Untangling Balloons

Is hindsight really 2020? Seems to me 2021 does not have much promise to be different. I had ample time to catch up on my favorite podcasts over 2020. I actually went back and started fresh on a few. Who knew in December through March that what many were planning for 2020 would be canceled. The country started shutting down in hopes of stopping the pandemic of Covid19, a corona virus that spread internationally on global proportions’. 

My life stayed busy as any family. Each continues to have their own needs and ways to implement. We have elderly family that needed our attention so we as a family made a decision to move across the country before we even knew what this pandemic would entail. The shutting down of the country, state by state, each trying to get a grip on what leaders figured would help. We rode out the most part of 2020 in our house packing and working from home as many started moving from offices and school buildings to home and Zoom meetings. A new way of life started for many or ran parallel to others already doing what was now considered main stream. 

Trying to not let life get sucked down the tube with no recollection about what living life contains; birthdays and graduations became drive by celebrations. Nursing home visits became window visits for those with loved ones quarantined inside. That was the nail on the coffin as they say about moving elderly family in with our already adjusting lifestyle with young adult children. What better way to keep your family as safe and secure as possible that all together under one roof? When not under said roof, constant communication lines open to keep everyone feeling connected and loved. No, not enough to bug the heck out of them, but enough to know mental health is good, and that you have their backs…

Contemplating how we are all adjusting to this new stage of life, I was talking to one of our young college age nieces about the pandemic and how it has affected her this past year. It broke my heart. She said that her mother contacted Covid19 over Thanksgiving. It created a barrier between them seeing each other when normally they would be home together, celebrating, spending time with loved ones. That was scary for her as not knowing if her mother could fight off the infection or not. Her mother did recover and that helped reassure her. 

Friends with elderly parents moving in to elderly retirement homes due to age and needing extra care for that window visits were necessary as places started shutting out the public except for “Essential Workers”.  Still Covid19 found its way into many places that care for patients like nursing & retirement homes, and hospitals become triage centers with cancelations happening for maintenance and surgeries. Many that were “Essential Workers” found themselves working in unknown & high risk environments pulling long hours. 

States started closing schools to help with exposure. Some would stay closed for months and then start opening up again as the cases eased. Some places would come in waves of out of the red and back into yellow and green to only go back into red again. Masks and washing hands with alcohol became a daily requirement. Though, hopefully no one is stupid enough to try and drink said hand sanitizers in substitutions for drinkable alcohol. Whether they worked or not became a concern as some found that even though they took the precautions that they had been mandated, they still contacted the virus. That has caused some frustration. Some find that staying in, ordering groceries, and living through the video screen is the best way to handle the pandemic. Unfortunately, that does not help those that still need to work to put food on the tables except that if they can be employed by Door Dash or other delivery systems they can at least feed their families. Many were laid off, some were able to go on unemployment, others were not afforded that luxury. Not everyone has a 40 hour work week with benefits where they can work from home. 

So, how do we keep and find our sanity again in the midst of chaos? What are some ways that we can deal with stress. I have heard that suicide is up with so much quarantining. Loneliness is a silent killer. Parents home with kids that are normally on a different schedule find that both of their schedules clashed, like two personalities that have to learn to work cohesively together, or tensions are high. 

I believe that communication is a very big aspect of staying healthy mentally. Communication within the four walls you reside with the people, and fur babies in which you reside with daily, 24/7. Communication with the loved ones outside your four walls, are very important too, so that you know they too are healthy and safe. 

I have been on a few community sites where testimonials are coming in daily about abuse. Some say that abuse is worse these days that it did not happen when they were young. Quiet the opposite. Abuse has been happening since the beginning of time but invention of the radio, television and many other styles of communication has shed the light where darkness resides. Now days posting pictures of abuse on social media help call out the abuse and alert the public. Education to teach people better communication skills are important. People need to feel like they have a place to go and get help. You know that quarantining with an abuser would not be a good situation to  be in during 2020 or 2021. Reach out to your friends and neighbors. Let them know you are there if they need you. You would be surprised what you can do for others without touching them or even getting less than six feet apart. Sad thing is though that some people need that touch but they need to be safe firs, and touch is just icing on the cake. So, make sure your, friends and family, are safe within their four walls, and not just from Covid19. 

Other ways of dealing with stress during this Covid19 pandemic; music, podcasts, zoom meetings, social media outlets, Pilates exercises, going for walks in the park, a bicycle ride, a picnic with your family, phone calls to loved ones so they can hear your voice, facetime & social media messaging to see each other’s faces is good. One way to make sure all are healthy and happy and not showing signs of stress. I have heard a few say, make up code words to alert loved ones you/they need help. Even diffusing essential oils can be relaxing. The internet is a valuable tool. You can find pretty much every kind of contact and tidbit of information on their to assist you. Use it. Even if you need a bit of a pick me up to laugh about, you can find it…

Pray for those going through extenuating circumstances like divorce, abuse cases, and child custody issues during this time because pandemics do not shut these down but may make them more difficult. Especially when they involve more than one country and court systems. 

Also, make sure your elderly friends and neighbors have food, need driveways snow shoveled, or grass mowed this coming spring and summer… In reality, make sure all your friends have food, and medication. You never know who might be without due to financial strain…

When was the last time you wrote a letter beyond a text or email? Get out some stationary, or order it, and start writing letters. I have a close cousin that got me back into letter writing in 2020…

Stay aware of tangled balloons, you might be the one with scissors needed to release them… 

Published by Voice of Reconciliation

We all need a voice and this is my platform to help others and myself share our thoughts.

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