TP and surgical masks immediately come to mind. But intangibles, like social interaction and companionship, are in critically short supply as well. Our weekly coffee meet-ups, book clubs, games of mahjong or bridge, cocktail parties, church services, and dinners out are on hold. Never has high-speed internet been more important to our emotional well-being. I’ve attended WW workshops and Writers Group on Zoom. I’ve video-chatted with my favorite ten-year-old. I’m grateful I can reach out and (not) touch someone from almost anywhere. In my pajamas.
Some suggestions, if you haven’t already thought of them…
- Phone a friend. You could be their lifeline. They could be yours.
- Send a card or letter to someone in a nursing home or care facility. They may be feeling especially alone right now that most places have barred visitors. If you’re like me, you probably have a box of cards that have gone unused for years. What did we save them for? This. We saved them for this.
- And while you’re out on the web, for god sake spread some damn sunshine. I’ve had to enforce a “good vibes only” rule on Facebook. Funny is good. But no name-calling, no nastiness. And please, no unsourced medical advice. Furthermore, if your posts reveal that you believe the President is doing a terrific job handling this crisis, you’ll be hidden from my feed. At least for now.
So, how am I coping?
Thanks for asking. Pretty good, mostly. Although I had one moment a few nights ago when tears surprised me. I began thinking about the people I could lose to this virus. I wasn’t afraid. I was sad. You see, most of my friends and many of my family are in that high-risk demographic. We’re old. Probably a hundred loved ones are in their sixties, seventies, eighties, and beyond. At current morbidity rates, one or two of us probably won’t survive. Maybe more. And all because a few careless, selfish people ignored the orders to stay home. They went to church or a party. Or simply didn’t wash their hands.
Okay, I was sad, then angry. Then sad again.
I haven’t hugged my granddaughter in over three weeks. A visit with my daughter had to take place through the storm door. Not seeing my friends is hard. It hurts. But what would hurt more is knowing that by going to the market without a mask and gloves, without disinfecting everything when I get home, someone who wasn’t even showing symptoms could infect me. Unknowingly. Then I could infect someone else. Unknowingly. Someone could die.
So, I remain vigilant and safe at home with one goal: When we finally resume our coffee meet-ups, book clubs, and Sunday dinners, not one person is missing. Not one. Everyone lives.