Life in the time of #COVID-19

Sure, we all knew some sort of pandemic was possible, perhaps even probable.

But this? How many of us were ready?

For me, the hardest part is simply that we don’t know what we don’t know, which means that erring on the side of caution is well-advised. That’s how I’m offering myself grace as I manage disappointment about cancelled professional meetings (while my Spring schedule always makes me a little bonkers, I really do live for the renewal of those connections), symphony performances that won’t happen (Beethoven cancelled! Sob!), no Saturday morning Farmers Market…normal life stuff, ordinarily. And I feel disappointment on behalf of our 4th year medical students, who will still find out where they are heading for residency next year, but they’ll miss sharing that celebration with friends and family. It’s just such a strange time AND I do believe we’re doing the right things as a society right now.

I also believe we’re each finding our own way to manage this; I did tease my Dad earlier today that he was practicing social distancing before it was cool…and right now I’m grateful for that. At my house, we’ll be practicing it too because I do have my 76 year old (healthy) Mom here, and then there’s me, the asthmatic. I like to pretend I’m pretty superhuman even with my asthma, but the influenza already demonstrated the lack of truth in that concept this winter.

So, what little- or big- things am I doing around here to keep my wits about me?

  • Washing my hands. Okay, I was good about this before. Now the very first thing I do when I walk into the house is drop what I’m carrying and wash my hands.
  • Yoga. Lots of yoga. At home. Some of you already know I’m a big fan of Yoga with Adriene, and she has plenty of videos on YouTube. Also, DownDog has made their app free in response to the current health climate.
  • Okay, a bit of meditation too. Calm has all sorts of resources, and I’ve even gotten my Dad hooked on it.
  • Still running, and doing so with a friend. It’s a non-contact activity.
  • Catching up on my reading backlog since I won’t be on the road for the next month. I promise to share anything fabulous later.
  • Making sure to support small businesses because I have the capacity to do so. Since I’m definitely still at work, as long as we have food trucks showing up at lunch time I’ll be supporting them. I can still get coffee from my favorite local roasters, even without Farmers Market this week. Also, tipping a little more generously, again because I can. The service industry is taking this HARD. Related: If you have the resources, please give money to your local food banks. They have more “purchasing power” than you do, so your dollars go further than the cans of soup will.
  • Taking my errands to a whole new level of trip chaining (today I early voted on my way home), and trying to go places when they’re likely to be less busy (3 pm on Thursday was great!).
  • Setting up Skype/ FaceTime/ Zoom “dates” with friends who I won’t get to see with the meeting cancellations…or with friends just because. LMK if you’re up for a coffee or wine virtual hangout, because I definitely am! Correlate: I won’t be showing up even for small group in-person social activities for the next little bit since we have the above described people in our household.
  • Did I mention washing my hands? And have y’all figured out along with me how hard it is to NOT touch your face?

It’s my deepest hope that by the end of March we’ll all be able to be grateful that some patience and a measure of caution helped this to mostly blow over; the data and the delay in response says that’s not the most likely outcome. In the meantime, I’m taking my contributions to flattening the curve pretty seriously, and I hope you will too.