Because of the potential to spread Covid-19, most all of us in my area have been encouraged to maintain social distance recommendations and to stay at home. I leave the house to pick up prescriptions for my husband, to get outdoor exercise, to walk the dog and greet neighbors who are out and about, and to do grocery shopping.
I miss getting together with friends and going out to Saturday breakfast with my husband. However, I’ve stayed in contact with people using social media and video. I’ve attended meetings and have even enjoyed happy hour with a couple of friends using Zoom, a video chat application.
My husband has not been too excited about trying video conferencing. But this morning, he had an appointment with one of his healthcare providers using a secure video application. He was surprised to discover how easy it was to interact, “It was just like we were in the same room,” he later remarked. Next week, he has a virtual meeting with his financial advisor. Because of necessity, my husband has learned a new way of communicating.
We are adapting. Giving up some personal freedom to help quell the spread of a potentially deadly virus is a small sacrifice. At the same time, there are others who are making unimaginable sacrifices for the good of the whole.
I realize that our healthcare workers are the ones who are literally risking their own lives to help save others. National news reports have shared that some doctors and medical providers have already contracted the Covid-19 virus and have lost their lives. One of my family members is a nurse at a metropolitan hospital. She does not have sufficient masks available to do her work. She wonders when she’ll contract Covid-19 taking care of others.
In response to the overwhelming need for masks, some people are starting to sew homemade masks to help protect others. One of my retired family members borrowed a sewing machine to assist with the mask-making efforts. Then she could not find any available elastic band material for sale. I cannot sew a straight line, but I was able to locate and order the needed elastic material online for the family members who are sewing masks.
My former colleagues who are still teaching are now scrambling to convert all of their courses to an online platform. One told me that she had spent countless hours over spring break trying to get all her courses converted; this individual had already been teaching some of her classes online. Students who take these courses spring term will have no idea how many hours of sacrifice went into preparing their virtual learning experience.
As of yesterday, approximately 3.3 million Americans had filed for unemployment as a result of Covid-19. I cannot imagine the incredible stress some individuals are experiencing as they wonder how they will take care of basic necessities until some relief arrives. Certainly, restaurant workers are among some of those with the highest unemployment. At the same time, there are business owners and managers who have made great personal sacrifices to help support their employees. Business leaders in my community have encouraged us to order take-out food from local restaurants to help keep people employed.
Looking Ahead with Hope
We are all experiencing some changes. Some of us are only making small adjustments. Some people are literally risking everything for the benefit of others. In my heart of hearts, I hope that after we are on the other side of all that Covid-19 brings with it, we will see a kinder and more unified country.