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Vote like your life depends on it, vote, democrats, republicans, coronavirus

I am completely befuddled at what is happening in America right now. How can we live in a country where our own common sense and intelligence is pushed aside to listen to what a politician says? Never mind, science and medicine. People are literally dying while we fight over semantics. Fun fact: Coronavirus is real and it doesn’t care if you’re a Democrat or Republican. This is why you must vote like your life depends on it.

As Americans, as human beings, why can’t we all get on the same page and agree that human life is more important than who’s a democrat and who’s a republican? Political parties are supposed to be chosen based upon the candidate whose political ideologies align closest to our own. Everyone has the right to choose for themselves who that is. But somethings are bigger than that, like human life.

Vote like your life depends on it

When I see someone in need, I help them. I don’t ask for credentials first. If someone is desperately in need of help, I don’t care what race, religion, sexual orientation or political party they belong to because that is extraneous information. None of that is relevant when I’m deciding whether or not to help someone in need. So why can’t we all agree that this pandemic needs to be controlled? More importantly, why can’t we all do our small part to stop the spread?

Coronavirus is real. We know this. It has killed 231,000 Americans to date. That’s not a hoax, that’s facts. Just ask the relatives of those who’ve lost their loved ones.

231,000 mothers, fathers, sisters, brothers, sons and daughters of America dead.

All that is being asked of us, as conscientious Americans, is to social distance, wear masks when in public, stay home when sick and use common sense and yet, some still refuse. People have actually become combative to the point of protesting and refusing to comply with mask mandates. I’ve seen people not only refuse to wear masks but purposely cough at other people. Coronavirus is becoming a weapon of the willfully ignorant. People are brutally fighting and even murdering others over a mask.

READ ALSO: Why I Risked My Life to Vote

I get it, the President of the United States (who has access to the world’s best healthcare and an unlimited budget to get round the clock, top of the line treatment) said it wasn’t too bad. He even said, “Don’t be afraid of CoVid. Don’t let it dominate your life.” I’m glad he didn’t die. I’m happy it wasn’t too bad for him but even if I can accept that, you need to accept the fact that I have several friends who are now CoVid long haulers and I’ve lost family members. Either he’s extremely lucky, extremely well cared for or maybe just completely full of shit. His behavior is not only irresponsible but dangerous to all Americans. What exactly is the point of this continuous gaslighting of the American people?

Coronavirus isn’t a Democratic hoax. These people aren’t coming back after the election. They haven’t been sequestered on some remote tropical island virus and I’m pretty confident they haven’t gone into the Democratic party’s super-secret Coronavirus witness protection program. They are dead forever. There’s no reset button for them. Of course, they also didn’t have the same kind of treatment available to them as the president because they are regular people, like you and I.

READ ALSO: The Consequence of believing your vote doesn’t count.

Everything is opening back up, just in time for the election which happens to coincide with cold and flu season. Hospitals are full and overcapacity here in Indiana, yet, our mask mandate is scheduled to ends in a couple of weeks. Our high school is in Mode 2 but, when the quarter ends and the mask mandate ends, the plan is for the students to come back fully in person, Mode 1. The cases are constantly rising as are the number of kids quarantined at the school, but hey, let’s do like our president and let’s go against common sense, science and modern medicine and just do what the fuck we want to do.

I am at the point that I’m feeling like maybe I’m having some sort of mental break because how can this many people be this fucking ignorant? How can they believe a politician with an agenda over their own fucking eyeballs? It would be comical if it weren’t so frightening.

Vote like your life depends on it because it does. Either way, your way of life is about to change.

I’m a Democrat. I used to be a Republican (when I was in college). I’m also a devout Roman Catholic. My educational background is in political science, history, criminology and sociology. I learned about the branches of government, procedure and law. My politics and my religion may not always be on the same page 100% but you have to weigh the consequences of the many over the benefits of the few. That is free will and I believe that my God gave me free will, intelligence and the capacity to love all people.

READ ALSO: What Every Mom Needs to Know about Coronavirus

My lifetime of religious studies has taught me to never judge others and to show compassion, empathy and love to others. I’m supposed to do for others as I would want them to do unto me and I know that no one human is of more value than any other so it is my social responsibility and Christian duty to do my part to put good into the world not spread hate and incite fear-mongering. I believe in truth and honesty.

Let’s say you really, truly, believe that Coronavirus is not a threat and maybe you’ll be one of the lucky ones who it doesn’t affect long-term or kill. Fine, you are entitled to your beliefs but why can’t you still wear a mask, just in case, if it makes others feel safe.

If you believe Coronavirus is real but you don’t like wearing a mask, surprise, none of us do but if you could save a life by wearing one, why wouldn’t you? You think it’s your “right” not to wear one, it’s not. Nowhere in the Constitution or the bible does it say you have the right to not wear a mask and intentionally (and maliciously) put others at risk. If we could all adhere to common sense and logic, listen to science and wear the masks, all of this could be controlled and we could go back to a more normal existence.

Right now, I feel like a prisoner in my own house because I have an underlying condition and I can’t count on everyone to do their part to keep me safe even though I do mine. More importantly, I have a president who is gaslighting those of us following the science. I feel like I’m living in an alternate reality.

I’m not here to push a candidate down your throat. All I ask, in any election but especially in this one, is that you please use your own judgment, common sense and intelligence. Your vote is more important than it has ever been.

Vote like your life depends on it because it does and so does your kids’.

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Is it Safe for Kids to go Back to School During a Pandemic?

As we’re all faced with the red wire blue wire decision this upcoming school year, it’s hard to know what to do. It seems like a black and white answer to a black and white question but it’s not. It’s a shit load of gray in an ever-growing unknown during an election year and we’re all quickly becoming political collateral damage. But every parent wants to know, is it safe for kids to go back to school during a pandemic?

