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Well, we have certainly been through some stuff in the past week or so, haven’t we? The Coronavirus has taken full hold of the world and life as we knew it is on hold for the foreseeable future. Thanks, China. AGAIN. And you have GOT to stop doing this.
Pretty much any sport you can think of has been cancelled. Churches are holding services online, and most universities have extended their Spring Breaks and will continue classes remotely for at least several weeks. Restaurants and bars are closing. Travel is coming to a standstill. We are advised to keep our distance from one another, and avoid large gatherings.
I have been pondering the situation regarding universities. I may be wrong, but I have not heard of any cases of the virus on campuses, so it seems like keeping everyone there rather than sending them all home may have made more sense. As they all return to their hometowns, then return to campus, they may be all bringing stuff back with them. Maybe cancelling Spring Break might have made more sense? 🙂
But I get it. It kind of feels a bit like on 9/11, when President Bush made the difficult decision to ground every airplane as quickly as possible until we knew what we were dealing with. Get everyone out of the air then see what is happening. So maybe we’re just trying to get everyone home, grounded, so we can then figure out what to do next.
Then came the Great Toilet Paper Rush of 2020. This is the most ridiculous thing I have ever seen. I guess I get that people think they will be quarantined at home for extended periods and will be using the bathroom a lot. But the bottled water hoarding? I REALLY don’t get that one.
And if you’ve been to your local grocery store in the past few days, you have seen the fear as people are buying up everything in sight. I am glad to see that grocery stores, at least in my area, are limiting their hours of operation to give them some time to restock their shelves. Even our Walmarts are doing the same. We were at a local grocery store this weekend and things were beginning to look much better.
Still no toilet paper, but at least some food was starting to reappear. I was also thrilled to find my favorite cookie still available at Aldi. I can’t go through a time of great stress without my Dunkers. 🙂
I do believe the situation with the spread of this virus is serious. And I do believe we should follow directives and take measures to protect ourselves. However, I also believe the media reports are making us crazy.
So. Let’s come up with some things to do with our time now that our daily routines have changed for a while. Positive things that can keep us sane.
First off, limiting our exposure to media is paramount. We need to stay informed, but watching hours on end of coverage, or obsessively checking the numbers of new cases, or reading social media will make you NUTS. Don’t check your 401K hourly. That’s a total bloodbath right now. I am very glad to see that our local news has started reporting the number of people who have RECOVERED from the virus. That’s good news. Let’s focus on that.
If you’re in a position to or have been instructed to work from home, take some time to think about what that looks like. Try to establish a routine that allows you to be productive, yet still enjoy some downtime without the daily commute and office interactions.
I work from home already and am a germophobe, so nothing has changed for me. 🙂 I’ve been washing my hands diligently multiple times per day for years, I don’t use the pens at the pharmacy to sign for purchases, and I keep my distance from sick people. So “social distancing” is nothing new for me.
I think we are so fortunate to live in an age where working from home and students attending classes remotely is possible. In an earlier time, none of this would have been an option.
If you do find your job in jeopardy, take a look at your local grocery stores. All of the CEOs of our local grocery chains held a press conference this week to announce that they are ALL hiring. They need help in the stores and warehouses, and said they can accommodate those in need of short or long term employment.
KonMari the hell out of your house. Hey, you’ve got some extra time now that you’re not going to brunch and church and work or a sports event, so how about using that time to finally tackle your clutter? Marie Kondo has told us it should take us months to do all this joy sparking properly, so maybe using all our free time to get a jump on that is as good a time as any.
Catch up on your shows. We always have shows or movies we’ve been meaning to watch or binge, so set up some time for some “quaran-streaming.” 🙂 I’ve heard that several providers are making premium movie channels available at no extra charge to its customers for a limited time to help with the cabin fever.
And Disney has stepped up by making Frozen 2 available on Disney+ to view sooner than it normally would have. Maybe that will keep the kiddies happy with school cancelled so that you can get an uninterrupted shower. In time, history may reflect that to be the single move that saves collective parental sanity during this situation. 🙂 Tune in to some HGTV, a comedy, a classic old movie, your favorite cooking shows, or a Hallmark movie to keep your mind off the growing number of confirmed cases of the virus.
