I hope you are safe and well. My heart goes out to all during this difficult time. Last month I wrote about uncertainty. We are still certainly living with uncertainty. What exactly is the virus? New information on how it acts, how long people carry it, what may treat it comes out every day almost. When will we have more testing and a vaccine? One of my favorite quotes was “I would love to live my life as a river flows, carried by the surprise of its own unfolding” by John O’Donogue. If you look at the picture above I would like to know what is around the bend.
Now we are faced with more difficult tradeoffs. Merriam Webster describes trade offs as “1: a balancing of factors all of which are not attainable at the same time 2: a giving up of one thing in return for another.” Some trade offs include re-opening business in trade off for increased cases of the virus. Staying at home vs. risking going out. Being uncomfortable in a mask vs. protecting others.
Tradeoffs are nothing new they are just more apparent and in the news every single minute of every day. We have always had to choose, maybe a career that pays well with a lot of stress vs. one with less stress and less money. Time at work vs time spent with family and friends. Spending money vs saving money. Having an industrial society with an abundance of goods vs cleaner air. Our trade offs are based on our values. I read trade offs are much easier when we have made a conscious choice for the trade off vs feeling forced to make a trade off. I made a big trade off selling my house very low for a cash offer as I wanted certainty. I was worried about the economy and people coming in my house. Then at the last minute, the buyer changed to a mortgage. So now I’m back to uncertainty as I don’t know if the loan will be approved.
This is my perspective as a non clinical worker in a hospital system. We need to sacrifice to protect the vulnerable in our society and our front line health care workers. We don’t want to reopen too soon. We need to reduce the amount of people in the hospitals especially until we have enough equipment and also know what treatments are more effective. We need to wear masks. My allergies are so bad I’m borderline asthma. I get panic attacks when I feel I can’t breathe. I freaked out in an MRI once as I thought I could not breathe making that medical staff very unhappy with me. I started wearing my purchased mask at work before they had enough supplies and now we all need to wear them. I almost hyperventilated the first day. It gets easier every time and I’m really using my calming techniques.
We also need to help those financially impacted by this situation. I wish we had better solutions for people. My grandparents bailed out my parents quite a few times as my dad’s business went bankrupt. My grandparents were all depression era and said people helped each other out way more more back then. My inspiration is partly in WW2 the US had to make sacrifices. In London food and clothing were rationed and in short supply. Bombings caused destruction of property and fear, injury and death. Families were often separated due to evacuations and men going away to fight. It’s where the “keep calm and carry on” slogan originated.
First of all let yourself feel what you feel without judgement. This isolation is bringing up a lot of emotions and it is not easy. Get help if you need it. If you can try to look at some of the positive trades offs of being inside our homes. People have more time now. It is helping with connections. I’ve heard from some wonderful people I had not heard from in years. One person who reappeared was from over 25 years ago! Many of us are valuing the healthcare workers, grocery store clerks and farmers more.
Cook and bake more often. Experiment, I doubled the amount of blueberries in this crustless pie recipe. Reconnect with some peeps from your past. Take a class. Read a book. Take a socially distanced walk. Read your old journals. Write in a journal. Write a book. Start analyzing your dreams. Organize your photos. I imagine you have heard clean your closets, but very few places are taking donations now. Support your tribe, call people or set up zoom meetings. Learn a new dance. Play with your kids. Play with your pets. Take up a new hobby. To the best of your ability, keep calm and carry on.