Anxious? Focus on what we CAN control right now.
How many of us thought we’d see an outbreak like this in our lifetimes? Honestly, most days I feel like the queen of anxiety. My husband thinks my concern about COVID-19 is unwarranted. And yet here we are… in the midst of a pandemic.
I think the worst part, besides the uncertainty about how this epidemic will evolve, is the disappointment of life’s disruptions. My senior in high school is upset that an overnight visit to a college was cancelled (all state schools are closed for now). And now she’s worried that she may miss out on all of the rights of passage for all seniors: prom, senior trip, even graduation. She has IB and AP tests coming up, and she’s nervous that these may be cancelled, too. Not to mention all of the robotics competitions, etc. that have also been cancelled. My younger daughter is very disappointed about that, and she’s wondering if the school musical will actually go on.
As an east coaster, going to the grocery store reminds me of hurricane prep. No water. No toilet paper. No cleaning supplies. No hand soap. No hand sanitizer. No bananas? It’s crazy town in Richmond, y’all.
Following the announcement by the World Health Organization that we have now entered an international pandemic, decisions about social distancing have been swift. Schools in my county are closed Monday and Tuesday, although I’m certain they will follow suit and close for two weeks like the rest of the Metro Richmond area. My husband has been asked to work from home. My work has established new restrictions on visitors and more thorough patient screenings. And race cancellations and postponements are rampant. All of these plans are warranted. I feel terrible for my friends who have trained for spring marathons which have been cancelled. But social distancing will flatten the curve and allow the inevitable spread to slow down, hopefully avoiding overwhelming our healthcare system.
Sigh. So what are we to do? Worry about this has already filtered into my dreams. But I’m trying to focus on what I can control, and plan for the things I cannot.
So, let’s take a moment to draw inspiration from my Pink Nation marathon training team coach, Blair Just:
BREATHE. RELAX. BELIEVE we can get through this.
“When you feel overwhelmed, remember: a little at a time is how you get things done. One thing, one task, one moment at a time.”Posted on Facebook from my friend Amy.
This is exactly how we tackle a marathon or hero workout in CrossFit. We already have the personal skills to deal with this challenge.
I’m trying not to worry about new speculation that this coronavirus may be airborne (I have a good friend who is an epidemiologist who has assured me that it’s not). I’m trying to dismiss the fact that there are very limited negative pressure rooms in Richmond. That there are only so many ventilators available. That our hospitals are already very busy, even in the ICU’s. That our healthcare providers may face some really tough ethical choices in the coming weeks. That our government has dropped the ball on testing, among many faults. That what is happening in Italy could very well happen here. As a healthcare provider, I will help those who need it in whatever way I can.
So, I will focus on other things. I will reassure my girls that we will get through this. I will be thankful that I got to run my spring race! I will be grateful that I bought toilet paper Monday when it was available! I will not feel silly for buying a giant bottle of hand soap from TJ Maxx when my grocery store was out. I will not be nervous that I sat in a room with about 200 people on Wednesday for 6 hours. I will believe in science.
I will dream about taking advantage of cheap travel right now and plan a virtual trip with my friends. So far, we’ve settled on the USVI. Because YOLO! (Eh. Who am I kidding? I’m staying right here. But it’s fun to dream!)
I will focus on taking care of myself and my family, and you should, too. My plan: Feeling good? Keep exercising. It will help you blow off some steam. Nervous about going to the store? Shop via store pickup or delivery. Do all you can to fuel your body the way you know you should: lots of veggies, whole grains, foods that tend to reduce inflammation (this does NOT include anything from a drive-through). Look at this post from Nora Cooks Vegan for a shopping list to stock your pantry! Take your vitamins (remember that Vegans need a b-complex, vitamin D3, omega-3’s, and zinc). Take elderberry if you think it will help (a recent study claims it blocks the flu virus from binding). Nuun even has an immunity blend. Stay hydrated. Check on your loved ones, especially if they are older. Stay away from large crowds and people who are sick. If you feel sick, call your doctor; they will provide the best direction for course of action for your particular symptoms. Keep frequently touched surfaces clean. Practice patience. Everyone is stressed. We are possibly in for a long ride. And, for God’s sake, wash your hands!
How is the COVID-19 outbreak affecting you and your community? Let’s help each other deal with these uncertain times.