If you REALLY want some zen time, tune into Bob Ross painting shows. Our PBS channel shows his program regularly. You can also order a set of episodes online. Hard to be stressed with Bob’s epic hair, soothing voice, and happy little clouds. 🙂
Beef up your immune system. We’ve all been forced to hit pause on the frantic pace of our daily lives. Let’s take advantage of that. Get some extra rest. Eat right. Take your vitamins. Don’t stay cooped up inside. If you don’t feel comfortable leaving your home, sit out in the backyard, on your porch, or on your balcony. On a normal day, it is estimated as many as 40% of Americans are deficient in Vitamin D. So get outside for a bit or beef up your supplement regimen.
Consider adding oregano oil to your supplements. It is a known natural antibiotic and antioxidant. I had a nasty cold a few months back and my mother-in-law gave me a bottle of oregano oil. It is suuuper strong, so you only need a little. A drop or two under the tongue is recommended for healthy immune support. And you will probably need a chaser, because this stuff is STRONG. And your mouth will taste like you ate a lot of pizza for a while. 🙂
If you find the oil too strong, there is also a milder liquid form called Oreganol. You take a teaspoonful each day for immune system health. I have some of this and it is not nearly as searing to the inside of your mouth and throat. You swish it around a bit and then swallow it. It also comes in capsule or tablet form.
On a lighter note, my daughter showed me a funny video with a recipe for a “Quarantini.” 🙂 You dip the rim of your martini glass in Emergen-C, then mix your cocktail of vodka and orange juice, garnishing your glass with a Vitamin C Gummie. 🙂 I can’t speak to the medicinal value of this concoction, but a little levity never hurts.
Exercise. Everyone knows exercise releases endorphins, which trigger positive feelings in the body. Conversely, anxiety releases cortisol, which can suppress the immune system. We want our immune systems in top shape all the time, but especially during this virus situation. So go for a walk, do some yoga, ride your bike, walk on the treadmill, or whatever makes you happy.
Read. If you’re anything like me, you always have a book or three going at all times. With the extra downtime, settle in and savor that good book you’ve been wanting to start or finish. Or finish that online course you walked away from a month ago. 🙂 Reading expands our minds, educates us, and transports us from our daily reality.
Find a way to tune out for a while. Whether that is prayer for you, or meditation, or communing with nature, or listening to some soothing music, these types of activities have the ability to cause our frontal cortex, which processes sensory information about our surroundings, to “go offline.” Unplugging ourselves for a dedicated amount of time each day is restorative.
Take a nap. I’m a huge believer in naps. Sometimes just shutting everything out, curling up and taking a snooze is all you need to refocus and feel more able to cope with the craziness going on right now.
If you are experiencing anxiety while trying to sleep, you might want to try a weighted blanket or a full body pillow. Both can help you relax and sleep more soundly.
Finally, loosen the reigns a bit. Everything about daily life has changed for a while. We can’t plan the crap out of every minute of our days for now. The situation regarding the spread of the Coronavirus is extremely fluid, changing by the hour.
In the course of a day last week, my daughter, who is an R.A. at her university, thought she would be coming home for Spring Break, then going back up to school even if classes shifted to online. Then she was told she should come home and plan to stay here for at least three weeks.
She started out the day thinking she would not be able to change her flight, because she had booked it prior to a certain date, but then that evening the airlines changed their policies and allowed her to cancel, and reschedule at a later date. So she and her friends drove home since they don’t know how long they’ll be here.
Our church spent the entire week sending out information saying that they would hold services as they normally do, as there had been no reported cases of the virus. As late as Saturday afternoon, they finally announced that services would be streamed rather than in person. There are still no reported cases, but they chose to follow CDC guidelines regarding large gatherings.
Travel restrictions change every day. Work schedules have become subject to change.
The point is, we can’t control this thing yet. Trying to maintain a tight grip on your routine prior to the arrival of this virus just isn’t going to go too well. Loosen that grip, choose to be flexible, and keep your wits about you. Try to just focus on maybe the two days directly in front of you. Anything beyond that will just have to wait.
If you have children at home due to school closures, I understand how overwhelming this may feel already. If you need a little help, fellow blogger Suzi from MomLifeHappyLife has put together a No School Schedule to help you structure your days to include time for eating, exercising, learning, tidying up and resting. You can get your free copy here.
This will pass. We just have to focus, be smart, and behave ourselves. 🙂 Focus on the positive. You know the saying, “Thoughts become things.” So let’s choose the good ones.
What are you doing to ride out the Coronavirus? Share your wisdom with us in the comment section.
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Yesterday from the Red Box at CVS.. I watched
HARRIET ( TUBMAN )
Took that nap you suggested..slept from 11 to 3 pm.