I shouldn’t make any promises right now.
But I know if you Pray
Somewhere in this world-
Something good will happen.Hafiz
What exactly are we preparing for?
Most of our focus has been on preparing to be isolated. (And apparently time on the toilet, which perplexes me how we are devoid of TP before vitamin C. Why has there not been a run on mucinex and gatorade, things that treat Corona symptoms?)
We are prepping for supplies to run out.
We are prepping for anxiety: Our kids, our parents, our friends, our own.
Many will be sick. Some will be very. Are we prepping for that?
Soon there will be testing so we will know more. I believe we will come to learn of mild cases previously unreported, and that will bring mortality rates down. We will know of more cases that are manageable, and we will find reassurance there. And, we will know of some that are severe. I have my first friend very sick with Corona…
She is in her fifties, extremely fit, and extremely ill. She says her lungs are on fire. I say that not to scare you, but to make it real, which knowing someone who is in fighting shape and is really beaten up by this virus does. And, I am asking you to prepare not just for isolation, home projects and remote working, but also for caregiving. And communication.
On the positive side, when it hits your home in some way, your children or those that have only thought of this as an abstraction and an inconvenience will take their social distancing and responsibility a little more seriously. People are compassionate at heart. Stubborn perhaps, but compassionate. As a wise friend said, they just need to be taught, with kindness, that which they have no experience with, or that which they deny. My son has just taken our friend every immune boosting we could think of–fresh juice, colloidal silver, zinc, vitamin c, nasal spray, soup and gatorade. He understands now, and has adjusted. The requests to go see friends have quieted too.
Members of your communities will need care. How are you preparing for that?
My very sick friend is in quarantine (obviously) and is fighting it at home. She has been stoic, saying she doesn’t need any help, but of course she does. I am nervous when I don’t hear back from her. She needs to rest and is too depleted to make calls and it is anxiety producing knowing she is isolated and really ill. That brings up a new consideration:
Many of us and those we care for are living alone, and it’s a disease of isolation. With these dynamics as realities, it is likely you will be worrying, and others will be worrying about you. Added worry is not productive–to healing or to anything. (Including toilet paper supplies.)
Communication is vitally important. And constant forgiveness of one another – for judging one another for being too casual or too careful. For accusing one another of being too casual or too careful. For ever changing minds. Who really knows what’s right anyway? The winds are ever shifting and so must our tacks. All our energy needs to go into being supportive.
Communication and education, done with loving kindness, are the way.
Make a plan to support (and be supported) not if, but when, this comes your way. Please consider the following today, for hers’ sake and your own. Our well-being is interconnected:
Caring for Others: How are you preparing to be a caregiver? How are you helping those you care for, and about, each day? Are you preparing for all three issues at hand: isolation, fear, and illness. Who is within your care–physically, emotionally, spiritually? If you think you’ve already been affected by Corona anxiety (which of course you have,) wait until it gets real and you have someone you care about, or for, who is sick.
Meditation for others: Today I called into a midday prayer group offered by a local church. It was nice. I sometimes practice Metta, the meditation of loving kindness. It is kinda like a prayer for others well being. You can do it in the shower, while you are walking or just sitting around. For me it has actually put the “I’ll keep you in my prayers line into action. Here’s the one a meditation group I was in this summer used and I am using today…
May she be healthy,
May she happy,
May she be holy,
May she be safe,
May she be peaceful and at ease.
I do multiple times, up to 9 for each person. A commonly taught methodology is to do it for yourself, and people you care for then for those you don’t care for, and the world. But today start small. I like one person at a time, starting with yourself for a few rounds, even if it feels weird. (Remember your own oxygen mask.)
Are you praying to God or talking to a saint or a deceased loved one or Jesus or the Virgin Mary or Buddha or the Holy Spirit? (They are all good options.) Or maybe you are just affirming good energy and love and trusting there’s benefit, (which I promise there is, certainly for yourself.) I found being specific helps me as does directing it to a being that had a human experience–just feels more chummy and relatable to talk to Jesus or a parent that I am pretty sure is watching over. Play with it and make it work for you. Sometimes I do 3 to one of the above, 3 to another, 3 to another. Whatever the case, as Hafiz says, it’ll do some good. And, it feels good to do.
Hopefully I haven’t weirded you out too much–that’s some heavy stuff. But so’s a Lenten commitment to deepening our spiritual life. And now are hairy times.
Self care. Know what encourages your well being, physically and emotionally. For me: Sleep, and meditation (today that was sitting for 11 minutes in the a.m. and going on a ski with my dogs.) Outdoor exercise clears my head and lungs. I also observed a morning routine of stretching, breathwork, and sitting meditation before writing. And, Feeding myself with Joy and humor. (My very sick friend is still texting with self deprecating humor. )
Don’t forget to laugh, at life, and yourself. Invest some energy on the good and silly–for your own sake and that of those near (ish) to you. Life’s too short to miss that part. Good vibes are more contagious than Corona ( and they travel much farther than six feet!!!) Completion, satisfaction, adaptability, humor and beauty: Feel these joys, and others, every day!
Top photo: ** I spy with my completely sober eye in the stunning unfiltered photo of clouds over “Baldy” — left to right: a flying teddy bear, a floating heart, and a bunch of the hunger games people looking north (to the right.)