My youngest daughter is supposed to be starting back to school, in person, tomorrow. She’s not for several reasons but mostly it’s because 3 of the 4 people in our house are either immunocompromised or have underlying conditions. Unfortunately, if one of us is exposed, we’re all vulnerable. Add that to the fact that PreK-2nd grade is not required to masks and 3rd-8th are only required to wear masks during transitions and the window for exposure is too big for my comfort.

READ ALSO: How to Safely Reenter the World After Coronavirus

We’re all in the same boat. Well, we’re all in a boat. I know that too. We’re all faced with the awful decision to decide whether or not to send our kids to school. Well, maybe not. I thought those were the choices but that’s only in my coronavirus boat.

My girls go to private schools. I’m a work from home mom. The Big Guy has a good job as a global business analyst. The girls are well-adjusted and do well in school. Other than Bella having the immune system of a newborn baby, the kids are healthy and happy. We have choices. I knew that if virtual learning wasn’t offered, the decision was still mine. If they didn’t offer what we needed this year, we could choose to explore other options. I also knew that our schools tend to be more flexible than the public school system is. I’m fully aware that my boat is of privilege.

READ ALSO: What Every Mom Needs to Know about Coronavirus

So when it came to making the decision of what to do with my girls for back to school, the only things that I had to consider were if the reopening plan was safe enough (which it was, at the high school), if our family was healthy enough and if we felt that the coronavirus cases were low enough for us to feel safe sending the girls back into the masked, socially distant, sanitized school system that they attend. I don’t feel comfortable, especially after our pediatrician gave me a scared straight conversation about being diabetic and getting the coronavirus. Add that to the fact that my best friend is an ER doctor who gives me personal Coronavirus briefings and we’ve had about 20 family members contract it, 1 die and 1 currently on a ventilator and I just can’t risk it.

But, what about the single moms and dads? What about the homes where both parents have to work outside of the house? What about the special needs kids? How about the kids who don’t have internet or computers at home? What about the kids who don’t have food at home? Or parents who abuse them? What about the families who have no other options? The families who depend on schools to be open as part of the child’s quality of life? What about the kids who are falling behind?

READ ALSO: Can You Safely Send Kids Back to School During a Pandemic?

What about the teachers? Their families? What about their health and well-being? What about everyone’s mental health? How will being in school masked and feeling like every single other person is a potential threat of contracting CoVid? How are we all expected to bear the weight of carrying it to someone and killing them?

Is it Safe for Kids to go Back to School During a Pandemic?

It’s so hard. Some school districts aren’t even giving families the choice to do virtually. Our school originally only offered it to children with underlying conditions or who had family members with underlying conditions, and anyone who tested positive or exposed to CoVid-19. But last Friday, they offered it to anyone who doesn’t feel safe sending their children into the schools.

I had already opted in and scheduled Teams meetings with my daughters’ teachers so they could “meet” them virtually. The Vice Principal is coordinating a private verification day and book pick up. The classes will be offered synchronously (live-streamed in real-time). My girls will be socially distancing from our home.

READ ALSO: I Miss you Most at 6-Feet Apart

I’ve seen lots of people struggle with whether or not to send their children into the schools. At first, it seems like an easy decision when deciding between our children’s health and exposure to coronavirus. However, it’s much more complicated than that for many. It’s a gentle balance between their mental and their physical health. I get that kids need friends and socialization. My girls would love to see their friends and gain that charge only time spent with girlfriends can bring but with the risk of contracting CoVid and the unknown of the long term effects, I can’t reconcile my mind to do it not when I have a child who is more vulnerable to catching viruses and less capable of fighting them off. For me, they can make up a year of school and they can spend time with their friends virtually and later but once you contract this virus, none of us knows how it’s going to affect us now or in the future.

Is it Safe for Teachers to go Back to School During a Pandemic??

I’ve also seen lots of posts of people saying teachers are essential workers and they need to do their jobs and go back into the classroom and if they don’t want to, let someone else have their jobs. Yet, we pay them less than fast-food restaurant workers. Many of my friends and family members work in education. People who teach are special. They educate, nurture and care for your children 7 hours of the day. They spend money out of pocket and work well beyond school hours. It is done from a place of goodness and righteousness. It’s not for the money. We couldn’t afford to pay them what they’re worth. During a pandemic, do we really expect them to risk their own health and the health of their families for our sake?

Before I had the girls, I worked in education for over a decade. Last August, I went back to the classroom. I worked with 4 and 5-year-olds. I loved them. Truly loved each and every one of them. Every day I went into that classroom, their parents entrusted those tiny humans into our care and our teachers educated them and molded their brains.

Is anyone safe to go back to school during a pandemic?

In our classroom of 3 educators, I got to be the nurturing, mommy type, because that’s who I am. I spent my days walking into the room and feeling like a rock star with 23 little souls chanting my name, like I was Taylor Swift, I held hands and band-aided booboos. Those kids were my joy and watching them grow and learn was one of the most fulfilling things I’ve ever done. However, I also got sick 10 times last year. The last virus, my doctor thinks it was coronavirus, was so bad that I gave my notice. Little people coughed and sneezed directly into my mouth 4 times.

I’ve held little hands covered in boogers and had my arm licked from the hand up to the elbow while walking with a 5-year-old, more times than I can count. I soothed them when their hearts were aching for their mama’s on those first days of school. I held their hair when they vomited from the stomach flu and carried them to the nurse when they were feverish. My point is that as much as teachers love what they do, they shouldn’t have to put their own health in jeopardy to do it, definitely not during a pandemic. If your child can’t follow the rules and wear a mask maybe you should ask yourself, is it safe for kids to go back to school during a pandemic? If they can’t or you don’t feel safe, let them learn virtually.

