By Nancy Jones
for The Beacon
Our grandparents had the Flu of 1918 & WW I; our parents had the Great Depression, WWII, and the Korean War; we had the Viet Nam War, 9/11 and now the Coronavirus.
Sheltering-in-place has been recommended, and even required in most states. Naturally, we will all experience some level of anxiety and possibly depression.
How we cope with this historic event may be a reflection of our society as a whole. Are we supportive of each other; are we creative in how we change with circumstances; are we active in shaping our individual future; do we take responsibility for contributing to the greater good?
This article is first in a series in which several friends were asked to complete a questionnaire, sharing ideas with the readers.
At their request a few responses were identified with initials and an approximate age. Some responses were fun; some serious but all seemed to have the good of our community at heart:
- How have you used this ‘shelter-in-place’ time to try something new?
Gerald, 80: Cleaning and organizing chores that have been left undone for ten years.
Clarice, 70: Streaming church services on Sunday; helped Gerald do Zoom with his doctor; proofed the newspaper in the car.
Fred & Pam, 70: We’re both reading books, watching movies. We sometimes work a crossword puzzle with each doing a part of the puzzle.
Gina & Tom, 50: Took a cooking class with our daughter.
Harper, teen: Took an online cooking class from Harvard University (for free).
Judy K, 70: Signed up for home delivery services. Had my first teleconference visit with my doctor on Zoom.
- Since you can’t be with friends/family, how have you met your need to socialize?
Gerald, 80: Socialize with phone calls and some notes since I do not text or e-mail.
Clarice, 70: I have used Zoom with Bible study. Texting, letter writing, phone calls.
Fred & Pam, 70: Text friends. Pam calls family/friends for short chat. We’re going to Polly’s driveway for Grace’s birthday and will put our lawn chairs six feet apart but at least we will see one another.
Gina & Tom, 50: Zoom and Face-Time with friends/family.
Harper, teen: Talking with neighbors from our driveway and they are in their driveway (10-15 feet apart).
Judy K, 70: Get outside in the yard some time each day; keep busy on projects; take afternoon naps.
- Have you found a successful way to overcome negative coping behaviors?
Gerald, 80: Have not tried.
Clarice, 70: I read my Bible and pray daily. Write in my journal.
Fred & Pam, 70: We both continue to exercise. Walk in the park. Drive on a County Road and keep a written record of our drives.
Gina & Tom, 50: No. Cooking and eating too much!
Harper, teen: Enjoying the new cooking skills.
Judy K, 70: Not yet.
- Have you changed anything permanently because of shelter-in-place, and if so, how?
Gerald, 80: Cleaned up the barn. No personal changes yet!
Clarice, 70: Washing my hands more frequently.
Pam & Fred, 70: I think we will be more conscious of washing our hands and staying home when we’re sick.
Gina & Tom, 50: Removing our shoes in the garage. Showering as soon as we get home.
Harper, teen: Same as Gina & Tom.
Judy K, 70: Not yet
- What do you think was the reason this virus became active?
Gerald, 80: Public did not take it seriously and ignored the warnings by health personnel
Clarice, 70: Colder weather. Traveling from Europe and physical contact. Lack of safety measures, washing hands & masks.
Pam & Fred, 70: We’re not sure and it seems the experts aren’t either.
Gina & Tom, 50: It is a virus that mutated.
Harper, teen: Same as Gina & Tom.
Judy K, 70: Have heard suggestion of improper food handling
- Do you have any suggestions for others to care for themselves?
Gerald, 80: Isolate yourself and stay isolated. Don’t ‘go nuts’ when the shelter-in-place is lifted. The “new today” is going to be a lot different than the “old yesterday.”
Clarice, 70: Exercise if possible/ stay clean/ stay home. Do those daily chores; write in a journal; work on ‘to-do’ list.
Pam & Fred, 70: Follow the guidelines. Be mindful that it’s not just your health but those around you that you affect.
Gina & Tom, 50: When you come home, remove your shoes in the garage; spray car and shoes with Lysol; remove all clothes and wash separately. Shower and wash
Harper, teen: Same as Gina & Tom
Judy K, 70: Don’t become too isolated. Keep in touch with others; work together with neighbors/friends. Limit time spent watching TV and getting virus updates. Use online resources and/or telephone to stay in touch.