Friday, November 27, 2020

Life During COVID 19

On March 16, 2020 I walked out of the counseling office I rent for the last time until no one knew when.  I switched all my clients to telehealth.   I worked out with my personal trainer/son in his gym for the last time during that same week.  I began to have groceries delivered after one last trip to Whole Foods.  It was scary.  People were not social distancing as yet and they were not yet wearing masks.  This was that same week. I could not find toilet paper there or at Tom Thumb.  I went to Walmart and bought a case.  I have lived 71 years and had never experienced anything like the feelings of fear and chaos I began to experience.  I talked to my sons families who all live in the same town to try to figure out what to do to get groceries.  Vacations were cancelled.  I quarantined even from my family when they had exposures to people outside the bubbles of our family.  We all listened to the CDC and Dr. Fauci for our information.  I had never seen such chaos coming from Washington, D.C. and I have lived through a significant amount  of uncertain times. My doctor told me that COVID was not a death sentence, but I knew that seniors like me had a harder time surviving and thriving after a bout with it.  I wanted to protect myself for me, but also for my sons and their families.  I knew that if I did contract it all are most of the family members would worry that somehow they caused it. My underlying conditions are not the ones that the news talks about, but COVID is not about normal.  It is a fairly under understood illness.   

I order groceries from Instacart and Favor and work out mostly in my gym in my house.  I have been able to work out with my fitness coach son a couple of times but mostly I use weekly plans he develops for COVID for me.  My clients are seen by Telehealth. My office has sat empty for 8 months while I continue to pay rent.  My physician says I could see clients there but we would have to both wear masks.  I need to be able to read emotions and reactions when I work with people so I have opted to stick with telehealth.  

Last Thursday, on October 1, I took my completed mail in ballot to the Early Voting Clerk for Dallas County.  Tables were set up to receive the ballots where we had to show our voters registration and drivers licenses, enter our voter ID number on a sheet of paper and place the sealed envelopes with our ballots enclosed into the bag next to the person seated at the table who was wearing masks and gloves and instructing us as to what to do.  I wore a mask and used hand sanitizer immediately after finishing turning in the ballot.  I felt like I had charged up an embankment, risking life and limb to vote in this presidential election.  I was charged with adrenalin as I left because I had been so full of fear prior to completing the simple act of voting.  I will never take normal voting for granted again.  I chose to hand deliver the ballot as did many due to the fear that had been predicated by Washington, D.C. and the news about mailed in ballots.  I did not want to risk my vote not being counted.  I would have forged whatever line of angry, threatening people I needed to but even without them, truly felt I was risking my life.  COVID was the number one threat but I had wondered if there would be militant supporters of the incumbent regime threatening. I know that last phrasing was somewhat inflammatory, but that is how it felt.  It was a surreal experience even for this left over hippy of the Viet Nam era.  

More Americans voted this year than since the early 1900's.  Wow! I am so proud that so many people overcame their fear or apathy over a belief that it doesn't matter.  After this vote as in 2016, we have a clear insight into how divided the country is by the closeness of the race that ended with a change.  I am glad for that.  We need more order, less chaos, less incitement of rage against one another.  Somehow in all this let us love one another as we Imagine a less divided, kinder world, one person, one family, and one country at a time.  Ultimately,  we are all one. Listen, don't yell.  If you find yourself getting agitated, take a slow breath.  Continue to breathe.  Then focus on what the person is feeling and saying.    People change thru love and peaceful openness, not anger and fear.  

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