READ ALSO:  The New Normal is Not Normal

So before you judge what any other parent, teacher or child is doing this school year, consider that maybe you don’t know what they’re going through, what they’ve been through or who they’ve lost. Stop expecting your child’s teachers to risk their lives because you don’t believe the pandemic is real. Start wearing your masks and make sure that your children are wearing theirs so we can all get back to living in this new normal safely. The thing is that as long as all of us aren’t doing our part, all of us are in danger and the longer the numbers are going to go up…the longer none of us can get back to safely living our normal lives.

What do you think, is it safe for kids to go back to school during a pandemic?c? Why or why not?

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How to Safely Reenter the World After Coronavirus Quarantine

Over the course of 2020, the ‘new normal’ has become staying indoors, avoiding others and keeping our distance. As sad as this reality is, it is a necessary step for keeping ourselves and others safe during the coronavirus pandemic. Staying indoors and being afraid to hug or be near others was bound to have a negative effect on our mental health; many people struggled to cope with the reality of the situation, and understandably so. I am too.

While this pandemic is still a part of our lives, slowly the world is beginning to open up again, freeing us up to socialize again. But what if we don’t want to? What if it’s not safe? Sometimes, just because you can do something, it doesn’t mean that we should. We all want to know how to safely reenter the world after coronavirus quarantine.

READ ALSO: What Every Mom Needs to Know about Coronavirus

Reentry is anxiety-inducing and frightening. Re-emerging into normality after quarantine is stressful. Those of us who’ve diligently stuck to the rules and been isolated for months feel trepidatious and scared to go back to socializing like we used to. The idea of commuting on public transportation or being in a crowded office is totally overwhelming. How can we get used to being outside and back to reality when almost everyone and everything can be a potential threat in the time of Coronavirus?

Here’s how to safely reenter the world after coronavirus quarantine:

Firstly, ease into it. Jumping in at the deep end and going totally back to normal is both unsafe and unsettling. Prioritize your own mental health and take it step by step. Don’t over commit to too many things. Even if work or friends are pressuring you into doing the ‘normal things’ you used to do, get comfortable saying no. Just like the transition into quarantining was challenging, coming out will be equally hard, and you should allow yourself to feel vulnerable and worried. Trust your gut.

Secondly, prepare yourself. Bring your mask. Just because you’re going to an event where social distancing is in place that doesn’t mean people will be following the rules. You’ll feel safer if you come prepared with your mask and hand sanitizer. Don’t feel weird or apologize for wearing your mask, even if others aren’t. Do what makes you feel comfortable. If you need to leave, leave. Don’t put yourself in danger because you’re afraid to hurt someone else’s feelings.

READ ALSO:  Can You Safely Send Kids Back to School During a Pandemic?

Thirdly, invest in helpful tools to help you organize your life while on the go. We’re all comfortable being home all day – collecting packages, organizing your space throughout the day and having everything just so. Going back to spending more time away from home can create organizational anxiety which negatively affects your experiences of re-entry. Using online organizational tools such as https://physicaladdress.com/ can help alleviate stress and create a calm outlook on returning to normality.

Finally, be sure you keep in touch with the real news, not speculation that circulates on social media. Don’t let Facebook be your source of information. Check the CDC, WHO and your local health department’s websites. Read the actual facts and figures of coronavirus cases in your area. Don’t assume what you read on Twitter or Facebook is always true. Reading opinions rather than facts can spin you into an unnecessary panic. Social Media will stop you from feeling comfortable living your day to day life.

It’s vital to safely reenter the world after coronavirus quarantine

For now, we’ll be learning virtually and working from home. As cases are rising here, home is where I feel is best for our family. What is your plan to safely reenter the world after coronavirus quarantine?

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new normal, Coronavirus, Covid-19, back to school in pandemic, how to send kids back to school during a pandemic, face masks

Like most parents, I’m overwhelmed trying to decide whether or not to send my girls back to school this fall and I know that I am not alone. August 13th is coming at us like a freight train. I’m not normally a nervous person but the thought of sending my girls back to school has me terrified. The question every parent wants the answer to is how to send kids back to school during a pandemic? Is it even possible to do it safely? Let’s ask the CDC

I’m an optimist but I also have common sense and I do not take chances when it comes to the life and death of my girls. I don’t f*ck around. On March 9, my best friend (who happens to be an ED doctor) called and warned me that quarantine was coming and Coronavirus was much more serious than any of us anticipated. By that Thursday, I had decided to take my girls out of school.new normal, Coronavirus, Covid-19, back to school in pandemic, how to send kids back to school during a pandemic, face masks

READ ALSO: What Every Mom Should Know About Coronavirus

It was an easy decision. My daughters’ health was in jeopardy by an unknown pandemic. My gut told me what to do and I did it. We’re still quarantining because there is still so much about the pandemic that we don’t fully understand. I’ve lost friends and family members, more each day are contracting this virus. With each announcement, I’m more acutely aware of how easily any one of us can fall victim to it, and none of us know how our immune system will react to it. If you’ve given yourself false security by choosing to believe that it’s only other people’s families and friends who die from CoVid-19, you’re wrong. It doesn’t discriminate. Anyone of us can get it.

I felt safe when we were all staying in the house. I know that’s not sustainable for the long-term.

Was it frustrating for the world to come to a screeching halt? Yes, I’m not naturally a person who can stay still.

Is distance learning inconvenient and stressful? Yes.

Do I wish everyone’s lives could go back to normal and we could safely go back to life as we knew it before CoVid? More than anything. We’ve lost months of plans, travels, celebrations and time with people we love that we won’t ever be able to recover.

Do I want my girls to enjoy their 8th grade and sophomore year of school, filled with firsts and lasts and all the childhood goodness in between? 1000x yes but I don’t think it’s possible this year. We’re no safer than we were in March. In truth, it’s even more dangerous now because, people refuse to wear masks and social distance, and those are the only weapons we have to currently protect us.

