I guess this post shouldn’t be referred to as “quarantine” since technically we are not in a full on Quarantine (cause ‘Merica’s gotta be all weird…), but right now, I think many people feel like we are in a real quarantine. So, I’m just going to continue rolling with it!
It’s been about two weeks since I started working completely remotely, and really started hunkering down at home. Without much warning, some family who had preexisting health issues needed some help with little things like essential runs to the grocery store once a week. Since I had already been assigned to work remotely from home, I was able to come stay with them in the Orlando area for a few weeks to help out.
So far, we have not killed each other! I’m not sure if that’s an accomplishment, or if we’re going to start seeing more tension come out soon, but who knows.
I will admit, in some ways, I am much more at peace and feel more like myself than in the last post, but in other ways, I have moments where emotionally, it’s kind of rough.
We’ve gone on a couple of drives, just to get out of the house for a bit. We never left the car, but just being able to get out of the house is nice. Since we are around Orlando, we decided to take a drive to some of the big theme parks around the area, just to see what they looked like right now.
Not gonna lie, I’ve never seen Disney World so empty, not even at night time. The amount of cars we saw, we could count on one hand. The only human being we saw, was a security officer wearing an orange vest.
We continued our tour onto SeaWorld which was a similar experience. However, not really having ever been there, it didn’t have the same eerie effect on me as Disney did. There were no nostalgic memories associated with the place. But it was odd to see an area normally bustling with activity and tourists, reduced to a modern day ghost town.
Unfortunately, I had a headache through most of the ride, and couldn’t take as much in as I wanted to. But, I still looked around and couldn’t help but to think about how our world is changing and will never be the same again.
Even if we have not yet been directly affected, we know someone who has been. A friend of one of my friend’s grandparents has already died from Coronavirus. I have multiple friends who are having to severely sacrifice their everyday lives because they have pre-existing health issues to look out for. My sister’s friend who lives in New York City right now needs a major surgery, but because it is not an emergency yet, they can’t perform the surgery due to the amount of COVID-19 patients they are dealing with. However, when it does become an emergency, the issue may prove to be fatal. The county that I live in currently has the third highest number of cases in my state.
On top of these things, I help oversee recreational programs for Seniors for the municipality that I work for. Four weeks ago, my team and I had to make 344 phone calls to the Seniors in our program, letting them know that we had to close our program until further notice. I can’t help but think about them during this time, wondering how they are doing, how they are coping, and more importantly, how many of them will be coming back?
Like most people, I have gotten into the habit of checking the daily numbers to see how cases are increasing. I see beyond the numbers, and immediately feel the people beyond those numbers. Each number has a name, a family, a history, someone who cares about them. I think about how countries with poorer health care systems might have even more cases than they are able to show, but are unable to be tested for confirmation.
There are moments when I am really upbeat, and I feel ready to conquer the world. They are good moments, where I can laugh and see the positive side of the situation.
I read a post on Facebook today, where someone shared pictures of the crafts, games, exercise equipment, and book isles where almost all of the product was wiped off of the shelves. Families are spending time together playing games, people are allowing their creativity to flow, educating their minds, and strengthening their bodies at home. Many children are getting to experience family in a way that they have never experienced before, because their parents are forced to be home with them now. It’s a beautiful thing!
There are also days where, if I were to be truly honest, I have to take a little bit of time, and just not really do much, because my body needs a break from the emotional roller-coaster that it seems to be on. I am thinking about Easter this weekend, which is normally more of a family holiday in my family, and I won’t be with my mom or sisters. We scheduled a facetime together, so we can all talk and see each other’s faces, but I still would rather be with them.
It’s weird that the closest interaction I will have with my family is a video conversation, when what we all really want is just to hug each other and make sure everyone is alright. Granted, I still get to spend Easter with family, and I am very grateful for that. But it’s odd that it won’t be with my immediate family.
I think one thing that I’ve tried to remember during this time, is to simply have grace on myself. I am usually my own worst critic, and I have had to force myself to remember that even I need to show myself love and grace sometimes. I have tried to allow myself to feel and to process my own experience, but also the experience of the world as a whole.
I want to encourage those of you reading this post, not with a pep talk (because I don’t really feel like giving one right now), but just letting you know that I see you, and I can relate. We are all on a roller-coaster of emotions right now, and that’s rough. We are apart from our families in ways that we never have been before. We can’t hang out with our friends, and we have to figure out new ways (or rather, remember the old ways) of keeping ourselves entertained.
It’s an odd time, and it’s okay to give ourselves time to “feel” the emotions we are dealing with. Emotions, even “negative” emotions, are not the enemy. It is what we choose to do with those emotions that really matter. Just remember not to fall down the emotional black hole, where you can’t find your way back out again. Remember that there are still things to be done, and if you can’t think of anything to do, try an internet search of things you can do at home.
But more importantly, I just want you to know that you are not alone.