It’s been two weeks since the Coronavirus reached my city. In my county we have gone from 1 case to 204 cases. Today we are officially under a Stay at Home Order.
The Stay at Home Order represents what my life has already been like for the past few weeks. We practice social distancing and haven’t visited family or friends. My husband will still go to work each day, because he works for an essential business. A lot of businesses are defined as essential business, so many will keep their jobs.
Many non-essential businesses have been shut down and unemployment is at an all time high. In the US, over 3 million citizens applied for unemployment benefits last week. Our government has settled on a stimulus package of $2 trillion dollars that will help the unemployed and hard hit industries. Many Americans will receive checks for themselves and their children, that will help them to stay afloat financially.
I’m thankful my husbands is still employed. With me being a stay at home mom, we are a single income family. With no income, things would get uncomfortable really fast. I think I’d have no problem finding a position as a Registered Nurse, but this would be an incredibly hard time to readjust.
I struggled with some of the downsides of being an RN before the Pandemic. Now those things seem so small. My heart hurts when I imagine what life is like for many healthcare workers. The things we depended on to protect ourselves, are no longer available to many. Trash bags in place of gowns, bandanas in place of masks. They are forced to sacrifice their health, when they already give so much of themselves to their work.
I have mixed feelings about not working as an RN during this time. It feels wrong to be thankful. To be thankful that I’m less likely to get the virus and spread it to my 8 month old son. To be thankful I that don’t have to deal with the stress right now. To be thankful to be able to stay in the comfort of my own home.
Then there’s the part of me that feels guilty. Guilty for being unavailable in a time of great need. I think I will feel better when I can find a meaningful way to help.
On March 13, when I wrote my previous post we had less than 2000 confirmed cases in the US. Today we have bypassed China, the place of origin for the virus, with over 82,000 confirmed cases. A lot of celebrities and public officials have tested positive.
Today I see that the UK Prime Minister tested positive for Coronavirus. He had a controversial stance on the Coronavirus at first, he wanted to build herd immunity. This means let people catch the virus, and the majority would become immune. On a less positive note it’s basically natural selection, or survival of the fittest. Millions would’ve died, but luckily he soon changed his tune to social distancing.
I think we may be in this for the long haul. The Coronavirus was originally called the Wuhan Coronavirus, because it originated in the city of Wuhan, China. Wuhan has been under lockdown since January 23, and the lockdown will be lifted April 8th. China took drastic measures to get the virus under control. Our methods in the US are so different, that I don’t think the results in China offer reassurance.
I think Hong Kong’s results are more telling. They lifted quarantine too soon, and then had a second outbreak. Now they are back under quarantine.
Social distancing and staying at home may be the new normal. At least for a few months. I value all the ” nonessential” business more than ever. The movie theaters, dine-in restaurants, shopping malls, zoos/aquariums, and museums. There’s many more to name, but I think many Americans will rush to these businesses when they open back up.
I value family time more than ever. My mom stopping by to visit. Family trips or dinners. Celebrating birthdays and special occasions.
I value my health. This virus is so brutal. Some people began to get better and have hope, and then their condition quickly deteriorates. I can’t wait for this Pandemic to end.
I feel like this is such an important time to journal. I never would’ve imagined experiencing a Pandemic of this magnitude. It’s a stressful situation and many lives have drastically changed.
We’re social distancing and staying at home, to lower the public health threat. We’re doing the right things for our physical health, but right now mental health is more important than ever. I challenge anyone reading to make time each day for self care. Today my self care is writing!