READ ALSO: Doctor Gave Up Her Kids to Take Care of Coronavirus Patients

I’d like to believe that if everyone was taking responsibility for their own well-being, observing social distancing wearing masks, we could all find our way through this together. It would be easier to trust that people were trying to do the right thing. We could all take peace knowing that we were all working together to protect each other, out of human courtesy and respect for life, regardless of a little personal inconvenience.

The government is urging our schools to open, even threatening to withhold funds. How can they ask parents to send the children we created, birthed and love more than anything else in this world back into schools in the middle of a pandemic? I fully understand that our economy is in danger of collapse because of shutdowns but at what cost are we willing to sacrifice for economic comfort? We can live without a lot of comforts but my children are not an option. No one wants to sacrifice their family for economic recovery.  Nobody should have to. Human life is irreplaceable, no matter your politics. I wouldn’t sacrifice my enemy’s life for my own economic satisfaction.

People are scared of losing their homes, their jobs, and their very way of life because of coronavirus. Requiring that our children go back to the classroom is irresponsible and dangerous. Betsy DeVos and Donald Trump are effectively saying that our children’s lives, the teachers’ lives, and our (the parents’) lives are less important than the DOW Jones. It’s easy to surmise that when an administration lies to a nation and tells us the opposite of common sense and truth, puts our lives in jeopardy, there’s another agenda right beneath the surface and it’s not altruistic and it has nothing to do with our freedoms. It’s about what politics has always been about money and power.

READ ALSO:  I Miss you Most at 6-Feet Apart

You’re probably wondering how to send kids back to school in a pandemic. What our high school is doing has addressed a lot of my concerns. It’s a very comprehensive and well-thought-out plan but even still, I’m not sure that it’s enough to convince me to feel safe enough to send my daughters to school. At the end of the day, my kid is still immune-compromised and I’m diabetic. Whether I want to believe it or not, going into a public place of 1000 or more students (even with a mask and everything intended to be done right) in one building puts their lives in jeopardy because there is a lot of room for human error. When you’re dealing with children, human error is more likely than not.

new normal, Coronavirus, Covid-19, back to school in pandemic, how to send kids back to school during a pandemic, face masks

Here are a few things our school is doing to send kids back to school during a pandemic, I won’t share it all because it’s a 16 page PDF ( I told you that it was comprehensive) but here are a few things:

  1. Masks to be worn in transition (in and out of building, between classes, on way to anywhere).
  2. In class, the desk will be socially distanced, masks are not required (this part gives me pause)
  3. unless asking a teacher for help.
  4. If you are in a class with a teacher who is older or immune-compromised, mask must be worn the entire time. If you cannot do so, due to a medical reason, the student will be transferred to a different classroom.
  5. Anyone who tests positive, must stay home for 10 days and must be fever free for 72 hours. Cannot return to school without a physician’s note and negative tests for coronavirus.
  6. There is a separate CoVid isolation room with plexiglass between beds and its own ventilation system for anyone exhibiting symptoms. Students must be picked up within 30 minutes if sick and going home.
  7. Students who are vulnerable, immune-compromised, have parents who with underlying conditions, have been exposed to CoVid or have tested positive symptomatic or asymptomatic are to participate in virtual learning which will be live-streamed daily by all teachers so kids can “attend” class from home and have live interaction and learning.
  8. Desks and chairs to we sanitized when students enter the room and before they leave.
  9. Hallways will be one way.
  10. 10 minutes between classes to allow for one-way traffic and getting books in a safe manner.
  11. All returned library books will be isolated for 10 days.
  12. The school will be fogged nightly.
  13. Lunch will be socially distanced, utilizing cafeteria and Basketball gym as well as adding a 4th lunch period. Lunches are to be packed from home or plated and delivered by cafeteria workers. Masks must be worn until sat at chosen, assigned (for the year) seat. No more a la cart offerings. Only touchless pay.
  14. Lockers will now be Freshman, sophomore, junior and senior versus whole grades in certain hallways. No sharing of lockers unless you are related and quarantined together, in which case, you will be required to share a locker with your sibling.
  15. Students will be dismissed to lockers in a staggered phase i.e. Freshman and Juniors after the first period, then sophomores and Seniors after the second period, alternating as such for the remainder of the day.
  16. Daily dismissal staggered.

There is so much more. Our plan is very comprehensive. It’s great on paper. I’m just not so sure how it will work in reality.  I hope it works and fully recognize that it’s a little different for our private school than it is for public schools. It’s a privilege that all of our students have laptops and WiFi and that many of our students have at least one parent who stays at home and can readily be available when and if we need to go to virtual learning.

READ ALSO: The New Normal is Not Normal

You’re not alone. None of know how to do this. We’re all in this together. But if you can’t reconcile yourself to which way to choose, if you can, err on the side of caution. We can overcome a pandemic but we can’t bring back the dead. Go with your gut and do what’s best for your family and your child. This is a new territory and there is no absolute right or wrong answer but I think the choice ultimately should be with the parents. No matter what you decide, we’re all in this pandemic together. Stay safe, wash your hands, social distance and PLEASE wear your masks.

Are you or what are your thoughts on how to send kids back to school during a pandemic?

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new normal isn't normal at all, coronavirus, pandemic

We’ve been sheltering in place for 10 weeks. It’s been challenging in some ways. In other ways, there’s been peace in knowing that I’m doing my part to keep everyone safe. I’m not a doctor, nurse, first responder or healthcare worker. I can’t save lives on the front lines like some but I can do my best. I can shelter in place, wear my mask and social distance. It’s been hard mentally, physically and spiritually and the new normal isn’t normal at all.

I’m an extrovert. I’m human and I need people. Even more than that, I care about people so while it feels completely unnatural to shelter in place, I know it’s the right thing to do. It’s the only thing I can do, anything else would be selfish. So while my soul may be craving the attention of an audience, my brain knows better.

