This whole Coronavirus pandemic is a really big deal. It is enough to induce scare and anxiety in anyone. For those of us without anxiety as a mental illness it is amplified. I find myself worrying about just about everything at some point and time. I have moments of pure sanity and moments where I cannot stop my skin picking from my anxiety and I definitely sometimes cannot stop the thoughts that roll through my mind at full force.
Last week we traveled three hours to visit my husband’s family and his sons and their significant others and two of our grandbabies. We do this when we can. We had planned a trip to nearby Abilene, Texas to take our youngest who is 15 to do something fun and shop for a few clothes. We had heard some about this virus by then but between work, kids we had been watching and getting ready to leave we had only heard those bits and pieces. We arrived Wednesday March 11, 2020 in Cisco, Texas and once I sat down I started seeing and hearing more about all of this. I had seen that the Kenny Chesney concert we were to attend in April was postponed along with many others. I had read a few things more on the way via social media but my cell coverage is spotty so it was not much really. Sitting down you started to hear more about the shortage of toilet paper, hand sanitizer and more. We started hearing more about schools closing for varying amounts of time. As the days progressed we began to hear about whole states that were shutting down schools for now and eventually for the rest of the year. This has obviously progressed further in the past week to restaurants shutting down and many other places.
My initial thoughts were mostly about how stupid I thought it was that people were acting so erratically and hoarding things. Everyone needs those things and nobody needs as much as some of these people were buying. That was my main focus at that point and remains a big focus of mine still a week later. People could not and cannot get their basic weekly or monthly supply because people have hoarded these things. As of right now the supply will still continue to be replenished. We are urged to socially distance but we can go to the store for butt wipe, food, baby wipes, medications, etc. Why are people doing this? It is just plain selfish to me.
Now let’s add in the fact that many places are having to close or limit their business. This is affecting everyone in some way. Some people are getting paid leave for an amount of time and it is said that unemployment will be allowed but for some people that percentage of their wages will not help for everything they regularly have to pay. Some people may not qualify for unemployment based on their work history and amount of time spent unless they are waiving that right now and I have not fully researched that so don’t spew hate at me if that is not so. Smaller businesses cannot afford to pay their employees while they are shut down. Smaller business cannot afford to have to continue to pay their rent, utilities and more while they are unable to conduct business. This can and will be hurtful for the economy and the small business will take a huge hit. Add this in that some of those people who bought all that extra stuff may now have no income coming in and all of these supplies. I mean it is good they will have those necessities but some of that money could have been put up to use for utilities and other necessities in case of a job layoff or loss.
As a nation we have to be in this together. Many stores have put out limits now which is great. Many have allowed a time for elderly to shop before others. This is great in theory and at least a good try but some elderly do not get out early and some do not have rides then or cannot shop for themselves and others are having to help go out and get those things for them. People shopping for the elderly arrive and nothing is there. I am not complaining because any effort by any of these companies to try to met everyone’s needs is great. I am so happy to see that stores are starting to put limits on things and even that they are limiting their open hours to allow for stocking. People have been practically attacking workers while they are stocking the shelves. People are yelling at and complaining to stores and their managers and workers for low to no stock. How in the world is any of that their fault? How could anyone have predicted that people would go out in the world and lose their damn minds buying cart loads of butt wipe, formula when they don’t have babies, baby wipes when they are not the same as antibacterial wipes, meat and other foods like zombies are coming? Yes those people are the ones that are the face we can look at and talk to but do not yell at them as if they have a personal vendetta against you. They are trying. They are working as quickly as the supplies get to them to get them out for you to purchase. If I hear you doing this I will likely speak out. I am a pretty quiet person in the public especially when it comes to confrontations but this I would not be able to keep quiet on.
Let us remember that none of us asked for this. None of was prepared for this. Our overreacting in terms of supplies is making this a lot worse than it has to be. Keep doing your social distancing. Do not go out unless you have to! You may be okay getting this virus but if you go visit someone with a compromised immune system you are risking their life. This ordeal sucks and we are all feeling it. Pray for those still working in those industries that provide us with healthcare. Pray for the doctors and nurses and those on the frontline. Pray for those behind the scenes processing your lab work, billing your insurance, transcribing your reports, getting your medical records to the appropriate doctors, cleaning the hospitals and doctor’s offices like never before and so many more. Pray for those working hard to get us the food and supplies we need. This is from those manufacturing the products and processing the foods, those packaging it all, those loading the trucks and preparing them, those driving the trucks and those receiving this stuff into their stores and warehouses and lastly those helping you by stocking those shelves and checking you out so that you are able to take the items home for you and your family.
Let us also not take this as an opportunity to bash our president and other elected officials. This is uncharted territory and let’s face it no matter what they do to help it will never be enough in everyone’s eyes. They are working to put money out to us and I still see people complaining about that. It is a start and at least it is something. If they did nothing in the way of financial relief we would certainly complain about that too. My husband is still working because he works for a large food company that gets beef to us all. He backs up the trailers so they can be loaded with beef for you to purchase it at places such as Wal Mart and others. I would like to think he will continue to work because if they close places like that down we will really be in trouble with out food supply chain. During this time he gets to be a bit of an unseen hero. As a small business owner and a part time worker in the field of medical as a medical transcriptionist I appreciate whatever they do to help us all and the economy. My small business supplements my income and is part of why I went part time so that is still lost income for me as it is for many others. If you have the money buy from small businesses that are online or still open in some capacity. Be easy on us as some supplies are harder for us to get. We are all trying our best right now.
Let’s just love and support each other in this time of crisis. Use social distancing to reach out to people via text, phone calls, emails, social media, etc. We can still keep in contact with each other and there is no distraction from our phones and devices because those things are what we are using to communicate. We might find that we find out more about each other by doing this rather than meeting in person and not being fully present. My plan is to catch up on my blogging, organization, my business, doing videos to keep people entertained and informed and trying to reach out to people and be more personal using technology. Let’s put our technology to good use. Let’s use social media as something good to stay social. I work from home as a business and for my regular job and I think if it were not for social media I would have gone insane long ago. It is my main social interaction so now everyone can step into my world and share their thoughts and share their lives with their families and friends. It is not a bad thing unless you make it.
If you are experiencing higher anxiety reach out to someone. There are some groups on Facebook you can find. Reach out to online therapists if you can. Doctor on Demand app is a good place to start and most insurances these days will cover it. Don’t keep it all inside. If you are feeling suicidal reach out and call someone in your life or the suicide hotline. This is a crucial time to check in with those you know with mental illness because we may not be okay. We must keep our minds healthy just as much as our physical being. We can and will do this if we all stick together.
For the latest information on Coronavirus please visit the CDC website.