down with the flu. For someone who hardly ever gets sick, this thing hit me hard. Keep in mind, my last sick doctor visit was in 2006 when I came down with bronchitis. Anyway, I was sick for two days (vomiting, fever, cough, chills, extreme headache). On day three, things got worse, so I took an Uber to urgent care. I was asked if I had traveled outside the country. I was x-rayed and swabbed for the Flu; blood was drawn and I was hooked to an IV. I suspected pneumonia; it was “just” Flu A , which still lasted several days, then followed by pink eye.
It was during this time that we ran out of essentials. As a single mom with a teen who doesn’t drive yet, we resorted to ordering toilet paper on Amazon. Overpriced? Yes. But how can you beat next day delivery?
Once I felt better, I went to Walmart and bought essentials to last us for at least two weeks. And then things started to get worse.
Prior to getting the flu, I read numerous Chinese twitter posts on the severity of the Coronavirus in China. This was more than “just the flu”, I thought. Bodies were being cremated 24/7. I knew it was only a matter of time before it would hit us.
So here we are; the future is uncertain, the fear is real. My daughters live in NYC and Chicago. One started working from home a week ago. Tonight, NYC is shutting down pretty much everything. I have relatives and friends in Austria, Germany and Slovenia. The fear is global.
I’m assuming the situation will tighten even more in the next couple of days. Will national travel be suspended? Are subways shutting down? Will the USA go on a complete lockdown?
While this sound really dark, I do see some beauty in all of this.
An opportunity to slow down.
There’s a need for true health. (Not just masking symptoms with drugs, but getting to the bottom of an issue and fixing it).
More home cooked meals. (Making nourishing meals for your family, is very satisfying and affordable).
A desire to make your own things. ( DIY repairs, gentle cleaning products, cooking, growing your own veggies…).
Limiting the spread of infection by staying home when sick. ( Something we struggle with at work when parents send their sick children to school).
Recognizing the importance of hygiene.
Reading up on the importance of a good immune system. (Cells at Work is an interesting show on Netflix).
The importance of preparedness. (I learned this the hard way after a 6.9 earthquake hit Los Angeles when I was pregnant. Here in Nashville, I have an empty closet which we only use as shelter during tornado warnings).
More time for family – The glue that keeps us together and sane.
Please keep nurses and doctors in your prayers, as well as folks restocking the shelves, the truckers working to deliver foods, and those keeping the stores going. And don’t forget the farmers who get out early in the morning to deal with it so we can eat.
I would love to hear your thoughts. Where do you live? How are you doing?
Tony SoteloMarch 18, 2020
Hi Sabine! Here in Elk Grove, CA the main change I’ve seen is the hoarding of groceries. There are many food items that people are hoarding as if these items will never be available again. Supermarkets are keeping up, but we tend to see more empty shelves by late afternoon. Last week I got impatient with not finding toilet paper, so I too ordered a supply from Amazon no problem!
I absolutely agree that this pandemic is causing people to slow down. In the Sacramento area, much of state government is continuing to work normal schedules and telecommuting is being implemented on a case by case basis. In my job at California Department of Education, we must support school districts to continue providing instructional access to students regardless of school closures.
I have seen so much in California’s quality of life deteriorate since my childhood in the ’70s. It will be interesting to see the psychological impact in people after this pandemic starts to pass. I agree with shelter in place and social distancing practices because too many people do not exercise common sense regarding the spreading of illness. Most of my serious illness I’ve caught from work, so there are many people who need someone to tell them when to not come to work in an office.
I enjoyed reading your latest blog.
SabineMarch 20, 2020
Tony, thank you for your comment. It’s good to hear how folks are doing in their neck of the woods. I hear California is now on lockdown. Stay safe and healthy, my friend. Let’s all pray for this nightmare to pass soon.