READ ALSO: How to Protect Your Mental Health During a Pandemic

Last week the Big Guy had to go back into the office as Indiana is reopening. His job can be done from home, and that is what the governor’s guidelines recommend, but his company is “essential” so they require that everyone needs to be back in the office.

My husband is one of 3 people wearing a mask, out of 600 people. Working in a cubicle leaves him exposed. Others aren’t observing social distancing so he wears his mask because he is hypertensive, I am diabetic and our daughter is immunocompromised. He wears his mask because if he contracts Coronavirus he doesn’t want to pass it on to us nor does he want to be responsible for passing this potentially deadly virus to one of his coworkers and their families. Unfortunately, most are not extending us the same courtesy. So he wears his mask, despite others not wearing theirs.

This new normal isn’t normal at all and it hangs in the air like a death sentence when you try to ignore it, just waiting for you to let your guard down.

It’s difficult for him to breathe wearing his mask for 10 hours a day, at his desk, on the computer (doing what he’s been doing from home for the past 8 weeks) but he goes in because we need an income. His glasses fog up so badly that he can’t wear them. He’s getting sores on his face from the mask rubbing the bridge of his nose from talking all day. Still, despite the weird looks he gets from all of his coworkers and as uncomfortable as it may be, he knows that being dead or killing someone we love would be worse.

READ ALSO: I Miss You Most at 6 Feet Apart

His choices are to prioritize our health or our livelihood. We can die from coronavirus or we can die from starvation. The choice is ours. I did not want him to go back into the office. He asked if he could work from home. He reminded them of our conditions and his. They were not moved. His attendance at the office was mandatory.

Every day, I’m afraid for him. I worry about him. The thought of him in his office being physically and mentally uncomfortable, having trouble breathing, feeling jeered and dismissed for being cautious is horrible. He’s doing the right things but sometimes doing the right thing is hard. He’s doing hard things every single day, for his family.

New normal isn’t normal at all.

Despite the world being upside down right now and our entire way of living being turned inside out, we try to do our best. However, is our best good enough? I’ve found that there is a false sense of hope that is born out of feeling “normal”. You see, when we went into lockdown, I got really stressed out. I’m not talking about your everyday run of the mill stress eat carbs. I’m talking about forgetting all the rules, we’re all going to die, release the cortisol, this is fight or flight. “My name is Inigo Montoya, you killed my father prepare to die” kind of end of the road dire straits.

READ ALSO: How Coronavirus is a Blessing in Disguise

But then the Big Guy went back to the office and I lost 3 pounds almost immediately. I was walking again and, despite my allergies being out of control, I could finally exhale and feel “normal” in the “new normal.” My brain subconsciously sent a message to my body that everything was going to be alright because today resembled some random Wednesday back in 2019 before all of this bullshit happened.

Even though I know we’re right in the middle of a pandemic and my new normal is wearing a mask and not touching people and who knows when my children will be able to go back to school, that simple act of the Big Guy leaving the house tricked my brain into a false sense of safety and I think that’s happening to a lot of people. They’re not seeing the people they love die so it doesn’t feel real to them. I know it’s real. It’s a silent, deadly killer that walks up on you in broad daylight. Maybe you’ll get lucky and be asymptomatic but while you’re not exhibiting symptoms, you’re giving it to everyone around you.

New normal isn’t normal

The weather is changing. Sure we had snow last week (in May) but now the warm weather is coming and everything in the Midwest is blooming, the governors are opening the states (the public is skipping over steps and ignoring others) and from the inside of my house, it’s beginning to feel normal.  We’ve been hiding indoors from coronavirus for so long, we’ve almost forgotten it’s out there. Not really but in a way, I feel safe because it looks like a normal day in May.

The quietness of it, the hushed whispers and contradictory reports are confusing and they fool you into having hope that the worst is over but then my brain kicks in and I remind myself that this virus hasn’t gone and is going nowhere anytime soon. We have no cure, there is no vaccine and, really, there is still so much that is unknown about how coronavirus works long term. What we do have right now is common sense, some basic precautions to take to stop the spread and flatten the curve and we have choices to make but unfairly we have a false sense of security that might lead us beyond our reason and into danger.

READ ALSO: How to Enjoy Your Summer Together while Social Distancing

All the doctors can do right now is best guess treat the symptoms. The scary part is the tests are still not meeting the standard of care we need. There is still a huge percentage of false negatives. An ED doctor friend of mine told me that she had 2 patients who were obviously infected with CoVid19 test negative. The test isn’t working guys and we don’t know how or if reinfection is going to hit someone who’s already been there and done that or how hard it’s going to hit if it does.

There’s security in normalcy even when it’s not safe. But there’s no safety in the new normal because the new normal isn’t normal at all. Enjoy the quiet moments in the sun with your family. When it starts to feel like things are all right in the world just remember to be safe. Don’t forget that right around the corner a silent killer is lurking but you can save yourself. All you need to do is practice social distancing for a little while longer and wear a mask. That’s it and you can be a hero, not just for yourself but for the people you love too.

What are you doing to protect yourself and the people you love in the new normal?

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coronavirus, 6 feet apart

The past 7 weeks have been life-changing for all of us. I can feel it in the very thread of my soul. 50 days is a long time to be apart from the ones you love and society in general. Honestly, 6 feet apart can feel like miles when it’s the people you love who you want to be nearest to. Coronavirus has taken physical contact out of the equation for all of us.

My family is very close emotionally but more than that, we’re a very touchy, feely group. There are a lot of us and we were raised on good morning, and off to work/school, home from work/school, and good night kisses. No matter what kind of day you had or how many times we fought, in the end, there was always love. These hugs and kisses were guaranteed. Maybe we didn’t have money but in love, we were/are rich.

