Something Good- Day 169

Today was a rough day. I was pulled over by a police officer for not stopping at a stop sign. I had stopped, but there is a curve in the road and walls on each side, which prevented the officer from seeing me stop. I do not know what to do when I get stopped by a police officer. I panic and get defensive because I did nothing wrong. This is my third time being stopped by an officer, and my panic reflex has gotten worse each time. It especially makes me anxious because I feel like I have no control over it. I obey all traffic laws as well as I can, but that does not mean I am safe from an officer trying to make a point.

Anyway, the officer gave me a warning, which I still resented because I knew I had stopped. As I drove away though, I was overcome with feelings of anger and resentment and hurt. I wanted to call my best friend or my sister or other family member, to help calm me down and get to a state where I could go to work okay. Instead, I drove to work and blasted my music. My body tensed to the point where my hands couldn’t move the way they should. I thought about pulling over and calling my boss, but I relaxed just enough to drive safely to work.

My body was aching from tensing up so much, and I was in a bad mood. My coworkers could tell right away that I was upset. After working for a while, I finally calmed down enough to do my job. I did snap at one of my coworkers at the end of the night though, and my boss asked me what was going on. I told her about getting pulled over and my bad experiences with police officers and wanting to call out sick. It brought back up some of the feelings, but I mostly held it together.

Anyway, in the midst of all this, I finally was approved for my house refinance. I have been waiting for this for weeks and working on refinancing for months. I am grateful for the terms I was given though and the way this all worked out.

Another thing that made me smile today was talking with a lady who took her dog outside to do his business. She had a crutch, so I stopped to ask if she needed help with walking her dog. She thanked me for my kindness and said I was sweet to offer. She introduced herself, and we talked for a minute before I drove off. It felt good to connect with someone for a minute or two.

Something Good- Day 111

Today was incredibly busy at work. It did not feel overwhelming, but we kept busy the entire time. At the end of the night, one of the tellers was missing a large amount of money, and we weren’t sure what happened. I am grateful for how we all work together though when someone needs help. I helped my coworker look through everything. Then, my manager helped. We were there later than we should have been, but it was such a good environment.

Prior to this time of quarantines and social distancing, I was passively looking for another job. My coworkers all knew I disliked working at a bank and did not intend to stay long. Now though, I am so grateful for my coworkers and the care the bank has shown me as an employee. I have been humbled by this experience, and it has brought me closer to my coworkers. It is in times of darkness and hurt and loneliness that we find out what lives in us and those around us. We find out what means the most when it matters most.

Something Good- Day 100

My grandma sent me money for Easter. We bought some Easter candy a few weeks ago and ate it all already. Since I knew my grandma was sending me some Easter money, I was able to buy some more candy and eggs so that we can still have a fun Easter. We also have renters moving in tomorrow that will be here for about a month, so we invited them upstairs for Easter dinner. It will be nice to have a somewhat normal holiday in the midst of these uncomfortable circumstances.

Something Good- Day 96-97

We went to the grocery store yesterday. It was our first time really going out since we started quarantine. We figured we were not likely to have Covid-19 since we have only had some congestion and fatigue. We did wear masks with filters though as we shopped. I was glad to see a few others wearing masks because it made us feel less awkward. This was the biggest shopping trip we have done since I bought my house, but I felt less anxious than normal because there were not many people and money is not as tight right now. We got enough food to last a couple weeks so we will not have to go out again for a while.

Sunday was a fairly quiet day. We watched our church conference and a couple movies. We painted a few more rocks and read for a bit. It was a relaxed day.

Something Good- Day 92 & 93

I did not want to write my something good post last night. My sister and I have been having symptoms of sickness since Sunday night. Our symptoms have been mild and ambiguous so far. We have had general body aches and fatigue, congestion and headaches, but nothing that would positively tell us if it was allergies or the flu or anything at this point. I just did not want to try to think of something good in my state of exhaustion.

