April 10, 2020 / Day 27 Quarantine
Gratitude List: health, supportive husband, positive teens, kind neighbors, employed and coffee w/cream (my vice).
As the days of quarantine, progress to weeks and almost hit the one month mark, it has become apparent how we’re only at the beginning of this period of quarantine for COVID-19 in the U.S. These last few days have started to take a toll on my mental health. Throughout a typical day, my emotional state can shift between feelings of sadness, frustration, anxiety, and gratefulness in an hour. I try to be in the moment and be truly grateful for how fortunate my situation is when so many others are suffering, but this is proving to be a real challenge living with an unknown future in my state, country and around the world.
Some nights around 3:00 a.m. I find myself wide awake and tormented by a recurring loop of worry, this wakefulness is in part brought on by the physical overheating of my body temperature, a symptom of perimenopause, but also I assume from the underlining anxiety of simply living in the age of coronavirus. Each day I start with the good intention of focusing on the tasks I can personally influence; eat healthily, finish a few items for work and be patient with my family. I also set a daily goal, to limit myself to checking the online news more than once. Some days these goals are a success, but if I am truthful, most days I’ve not made it to lunch without checking both the breaking news at the NY Times, the local paper, and state case counts at least twice each.
The one area that has made a huge difference this week is my community. Over a decade ago my husband and I relocated to a small suburban town in the south. We moved from a large west coast city over 3,000 miles away. We didn’t know a soul, didn’t have jobs here nor extended family. We moved to find a better life; it was during the great recession. Though we were transplants, like so many Americans of past generations, looking to find a safe place to raise a family, though we were strangers, we were welcomed. Now more than ever I realize we found an amazing community, we’re part of a neighborhood of 30 families, who wave to each other during normal times and who during a pandemic, reach out to neighbors in need, create scavenger hunts for kids, donate food to those in our community who are less fortunate. Our small town is full of selfless public servants, volunteers, and caring citizens.
Almost one month into quarantine I have learned capitalism, or what some coin “the American dream” has failed its citizens, but a community who values kindness provides something for all of us to grasp onto during this time of an uncertain future.