I’ll be the first to admit I’m not a fan of restrictions when it comes to doing what I want to do. And though the beginning of this seemed to be full of mixed feelings between full lock downs and overreactions, we know now that this is a serious situation we are in.
And while it might seem like the whole world doesn’t need to be on full lock down, the issue with not doing it everywhere is that those who are in areas that need it, might look to run to areas that don’t need it and … well, you get the idea of what could happen.
So the steps being taken now are very necessary and we all need to be smart and go along with this.
I also think we weren’t ready for this and the fact that high-ranking officials didn’t necessarily take this seriously from the start also hurt. Alas, that’s not my point here. I don’t like to get too political on my blog, so I want to talk about a few more things on a broader spectrum.
As many of you know, I’m in New York. I’m not in the city or downstate, though. My county, as of me writing this, has supposedly 16-20 confirmed cases. Now, my county is also a large area with about 45,000 total people. So a lot of ground to cover. Though the population might not be as big as many other places, the size of the county is large.
The problem is, we have no idea where these cases in our county are as health services will not release the town names.
Yes, you read that right.
The county in which I reside will not release the towns the cases are in. As I noted, we are a vast county. So some people might get spooked a little more based on where people are. I’m not saying people shouldn’t be alarmed either way – they should – but it would be nice to know. They claim privacy etc. And they claim where people are located doesn’t matter.
Yet, every other county seems to be releasing the towns.
Our county leadership (outside of a few departments) is not the greatest. So this doesn’t surprise me. But the fact that they won’t even release the names of the towns is downright crazy.
Every bit of news you hear is this town and that town. Not in this county. Allow people to know the truth so they can be a little more wary.
The overall view of what is happening
I don’t think people, as a whole, are meant to be confined to their homes. They like to get out and see and do things. And with the spring months seemingly starting to really come along, people are going to get antsy.
Still, we must be smart.
This disease is moving rapidly. Though there appears to be good work being done on medicines and vaccines, it will still take time.
I know I’m bummed because it’s baseball season. I love this time of the year. I should be getting amped up for seeing my first minor league game of the year next week.
At this rate, I will be happy if I get to see a dozen live games this summer. I’m hopeful. I truly am. But I also know the thought of thousands of people being put into close proximity isn’t going to be something officials are going to be rushing to do. I get that.
What we should be thinking about is humanity as a whole. Yes, it’s inconvenient. Yes, it’s bothersome. Yes, it can be boring. Yes, the fact that businesses are shut down and people are out of work for now is awful.
But all of this is far better than the likely alternative if we all just went around like nothing was going on.
A few months from now when we are hopefully back to somewhat normal lives, we’ll look back on this with different thoughts. We need to do this for us, and for humanity as a whole.
How to cope?
Things aren’t easy.
I miss doing certain things and seeing certain people. I work in two schools and this is the time of year when things get amped up. Kids are usually looking forward to the end and all the exciting and outdoor activities would soon be underway. That’s changed.
Though I always washed hands and used hand sanitizer, I find myself doing it way more now. And I also find my hands are taking a beating from it. When I have gone to the store, I keep my space. When I go out for a walk, I keep my space. I tend to make sure I’m six feet the days I have to go into the office.
Still, sanity isn’t a joke. I bet there will be a spike in depression medicines from this time. There are probably other things that will come out of this. It’s something we all are dealing with.
But we have to try and keep some sanity. So what can you do? I’ve read many articles about this because, honestly, I wanted to make sure I took care of my health – physically and mentally – throughout this whole ordeal. Here are some of the best items I have found. If you have other ideas, drop them in the comments below!
- Walk. If you aren’t mandated to stay inside because you are sick or fully quarantined, get outside. The air and sun can do wonders. Walking for 30-60 minutes can be a great way to clear your mind. Throw on some headphones and music or your favorite podcast and walk. Now, you should practice social distancing and be smart when outside, but it’s very good to get out. Make it solitary or with people in your immediate household.
- Visit a park. Many parks – statewide and national – are still open. Go visit. Hike. See some nature. Move through parking lots quickly, though, and if you see crowded areas, find another direction.
- Connect. Use FaceTime. Use Skype. Use some other sort of platform (Zoom seems to be popular)! Keep in touch with loved ones, especially those “vulnerable” who might be staying in a whole heap more. We have a lot of technology at our hands now – use it to keep sane.
- Play some games. If you have board games and have people in your immediate household, play some. There are a lot of great apps where you can connect with people to play with another person. Do some things where you can interact with people, even if online, so you can somewhat connect. (I’m on Word With Friends 2, and Boggle with Friends … I’m not always fast depending where I am, but I’m up for games. And suggestions for others!)
- For bloggers: Write and take photos. Use this time to get ahead. Write some things, take some photos, and try and make the most of this time to be creative.
- Take time to set personal goals. Look forward 3, 6, 9 months down the line when we hopefully will be back to normal. What kind of things do you want to get done? Start planning them out.
- Read a book. Listen to a podcast. There are SO many great books (and if you have E-readers, even more) and podcasts – there’s something for everybody.
- Binge some Netflix or something else. Hey. a day of binging a favorite show can let your mind rest and make you smile.
Here’s one thing from my end, and I’ve seen this written in several places. It’s OK to feel down or sad. It’s human emotion. But if you feel it’s bad, reach out for professional help. There are many tele-med ways of doing this, so seek the help if you feel yourself spiraling downward. We need to watch out for ourselves and loved ones.
Reality is, we are in a situation many of us have never seen and, hopefully, will never see again.
But take care of yourself.
Wash your hands and use hand sanitizer!
Be smart and safe.
And most of all, keep smiling and be good to one another.
I know the climate with the world is tense and unnerving. I’ve done my best to distance myself from too many political talks or watching daily updates on TV, especially because we aren’t going to get along with opinions right now.
The one thing we can control is how we treat one another. Be good to others and we’ll find a way to get through this.