READ ALSO: What Every Mom Should Know about Coronavirus

This is not just a childhood thing, I’m a grown woman, mother to two and when I’m home or my parents visit, I kiss them good morning, good night and whenever I leave the house. My kids do the same with their grandparents. We all do the same at our house. My brothers and sisters do it at their homes and whenever we visit one another, there is a good 15 minutes of just welcoming hugs and kisses and we love every single moment of it all. It is as natural and necessary as breathing for us so it’s been really hard.

Add to that the fact that my dad had just returned from months in Mexico for Bella’s quince that never happened, the week before the shelter in place order went into effect. I got to see him and my mother the day before it went into place. I haven’t seen them since. My youngest sister just had a baby 3 weeks ago. I haven’t met the baby yet. My middle sister is planning a wedding, I haven’t gotten to help her at all. My 3 brothers live in town but for the better part of this shelter in place, I’ve felt like I was hiding in place. I haven’t been inside anywhere in weeks and the only people I’ve seen have been the random neighbor here and there that I try to avoid on my walks.

READ ALSO: Doctor Gave Up Her Kids for Months to Save Yours

After a while, it starts to feel normal and that might be the worst part of all. 3 out of the 4 people in my house fall into the underlying condition category, so I’m in this for the long haul. I know this. I’m fine being in my house but lately, I’ve been missing my family in ways that I can’t explain.

I’m missing them in the little ways, my little brother’s Charlie Brown dance he does to make us laugh at family gatherings; the look on my little sister’s face when she watches her boys, the serious look of confusion and love that floods my middle sister’s face when we bullshit her about something, or my big little brother’s smirk when he’s bullshitting us or the care and concern in my middle brother’s voice when he asks if you’re alright and is genuinely concerned. I miss that same serious face my mom gives me before she breaks into my big little brother’s smile when she’s pulling my leg. I miss my dad’s laugh and the way he always blesses me before he leaves me or I leave him because we were raised that every time could be the last so always say I love you and that’s never been more true than now.

READ ALSO: Interview with a Coronavirus Doctor on the Frontline

Most days, I push it all down and try not to feel it. But this week, this is my terrible, no good, very bad week of the year. Every year since 2012. Even when I forget the anniversary, my heart remembers and it’s soft and sensitive and exposed and it hurts. It’s the one week of the year when I always need a soft place to land and here I am twisting in the wind. Right now, this 6-feet-apart feels like miles and miles and miles. I feel so alone.

The other day, I needed to see family. I needed to hear their laughter, see their faces and feel their energy; the energy I was born of. The family who knows all of my secrets and shares my history and loves me still; loves me more than I probably deserve and always has me held in their hearts, lifting me up in prayer and covering me in blessings and unconditional love even when I feel unblessable and completely and utterly unlovable. Still, there they are always in all the ways. My family is truly everything to me.

READ ALSO: How Coronavirus is a Blessing in Disguise

The other day, I made an executive decision as I am known to do and I told my brothers,” I’m driving by just to see your faces.” 6-feet-apart, so close but so far apart. And while it was balm to my soul to see their faces and hear their voices I never realized how much it would break my heart to have to walk away, to be in their orbit, and not get to hug them. It was almost unbearable and felt absolutely unnatural. It was the first time since they’ve each been born that I’ve seen them and not hugged and kissed them. I left feeling sad and hollow.

Mentally, I know that I saw them. We spoke and laughed and fed off of one another but the physical connection that transcends time and space that comes with touch was missing and there I sat, looking right at them, missing them and that’s a horrible side effect of the coronavirus. I can give up going to Target and restaurants and movie theaters. I can even give up travel and the freedom to roam the world as I so much like to do but giving up my people, the handful of people who mean everything to me, that’s hard but it’s selfish not to right now. So I take what I can get. Spaced laughter, togetherness apart, 6-feet apart dinners on my deck, movies in my family room with masks on with the same people who I share a mother and father.

READ ALSO: How to Protect Your Mental Health During a Pandemic

I’ll keep dropping snacks off at my friend’s and family’s houses just to get a passing glimpse of their smiles and to feel connected. If that means that I have to drive 3 hours to get a glimpse of my parents from 6-feet-apart for a couple of hours, it’ll be worth it to see my mom’s smiling eyes above her mask and hear my dad bestow upon me a blessing before I get back in my car to drive the 3 hours home. Until then, it’s ok to feel sadness and grief to miss what might have been and what once was. At least, when this is all over and we’re all safe and healthy, we’ll all have each other’s hugs to look forward to. For now, we stay 6-feet-apart so we don’t end up 6-feet-under.

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How Coronavirus is a blessing in disguise

I’ve been having a large range of emotions the past few weeks, day 31 of social distancing for us. I feel, for lack of a better word, triggered emotionally and that’s saying a lot for someone who is susceptible to bouts of mania. My mental health has to be at the front of my mind, even now when I can think of nothing else but my physical health and well-being and the health of everyone around me, everyone I love…everyone I know; my friends, my family, coworkers, the children I spent my days teaching and nurturing even the strangers I surround myself every single day all around the world. Maybe coronavirus is a blessing in disguise for all of us?

READ MORE: What every mom should know about Coronavirus

It’s everywhere; on the news, in my feeds, in texts from friends and conversations with loved ones. I can’t turn it off. I try. I zone out. I try to keep my mind occupied. I try to stay positive. We are resilient and there are bright spots amid this gloom of coronavirus. I fill my days with other things while trying to stay sane while living in place. I feel like I am metaphorically treading water to avoid drowning in my own thoughts. On some days, I feel like if I stop for one moment I could completely lose my grip on reality, I’ve felt this way since about day 11 (the day we officially are ordered to stay home) I can barely remember what day it is.

