Letters from the Quarantine #3
April 5, 2020
This is the start of the fourth week of the quarantine for us and fifteen days since our stalwart County
Judge Clay Jenkins issued the shelter in place mandate. The judge has just announced that in Dallas County the shelter order will remain in place until April 30. We were first told it was going to be May 20, but that was a mistake. Now at least we know there is hope. It won’t be the Easter Bunny, but it gives us a sense that things might be better by the end of the month.
Stress of Sheltering in Place
Anything that relieves that sense of foreboding and anxiety is welcome. The stress of sheltering in place and the constant barrage of bad news from the covid-19 battlefront is disconcerting. We suffer the uncertainty with stoicism and lots of snacks. Our sleep is interrupted, but we get up anyway and take care of what needs our attention. Many of us do take cat naps during the five-minute commercial breaks. What is with that commercial that starts and then disappears after about a second. Probably a new subliminal device to get our attention.
There is no escaping the reality of the angst this situation is producing in all of us. It is a pandemic of stress. It hits young and old alike, although I am morbidly interested in the age and condition of the fatalities of the pestilence. Being in the highly vulnerable category,I have seen repeatedly that the older and comorbid folks are the most likely victims. That means we seniors must be even more vigilant. Melody and I are already prepared to wear our handmade masks when we must venture out to replenish our Gatorade and pick up medications.
Noted Reflections & Aphorisms
Reflection on our current sheltered status has moved me to put down in my notebook some aphorisms about this psychological plague of stress that accompanies the viral pandemic:
- Stress is always with us but during corona time it fills a lot more space in our lives.
- The dangers we face are real, but there are real things we can do to protect ourselves and those we love.
- We should do what we know helps us be safe and stop complaining about it.
- Forget the conspiracy theorists and corona deniers. Do what science tells us is the right thing to get us through it intact.
- Doing these protective things is not an annoyance or nuisance. These are acts of love.
- Accept the fact that we can’t control the actions of others. We control what we can.
- Be mindful of our activities – how much we eat, how much we drink, do we exercise, do we maintain personal hygiene? Do what makes us comfortable and in control of our limited world.
- When we combine working at home, child care, cooking, cleaning, and more at some point it becomes too much. When it happens regroup and focus on what you can streamline, eliminate, or delegate.
- Live for the moment, do what we can right now. Avoid spending too much time on what might happen as the corona world unfolds. Worrying today about what we don’t control tomorrow burns energy and invites depression.
- Find pleasure and comfort where you can, family, friends, Netflix and enjoy those moments completely. The dirty dishes can soak for a few more minutes.
The “Serenity Prayer”
Remember the unmatched wisdom of the “Serenity Prayer:”
God grant me the
To accept the things
I cannot change.
To change the
Things I can and the
Two More Bits of Wisdom and Encouragement
- Despite the added stress of corona time, there are opportunities to learn more about who we are and to recognize our limitations and our strengths.
- Stay focused, breathe deep and don’t forget to practice social distancing and to wear your mask if you must go out.
Be the light.
Fred Zuker, April 5, 2020
Fred wanted me to post this for him.
Fred Zuker has written letters telling what it is like to shelter in place as protection from covid-19.
Naturally, I edited it a bit to suit my style of blogging. Headings are mine, as is the repositioning of the inspirational quote. The photo of Fred is also in his book Grace with Meals that tells the story of his experience with cancer.~~Valerie
More Helter Shelter Letters:
Search the blog categories zuker and/or essays>>covid-19 quarantine. (Yeah, I know this is shelter in place, but I chose to leave open the option for an essay on quarantine.~~Valerie)