Pandemic 2020 ~ April

The World is Temporarily Closed

The World

By the end of March, there were 336,075 Coronavirus cases in the world and 14,613 deaths. The US held daily briefings from each State’s governor and the White House. It was stressed over and over again by  WHO and the CDC not to touch our faces because the virus enters through the nose and mouth. Throughout the whole month there was a stampede to stores that wiped out the supply of Toilet Paper. The warnings were more aimed at people in my age group, especially those who had underlying conditions like cardiovascular disease, respiratory conditions and diabetes. Saint Patrick’s Day events were cancelled, foreign travel was stopped and businesses began to close. Hospitals were running out of supplies for handling the increase in cases. It was becoming clear that this virus didn’t respect borders and the only thing that would contain the spread is if we follow clear guidelines set down by the CDC and WHO. The White House briefing became exhausting when the president resorted to blaming and politicizing. His narrative about the threat of the virus conflicted drastically with other credible sources.  I continued to watch mainly for the sound advice from Dr. Anthony Fauci who was becoming our national medical leader and because I wanted to hear for myself what the president was saying so it couldn’t be dismissed as ‘fake news’. The president opined that this would all be gone by Easter ~ a miracle. Wouldn’t that be nice!

 

**********

Mostly I stayed with our governor here in Virginia, a physician who gave intelligent, sound guidance. I also followed the New Jersey and New York governors because I had family there and those two states were the epicenter on the east coast.

We got to see who the Stand-Up Wonders were and who the Gutless Wonders were.

By April 6th, the Worldometer website listed 1,343,107 total cases worldwide and 74,657 deaths worldwide. Here in the US our total cases were at 364,590 and total deaths at 10,841.

**********

Worldometer

**********

My reflection on COVID19 that I sketched on Good Friday. My heart and prayers go out to all those who are vulnerable at this time. 💚 (I feel like coronavirus is raining down on us.)

Pandemic and me Good Friday

“My eyes replaced the virus raining down on me with a beam of holy white light from the heavens. I moved all the virus to the outside of that beam thereby placing me in total protection.)

*****

By April 13th, on the day after Easter, the worldwide cases were up to 1,922,267 and deaths at 119,547. The US numbers had climbed to 585,469 total cases and 23,592 total deaths. Clearly, the president’s confidence that it would be gone by Easter, a miracle, didn’t happen.

People were told to stay home and celebrate the holiday virtually through the online services.The guidelines for Stay at Home were increasing and including everyone. Stay at Home unless absolutely necessary and, if necessary, wear a mask and practice social distancing of six feet distance from others.

Stay Calm/Mask Up

**********

Worldometer.jpg #1

Worldometer Report April 13th, 2020

**********

Homemade masks became the new craft as many took to their sewing machines or learned how to use fabrics to fold and use as masks. I used cloth Christmas napkins and following a video on how to fold for maximum protection.

Mask COVID19#2ab3resize

**********

My primary care nurse practitioner did a telehealth visit over the phone instead of my having to go to her office. It did turn out that I needed to go to the office anyway so that they could have blood drawn. I was the first patient to visit the make-shift tent that they had set up for ‘healthy’ patients so that the office waiting rooms could be for sick patients only. The LPN that drew the blood was very nervous and the fact that the wind was blowing around us made it more difficult for her. She finally got a full vial and the final results were all okay!

COVID19 Blood Lab

During this buildup, Pat and I spoke every day. I found it very comforting to listen to his voice and know that he was handling this sudden, abrupt change in our lives with acceptance. There wasn’t much news to share except for the day to day updates on the steadily growing numbers of positive cases. The assisted living/independent living facility had no additional cases. This was a relief considering we were hearing of multiple deaths in other nursing homes and long-term care homes.

At the end of April, there were almost 3,000,000 cases worldwide and 1,000,00 US cases. Deaths in the US were reaching the 50,000 mark.

**********

Image may contain: text that says 'Now Yesterday All America Country, Other Europe Total Cases Asia Searc South America New Cases Africa World Total Deaths Oceania New Deaths 818, 176 USA +95 007 Total Recovered 196, 575 916,348 Spain 658 +29,906 779 766 51,742 219,764 italy +1,508 +6,740 22,524 93,275 192,994 France 159 828 92,355 Germany +1,645 22,245 154,545 60,498 UK +389 +1,416 5,723 43,493 143,464 Turkey +5,386 19,506 06,800 104,912 Iran +3,122 2,600 N/A 88,194 China +109 +1,168 5,574 21,737 82,804 +6 4,632 66,599 77,257'

(Worldometer Report April 24th, 2020)

**********

Protests were beginning in some of the States that had stricter restrictions because of the density and contagion in the hot spots around the country. Some resented the ongoing restrictions and considered them to be an infringement of their civil rights.  The president seemed to be enabling this behavior which included armed protests that threatened the capitol buildings of some states. His comments and tweets egged them on when the governors of those States were democrats. The politicizing of this crisis by him was increasingly called out.