Through my fear, I can’t help feeling like Coronavirus is a Blessing in Disguise for All of Us

I’ve tried to see the positive. We’re alive. We’re safe. We’re at home together. But then I take a deep breath and realize that nothing is normal, I’m a prisoner in a beautiful cage and my fellow prisoners are delusional. I have to hold it together, I’m not afforded the luxury of being able to lose my shit because if I do, the entire house of cards will come tumbling down. This is my circus, these are my monkeys and the fucking world is on fire. Deep breaths, Debi. We can do this.

READ ALSO: Doctor on Front Line of Coronavirus Gave Up her Kids to Save You

There is no positive about the coronavirus except for the fact that it’s making us all slow down. Sure, it may be from school closures and crippling anxiety but we’re getting a forced reset and perspectives are changing. I mean who gives a fuck whether or not the Bernie Bros are going to have an all-out war with the MAGA hat wearers when the entire world has been set on fire? Not me.

The only thing that matters to me right now in this moment, life in the time of Corona (virus), is how we survive with our families intact. Everything else is bullshit.  Everything else is literally unimportant. So, let’s let it all fall away. Forget about fancy meals and perfect houses. Let’s practice patience and grace. Let’s embrace gratitude and think of the bigger picture.

How Coronavirus is a blessing in disguiseThis is temporary and as horrible as the coronavirus pandemic may feel, this is a gift; a blessing.

In the end, I think we will be kinder, more compassionate and better human beings. When I talk to my friends now, we really listen. We check in on one another; really check in and care. We have become a nation of lifelines for one another. We are more in tune with our bodies and our minds. We are moving more. We are re-prioritizing every single thing and the unimportant things are falling to the wayside while the most important things are coming clearer into focus because the noise of the world is fading.

READ ALSO: Interview with an ER doctor on the front lines fo Coronavirus

Strangers smile and say hi. My daughters have moved through their bickering phase and into a comfortable place of thankfulness for one another. They not only love one another, they show it and no longer take one another for granted. My husband who has always been my best friend has become my hero. He is my rock and when I start to go off the rails and buckle under the fear and pressure, he is there to grab my hand and tell me that it will be alright and I hope I’m doing the same for him. Together we’ll get through it.

I long for the faces of my parents and my brothers and sisters. I remember that they always have been there for me but the promise of tomorrow is not a certainty. I have hope that in time we will all be together again, for now, we check in on one another in the only ways we can. 6 feet apart drive-bys to say hello to my friends and family have become the highlights of my day.

I’m thankful for my job that allows me to work from home. I’m thankful for my husband’s job that understands even though he is essential, his family is immunocompromised and makes allowances for that. I’m so thankful for bosses who understand the mental strain that living through a pandemic puts on even the strongest person. I’m grateful for the grace and patience that we are all showing one another.

How can it be that even in such a horrible situation, Coronavirus is a Blessing in Disguise?

It’s all a matter of perspective. Staying home was not anything I ever imagined would be forced upon us as a nation. I’m an extrovert and while I’ve longed for moments of peace and quiet, I never wished for forced removal from society. I’m scared. I know too much; we all do. All we can do is to do our part, be safe, stay home and support the heroes who save us all; the healthcare workers who sacrifice so much to take care of us and our loved ones, the grocers and restaurant workers who make sure we are fed, the delivery people, the police, EMTs, firefighters and other civil service workers who risk everything to keep us safe.

Remember this is temporary, even though it feels like forever when you’re living through it. Feel what you need to feel okay with the circumstances. There are no rules right now. Just survival. Let go of expectations and if you need to cry or be mad or just not care, just do that. All of your feels are valid. There are no wrong ways. But please give yourself and those around you grace and patience. None of us have ever been through this before.

READ ALSO: The Importance of Friendship

In the end, I think we’ll all be better people from this. We are having greatness thrust upon us. This is the time to rise to the occasion. Be kinder, be better, think of others and remember to breathe and laugh. Drop off snacks at your neighbor’s doorsteps. Have a pizza delivered to your brother’s family for lunch. Order groceries for your elderly parents and have them delivered. Tip your delivery people.

Share your time, your experience and your abundance. Give of yourself but give to yourself to. Stay safe. Be well and I can’t wait to celebrate with all of you when this is over. For now, celebrate your health, your life and the kindness and efforts of those around you. We’re all struggling. You are not alone.

How are you holding up during this pandemic? Hoping you and your family are staying healthy and being safe. I know this pandemic is horrible and hurting a lot of people but theoretically, do you feel like the coronavirus could be a blessing in disguise?

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Doctor Gave Up Her Kids to Take Care of Coronavirus Patients, stay home, shelter in place, sacrifices of healthcare workers

While we’re all feeling a little stir crazy and a lot caged in our new normal, but there is a lot to be thankful for… it could be a lot worse, even though it feels quite dismal when you’ve been wearing pajamas for almost 3 weeks straight and played 7 million games of UNO and cooked and laundered for infinity. It’s hard right now for all of us but I have a story that I think a lot of us can relate to and all of us should hear.  A Doctor Gave Up Her Kids to Take Care of Coronavirus Patients.

My best friend is an Emergency Department doctor. Every day she goes into work, knowing that PPEs are limited and running out quickly. With still no quick testing for coronavirus at her facility, it’s a simple conclusion that asymptomatic patients have been sent home with CoVid 19. People are already dying at her hospital. If you think your anxiety is bad, imagine hers.

This week she sacrificed seeing her children for three months to take care of America; you and me, our mothers, fathers, brothers, sisters and our children. To do this, she had to give up hers.

Three months of no hugs. There will be no kisses. She will get no snuggles. No good mornings or good nights. No seeing the faces who’ve called her mom for the past 16 years; not like before. No, their meetings will be weekly and at a safe distance. She doesn’t want to do this, she has to do this; for their safety. The only way to protect her own children from any virus that she might come in contact with is to stay away from them. This devoted mother who happens to be a Doctor Gave Up Her Kids to Take Care of Coronavirus Patients.