I did wake up feeling somewhat better today, though that did not last long. I have been able to clean the house a bit and do some laundry over the past couple days. Although my body has been tired, I have completed essential chores each day and then watched movies with my sister to relax.

It is difficult to remain in good spirits while feeling unwell. I have been depressed and lethargic. I also have a shorter temper. I miss work and coworkers but am also grateful to know that I have a job to return to when I recover from whatever sickness this may be.

Something Good- Day 87-89

Social distancing and Idaho’s stay-at-home order means that I need to stay busy to avoid getting depressed. I am very grateful that I do not live alone because that would make this nearly impossible for me. Over the last three days, we have been playing games, cooking and baking, and watching movies and shows.

I have a lot of games that I have never played. This extra time at home has given us the opportunity to try these new games.

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We have also used some kitchen gadgets for the first time. My sister used our mixer to make gluten free bread, which I later turned into bread pudding. Then we used our potato crisper to make homemade potato chips. We are planning to try making apple chips with it as well.

Overall, we are doing well with our social distancing efforts. I called my siblings to check in with them today and texted a couple friends. We avoided the crowded grocery store yesterday and just got a few essential things at a smaller store. My bank has implemented a 10% cash back reward for restaurants, so we have used the drive through for a couple fast food restaurants to help support them at this time. I am staying active by using the elliptical machine we bought a couple months ago. So far depression has only consumed me over a couple minutes in the last week. I think that as long as I keep active and take care of myself, things will all be okay through this.

Corona Virus Plea

I am a skeptic. I rarely believe what I hear from rumors or the media. I need to find out for myself what is true. From the beginning, I was not scared of Covid-19 (A.K.A. Corona virus) because I am healthy, young, and wash my hands regularly. However, after hearing stories from some of my friends, I thought it was important to share their thoughts on quarantines, social distancing, and good hygiene.

One particular friend’s story struck a chord with me. She shared that she has four immediate family members who are at risk of death if they contract corona virus. Her brother is most at risk because he  was hospitalized recently for trouble breathing on his own. She shared her anxieties in trying to get all the necessary supplies to help her family self-isolate until the risk of sickness decreases and her fears that they may not survive if one of them contracts Covid-19.

I will tell the rest of the story in her own words:

As I’m unloading bags from my store trips, my brother is watching the news. We’ve explained the self-quarantine, social distancing, and how Taiwan, Singapore, and Hong Kong have successfully decreased death rates and even the virus in general by practicing these methods. The news goes on, reporting how parents are finding activities for the kids while they’re out of school. The activities are in the community. For example, the butterfly exhibit increased from 40 people a day to 200 today. This is not social distancing, and my brother knows it. He gets angry- he’s legitimately scared he’s going to die and hates the idea of severe pneumonia because he knows what it feels like to not be able to breathe. It sounds like a painful horrible death to him, and I understand why he feels this way. He says, “please, you have to call someone, you have to write letters. I want to live, and I don’t want to stay in the house forever. “We’ll run out of food. “There’s not enough, and I don’t have enough of the things I need to not get sick.” He’s right about it all! I don’t know who to call or write because so many people don’t really understand!

I don’t need to fear. Most of you don’t need to fear, but there are many in the vulnerable category who rightly need to fear and protect themselves. They need our help protecting them. They are relying on us! They are sitting in homes, praying they won’t need to suffer, afraid of not only death, like my brother who wants to do so much more and is not even 30, but also of the pain and suffering as breathing becomes more and more labored. They sit at home hoping something can stop this or at least greatly limit it. They’re doing all they can. I’m doing all I can for them.

I’ve seen posts- let’s pray, let’s fast, and yes, let’s do. But faith without works is dead, prayer without action is asking God to stop us instead of partnering with him. We need not fear. The reason for this is to put our prayer into action and answer the prayers of my brother, of my father and mother, and my sister. The point of this is to answer the prayers of family members like me! We have a real chance to bear one another’s burdens to stand as brothers and sisters in this great human family. It is a unique and wonderful and beautiful opportunity if we choose to take it.