Our governor continued to brief us with science and facts. There was no politicizing going on while each of the people on his staff reported their findings. We were able to flatten the curve and avoid the anticipated surge. Our hospitals weren’t overwhelmed and were able to prepare for that possibility down the road.

I was very fortunate to have to nearby delivery services to rely on for food and supplies. My niece checked in on me to see if I needed prescriptions picked up or if there was anything else that I needed. My sons checked in to see how I was doing.

Jessie COVID 19 2020

Image may contain: 1 person, text that says 'Likes Comments Haroon Rashid We fell asleep and woke up in another. The Suddenly Disney magic, Paris onger romantic, New York doesn't stand anymore, fortress, Hugs kisses suddenly become weapons, and visiting parents friends becomes love. Suddenly you worthless, and can't that power, beauty you the fighting world continues its life and beautiful only puts humaninages cages. think it's sending usa message "You are necessary. The youare fine. When come guests. waterand sky remember masters.' Rashid #yourquote #authorharoonrashid #world #coronavirus #wakeup #love #breathe 25MARAT21:42 6Likes Comments Haroon Rashid'

 

* You can read Pandemic 2020 ~ March here: Pandemic 2020 ~ March

Me in the Middle Holding Space for My Country

Holding Space #2

Holding Space for My Country

My country is having a meltdown…… and I’m holding space for her.

When I began writing my story a few years back, I was motivated by an underlying sense that outcomes in our personal lives are greatly influenced by the political climate that’s unfolding at the coinciding time. Our attitudes, whether we admit it or not, are formed and shaped by our political ideologies and vice versa ~ Our political ideologies are shaped by our convictions and character for the good or bad. It’s how we navigate through those outcomes that can make us or break us.

I’m holding space for me and my country. What’s unfolding now is not normal and very uncertain. I’ve been in this place before.

[Liminal space ~ When you have left the tried and true, but have not yet been able to replace it with anything else. It is when you are between your old comfort zone and any possible new answer.]

We’re not sure of who we can trust anymore. Sources we thought we could trust have been proven to be false. People who we thought we knew in our personal lives have shown a side of them that has alarmed us. We’re setting boundaries to protect ourselves.  Our country is showing signs of trauma in dealing with the recent events. I’m holding space for America and hoping she’ll find her way.

 This moment in our country’s history has become one of those events. We have a president who shows all the signs of an unhealthy personality. Signs that I’ve come to recognize as red flags and abusive over the years. He strives to divide us rather than unite us. How do you detach from the country you love so much when you see it in an unhealthy relationship?

We’re all in that liminal space right now. It’s been a long time coming. We have left the ‘tried and true’, as dysfunctional as that was, and are now moving into a totally unknown territory.

My circle of trust is in my faith that divine grace and goodness will see us through. Wherever this takes us we’ll have the strength and courage to take the steps we need to take. I wake up each day grateful for being alive and wanting to devote my time to the things that bring me joy and peace. Right now, I feel a sense of sorrow for this country I love. I believe America needs to go through this learning experience that’s still unfolding. I believe it’s time for change. I believe many are ready for change.

(My eyes replaced the virus raining down on me with a beam of holy white light from the heavens. I moved all the virus to the outside of that beam.)

I’m holding space for America through these growing pains and hoping to see her move forward to a better place.

© Mary Lou  ~ 2017 (Updated 2020)

Image (c) by Mary Lou

Pandemic 2020 ~ March

COVID-19 Coronavirus

When did I first hear about Coronavirus? I’m trying to remember.

My own life had slowed down over the last year or so with the onset of medical problems. It forced me to slow down and ‘self-isolate’ as I took time out for physical therapy and self-care. While at physical therapy I met a former co-worker and he was also working on recovering from injuries from a fall. He’s 86 and I’m 78.

For the past year and a half, we’ve been enjoying each other’s company, knowing that it was precious time given to us that we hadn’t expected at our age. We enjoyed trips to the Shenandoah National Park, went to lunch or prepared a meal together at home and spent many hours just talking about our lives and growing closer to each other. We knew that because of age we had no guarantee of continuing this time together. Our families were beginning to mention the possibility of finding new arrangements to help us with daily living.

Then, in January, the decision was made that Pat’s family would help him move to an independent/assisted living facility. I’d been going back and forth about twice a week to be with him as he wasn’t able to drive anymore. It was on March 8th while I was there that I told him about hearing the news of a virus that was spreading and how it was spread. Never did I think that that would be the last time that I’d hug him.

I was beginning to tune in more to the news briefings; local, national and global; and the implications of what was developing began sinking in. Then I got a call from Pat that no more visitors were allowed in his facility; no family, no friends and only essential staff and medical professionals. We made a vow that we would talk with each other every day and always ended the call with ‘Love you!’. He was still able to mingle with others who lived there in the common area and share meals in the dining room.

Each time we spoke on the phone, there was a new development within our local area and new guidelines. The growing numbers of positive cases statewide, countrywide and worldwide were setting off alarms. And then the news came that there was a positive case of Coronavirus at Pat’s assisted living place. All residents were guarantined in their apartments. Meals would be brought to them and each day the staff would be taking their temperatures and checking for symptoms.

