This is the first time as a nation we have dealt with a crisis of this magnitude without an end in sight. I’m scared, and that’s a bold statement for someone who feels like she’s got to be the rock of the family when a deadly pandemic is sweeping our nation and world.
I work in my local emergency room and I won’t pretend when this all started, I didn’t entertain the corona jokes. What’s another flu anyway, right?
I don’t beat myself up for being uneducated about something I would have loved to believe was just another seasonal cold, but as I walk into another patient’s room with my paper thin mask, I can’t help but catch myself wishing I was wearing a hazmat suit and walking out wishing I had some top of the line body scrub.
COVID-19 came with no warning. Schools shut down and our nonessential businesses are all sitting in the waiting pool leaving us all to wonder... what now?
Whether you’re the ER doctor, the 80-year-old with COPD, the 20-year-old gym rat dramatically unmarked by fear or just a normal mom trying to convince your kids why staying home for months isn’t boring, I think the truth of the matter is relatively straight forward: we should all be doing the same thing right now.
- Staying home. I get asked at least once a day if we should actually stay home. Kate Brown made it clear. Depending on who you are, you’ll use your best judgement. I’ve noticed an extreme amount of cooperation from the community this past week. The memes all say it. The sooner we cooperate, the sooner we can get this over with. You may be a healthy adolescent with nothing to lose, but not everyone can say that. There are people in our community on their knees praying this virus doesn’t hit their father’s nursing home or that their grandma doesn’t shop at the same grocery store as the next person who gets it and pleading with those who aren’t listening to temporarily put life on hold for the sake of the ones they love.
- Supporting our local businesses. This one is so near and dear to my heart. I read a post about a son pleading for people to buy from his dad’s local pizza place, a barber shop thanking everyone for the support as they close their doors and every local restaurant learning how to be strictly car side to go. These businesses are ran by our neighbors, our uncles, our best friends’ parents, our church members, all of our very own. They make up what makes this place home. Our local businesses deserve our support, now more than ever.
- Washing our hands. This one is self explanatory and if you didn’t learn it in kindergarten, I’m here to remind you: twenty seconds is the magic number.
- Appreciating the extra time with family. I love my job so much, but I can’t say I ever mentally prepared to change my clothes outside my house before I walked inside just to protect my family. I can’t say when I leave for another 12 hours I’m not a little jealous of the people who landed in the group that is getting extra time with their loved ones right now. If you are getting time with your family, just appreciate it. With or without this virus, we all know time is of the essence and there is never enough of it. For the first time ever, you have the time.
- Look on the bright side. This pandemic is dark, but I have to believe finding rays of light in the darkness will be what gets us through this. For some, the light is the extra time they are getting with their kids. For others, it’s the masks they get to sew for the nation wide shortage of medical supplies. Some are front lining as doctors, nurses, paramedics and techs. Maybe your light is simply just staying home to stop the spread, to save the life of a person you have never met. Whatever it is, we’re all playing a key part.
There is still no end in sight, still no magic cure and people are still going to bed tonight wondering when this new normal will finally rest it’s gruesome head. Our community has been shaken before — to no avail, we came together every time.
I have no doubt if this virus takes its toll, we will find solace in the fact that no matter what our views are on this pandemic, our community has proven yet again, we’re in this together.