Fear and panic are words that are becoming more and more common as the days pass. This pandemic has created feelings in some that had never been felt. I remember going to the grocery store last week, for my normal restock and was oblivious to the intensity of the worldly concern. The shelves were bare, the check-out lines were filled with carts packed to the top, and some people even had on gloves and masks. Needless to say, my grocery run was a total fail with bags of miscellaneous food items. (Hope my family likes eggplant and Cheerios . ) But more importantly, it was an eye-opening experience.
Of course, I had been watching the news and reading articles, but I did not know the level of fear it had evoked. And I will admit that the latter part of my grocery items was picked out of panic. Will I have enough food for my family? Are the grocery stores going to close? Will they restock? Fortunately, this panic subsided quickly which is mostly attributed to my faith and my circumstance.
Although my job has not closed, I am afforded paid vacation and sick time. I come from a dual income household which makes it easier to stock up on the extra groceries and supplies. I can easily say that I am grateful and can look at my situation with humility. Not everyone can rest assured on those simple luxuries. With schools being closed, there are parents who have young children and can not afford to take time off from work to stay at home. There is also a statistic from thecounter.org which states according to July 2018, there are over 30 million children whose only meals come from the school. So, if these children are not in school, they could possibly have little to nothing to eat for days, maybe even weeks.
There are families who must rely on a strict budget to purchase food and toiletries. How do they afford the extra? What about the older woman who relies on public transportation for her trips to the store, but she is too afraid to leave her home due to the overwhelming statistic of fatalities of COVID-19 in the elderly community. There’s also small businesses and non-profits that rely on person-to-person marketing/communication and fundraising. It’s safe to say that all have been impacted.
I am praying for the world and loving on my friends and family just a little bit harder. During this time of quarantine, please take time for reflections of gratitude and contentment. With social distancing, having our human connections limited, it gives us a moment to unwind and learn more about ourselves, and possibly grow our friend and family bonds through expressions of love and concern. I will be doing more reading and focusing on education and crafts with my children.
Also, if you know or see someone in need, I urge you to please help. It’s not enough to wait for someone to ask you but keep your ears and eyes open for those who may be too embarrassed to ask. There’s nothing like a pandemic to put true priorities into perspective.
The CDC has provided key facts to keep in you informed. For those who have an overwhelming sense of fear and/or anxiety the CDC has provided some tips to help relieve the stress. I have extracted the list below:
Things you can do to support yourself
- Take breaks from watching, reading, or listening to news stories, including social media. Hearing about the pandemic repeatedly can be upsetting.
- Take care of your body. Take deep breaths, stretch, or meditate. Try to eat healthy, well-balanced meals, exercise regularly, get plenty of sleep, and avoid alcohol and drugs.
- Make time to unwind. Try to do some other activities you enjoy.
- Connect with others. Talk with people you trust about your concerns and how you are feeling.
Call your healthcare provider if stress gets in the way of your daily activities for several days in a row.
Also, some states are offering free kid’s meals as well as local food banks are available for those in need. Due to the foreseen increase in meals needed, local food banks are taking donations as well. If you are here in Atlanta please visit Atlanta Food Bank for more information.
If you have more information you’d like to share or have other concerns, please feel free to comment and I will do my best to find credible answers or resources. Here’s to stopping the spread of the virus and to the beginning of the spread of more love and light.