For me, I’m into my fourth week of self-isolation. I leave my apartment once a week to drive around the block to the apartment complex’s mailboxes. Early on during the self-isolation, my daughter-in-law brought me groceries to stock up on. My niece picked up prescriptions for me, and my sister and her husband dropped off some ‘emergency’ wine.  It gave me hope to know that there was help to get through this. Soon I signed up at my local grocery store for delivery to my home. Yet I’m wondering how long we’re going to continue this way. There are so many unknowns.

There are increased texts, emails and phone calls between my siblings and me. My sons are reaching out “How are you doing Mom?”. One son is guarantined with his family in their apartment in Brooklyn, another self-isolating in Saudi Arabia with his family. Another son is on the other side of the US distanced in miles and contact with me. It’s a time for connection and my heart longs for that.

My granddaughter in Arizona wrote this beautiful Facebook post about grieving for her high school Class of 2020:

“What honestly breaks my heart is that the seniors don’t know if they are going to get to walk across that stage on graduation night and take that diploma in front of their family and classmates on the day we all have been looking forward to for 12 years; counting it down day by day as the year went on; knowing exactly the date you graduate.
It could be postponed.
It could be cancelled.
But if we are lucky, it will be exactly on time.
EVERY SINGLE senior wants to feel the
feeling of relief, success, and the “I did it” feeling while grabbing their diploma and getting to throw their cap in the air with all of their classmates.
To all the underclassmen: It may seem fantastic, I mean no school for two more weeks?!
Who wouldn’t love that?!
But it’s the seniors that it’s gonna hit the most, when they realize their SENIOR (last ever)prom might have to be cancelled, and things might have to be delayed, and that college, the one they just found out they got accepted into is now closed due to the virus and now they have to hope it opens back up by the time they finish up high school to continue their journey.
I know this is all for our safety and I’m grateful that our health is coming first, and they are taking all the precautions they can. But it is sad. But all we can do it keep our fingers crossed and hope everything ends perfectly.

Keep your heads up class of 2020!”

© Hailey Askew

**********

This morning I got a long email from my son who’s on the front line as a cardiologist. He said that the briefing from the hospital administration is that Virginia will slowly begin the surge like NYC, only a smaller scale, in about 2-3 weeks. The hospital will fill quickly and the surge is expected to last at least two months, taxing all resources and healthcare workers, and taking us into May!

Where I was previously wondering how I would be able to pay my rent if the rents kept increasing every year the way they have been over the last five years, now I’m seeing so many who can’t pay their rent because they’ve lost their jobs! Now there’s talk of a nationwide 90 day rent moratorium.

All we can hope for is that Americans will finally see how distracted we all were and how divided we were with partisan politics. Hopefully we’ll open our eyes to how vulnerable we are and that we’ll begin to take care of ourselves more and take care of each other. We’ve taken so much for granted. And it took a force of nature ~ a highly contagious virus just going about doing its thing ~ to remind us of how precious it is to hug another human being. To remind us that we’re a small part of the universe and it doesn’t evolve around us. ‘Be humble or be humbled’.

Note: I had every intention of writing month to month during this Pandemic. This first post I wrote the end of March. As we all know, things got crazier and crazier. I was unable to focus on writing for the past four months. Now I’d like to go back and try to recapture some of the things we all experienced during the time. My next post will cover April.

Too Quickly

One of my beautiful blogger friends says what so many are feeling about the confusing and questionable behavior of some of our fellow citizens, including our president and vice president.

The happy Quitter!

Ein Mund-Nasen-Schutz am Strand von Tel Aviv

Feeling too safe, too quickly
Forgetting the ones we lost
What’s going to be the price I wonder
Restarting life at all costs

View original post 39 more words

Staying Home and Drawing Birds ~ Class Three

Staying home during the Pandemic 2020 has me leaning heavily on the enjoyable past-times that I used to enjoy. Turning to them once again has taken my mind off what’s happening outside my window and all over the world. I’m finding it hard to focus on reading. The things I’m turning to and finding rewarding are writing and sketching/watercolor.

One past-time that I’m getting a lot of joy out of is bird watching! What would I do without the view from my window watching all the local birds coming into my feeder. Little did I know that a huge portion of the world population is doing the same thing!

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is bird-watching.jpg

So, wanting to focus on something that would take my mind off of COVID-19, I began to think about sketching birds and watercoloring them with my new set of Sakura Koi watercolors. Or using colored pencils.

And along comes a Facebook Post about a cool webinar Audubon class ~ Drawing Birds ~ with John Muir Laws. If you’re on Facebook, you can find the videos on the Audubon California Facebook Page.

Class Three Drawings: Raptors (Birds of Prey)

Sketches (c) Mary Lou

Photos used from birdpixel.com, seeingbirds.com and pixabay.com

For more information on the Audubon webinar please visit their website: https://ca.audubon.org/?fbclid=IwAR1QD2Cgp8uW0B447dFt4KDzR-w7Z-uj3szdSqcVcYhxT4kinowhN7rcdYw