My niece who is quarantined with them said, “I don’t want to stay inside all day. It’s hard.” I said, “Well, if it keeps your Mom, and grandpa and grandma, and Uncle Matt from getting sick will you do it?” Yes, she meekly nods and says, “but for how long?” “How long would you do it if it keeps them dying?” She looks at me with a big smile and adamantly says, “Forever. I’d even stay in here forever if it meant saving someone’s life I didn’t know, but I love them so much longer than forever.” If a 9-year-old can do it, then why not us with all our children? Please hear my brother’s voice because I don’t know who to write to.

Would it have been worth it to you to go to the movie or restaurant or not limit your work outside or demand your employees come to work as even one person dies you don’t know? I believe most of us would be like my niece. I’m counting on this basic human goodness to help my family! So let me explain what social distancing is and looks likes so you can answer the prayers of my family and many others like them at this time:

Limit contact to no more than 50 people at any place, but staying under 20 is better and highly encouraged. Stay six feet away from anyone. If you have any symptoms, stay home and get tested immediately. Have people work from home as much as possible. Schools close. They don’t stay open for breakfast and lunch or childcare purposes for parents. You encourage the whole population to stay at home as much as possible. Employers and governments support parents in staying at home with their kids, working from home as possible, and ensuring people can financially do so while having their needs met. In the long run, the cost to governments and employers is cheaper than if this spreads, and the economy fares much better. No one goes to restaurants, movie theaters, malls etc. You only go out for medical care- if it’s absolutely necessary, for the job you have, and potentially to the grocery store or pharmacy. That’s it.

This isn’t a time to visit neighbors or family living in other homes. You stay in your home, and they stay in theirs. Kids don’t run back and forth between houses. We seriously distance ourselves for a few weeks from everyone possible. We wash hands often, disinfect often, use hand sanitizer, etc. Then at the end of a three-to-four-week period, we begin lifting some, but not all, of these restrictions. The spread is almost eliminated from the community, deaths prevented, and slowly we begin lifting aspects of the social distancing.

Take time to play with your kids. Have conversations. I promise that will be far more bonding and memorable than any movie you watch or place you visit. Let’s focus on relationships! Maybe you’re alone or live with roommates who just pay the rent and you aren’t friends with. Great, still focus on relationships. This is an excellent opportunity for us to reflect on our relationship with our higher power, maybe Karma, or Buddhist tradition, perhaps Allah. For me, it’s God and Jesus Christ. I’m anticipating spending deep reflection on where I’m going and how I’d like to improve. I will reflect on relationships, who I can apologize to or mend things with.

Then I’ll find ways to help others. I’ll find a single mother who needs to go to work and watch her kids during the day so I can support social distancing. I’ll find seniors, who shouldn’t go out, and shop for them. If anyone gets sick, I can cook soup and leave it on their doorstep, so I’m still social distancing. This doesn’t need to be a burden. It can be a beautiful time. A time where, as a community, we truly care for each other and we grow as individuals. We can come out of social isolation better and more whole. The choice is ours.

If there is one thing epidemiologists and the WHO have scientifically proven, it’s simply this- the spread of the disease, the severity of it and the death rates can be controlled by social isolation and distancing. It really is our choice! I truly hope people read this. Sharing things so personal doesn’t come easy to me. I’m typically much more reserved. Most people didn’t know my brother was in a coma, as I didn’t talk about it. But I share this because I kept thinking of my brother’s plea to me, “please write a letter, call someone, help me. I don’t want to get sick, and I don’t want to die.” This voice keeps me up tonight. I hope you hear my brother’s plea. Please help him, help my family members!

If you want to see the effects of social distancing and how it can help at this time, please click here to see the virus simulator.