Imagine as a mother or father not being able to hold your child for 3 months. We only have 18 years and then they leave on their own for college but right now, she has to give up some of that precious time in the name of the greater good. Right now, in a time of deep confusion and uncertainty when her daughters need their mother, possibly more than ever before, she has to stay away. If they do get sick, she can’t take care of them because she’s exposed every day, repeatedly, with limited PPEs.

READ ALSO: An Interview with a Doctor on the Front Lines of Coronavirus

Her hospital is presently giving providing doctors with one single N95 for the week of shifts; previously, doctors changed N95 masks between each patient.  Nurses are provided no N95 masks. Local members of the community have started to make and distribute fabric masks to the nurses. It is a beautiful and kind gesture but it’s sort of like taking a marshmallow to a gun fight. At the very least, it provides the patients with some reassurance just seeing their nurses mouth and noses covered but it’s mostly a fashion accessory unless it turns out that coronavirus is being spread by just breathing or talking, in which case…cover all the faces. Everything is so unknown , we’re all learning as we go.

Her hospital still doesn’t have Coronavirus tests on hand and readily available, which means that if you do get a test, it takes 10 days to get the results. In 10 days, you could already be dead, if I’m being quite frank. There is also a 1 in 3 chance that you will get a false negative when tested and, as any Emergency room doctor, it shows. She goes in every day and wears her 1 provided N95 mask for the week, from the minute before she walks in the door until she goes home. She doesn’t even eat or drink throughout her entire shift. It’s like sending a soldier in to battle with no protection at all. 

Still, this mother, friend, and doctor gave up her kids to take care of coronavirus patients. It wrecked her to her core and I heard it in her voice but she did it for them and for you. This was selflessness at its purest form. 

My friend does not live in a major city, well, not in comparison. She’s not in New York, L.A. or Chicago. However, she is in a highly populated college town, not far from Chicago. It’s not she’s in a widespread rural community. People who work in Chicago, live in her city. It shouldn’t be the way it is in her hospital or in any of the many others just like hers all over the country.

Doctors just like her, and many others who are coming out of retirement and stepping up to help in makeshift hospitals all over the country to help meet demand of an onslaught of American coronavirus patients, are heroes. They are running in to the virus when the rest of us are supposed to be sheltering in place. We need to listen.  We need to stay home so that they can stay safe, as safe as possible in this situation.

READ ALSO: What Every Parent Needs to Know about Coronavirus

Doctors and nurses ( all healthcare workers) are more than just their jobs. They are mothers, fathers, sisters, brothers, wives, husbands and mothers and fathers. They’re someone’s everything. Healthcare workers are also very human and just as susceptible as the rest of the world when it comes to coronavirus. Just because there is an M.D. after their name and they are superheroes, unfortunately, they are not immune to the ravishing affects of this virus and it does not discriminate. It doesn’t give a flying f*ck if you’re a good person or not. It doesn’t even give special privileges to nurses or that a doctor gave up her kids to take care of coronavirus patients.

Doctor Gave Up Her Kids to Take Care of Coronavirus Patients, stay home, shelter in place, sacrifices of healthcare workers

The bottom line is this is new to existence and none of us have immunity to it. If you come in contact with it, you will catch it, regardless of how good your immune system is or how healthy your are. The only unknown is how hard it will hurt you. Will it hit you like a worst case flu, will you be asymptomatic and a secret carrier to your loved ones or will it invade your body and kill its host. Do you want to take that chance with yourself or anyone you love or know?

My friend is a severe asthmatic. So many doctors have underlying health conditions or live with family who have underlying health conditions, but they don’t have the option of sheltering in place, they are essential. They are vital. We need them more than ever before. They took and oath and they want to take care of you and your loved ones. This is their calling. They are angels. We need to do our part to make that possible.

So I am asking all of you, I am imploring, that you stay home. My friend, a Doctor Gave Up Her Kids to Take Care of Coronavirus Patients.

I know that you are so bored, exhausted, anxious and scared. I am too. I’m on day 24 of quarantine, I’ve resorted to day and night pajamas and have made a box of Kraft macaroni and cheese for lunch one day ( just the Mac and cheese) nothing else. I’ve been drinking the occasional adult beverage, like every 3 days, I need a drink when previous to this it was about once a year.  The thing is be gentle with yourself, be patient with your family and just do whatever you need to feel normal. We’re all in this together. Sleep all day, eat cereal for dinner or dress up and have a fancy date night at home. Be present with your kids, zoom your friends and call the people you love.

But please, follow the recommendations and shelter in place. I know you think that one person’s actions won’t have that big of an affect but, trust me, they will. We are all potential carriers. We are all potentially armed and dangerous to the people we love the most.

When you think you just really need to get out of the house and take the kids to the park or the beach please remember my friend, she gave up her children to save you. Please return the favor by making our world a little more safe for her and all the healthcare heroes that live in our communities, especially the ones who’ve taken care of us when we’ve needed it most because the alternative is that we do whatever we want and they die, even after their immense sacrifices.

Take care of each other. Be kind and compassionate. Shelter in place but stay connected. Human interaction is so important so install ZOOM, FaceTime, use the phone, write a letter or send an email. Check in on your people. Most importantly, take care of yourself; wake up, eat, move, laugh, love, sleep and repeat. That’s all you need to do.

PLEASE STAY HOME, it will be over eventually and the only way we get through this is taking care of one another from afar.

Thank you for doing your part and to the essential workers, I see you. I see your sacrifices. I’m doing my part. I’m staying in. You’re in my prayers and I’ll never forget the sacrifices you’ve made in this time of coronavirus.

How are you and your family holding up during the coronavirus? I’m here to listen and connect whenever you need me.

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