One day it was life as usual and the next day everything as we knew it came to a screeching halt. Something we had never heard of changed our lives indefinitely and we were in a pandemic thanks to a new virus called the Coronavirus (COVID-19). Schools and businesses were closing, and restrictions were being put in place. The news was full of stories about hospitals getting to capacity and how overworked our doctors and nurses were. This really hit close to home for me.
My youngest sister was in her final semester of nursing school. She was finishing up clinicals, working at the hospital part time and waiting for her May graduation when the pandemic hit. Hospitals were desperate for assistance. She was given a nursing extern certificate so she could help. Her unit, where she was already working part-time, was turned into a COVID unit and my sister was now working on the front lines. It was an experience no one wanted, but she probably learned more than she would have in those last two months of school.
Did you ever think that you would live during a pandemic? I know I did not. There is no more coming and going like we were so used to doing. Maybe you began working from home and it sounded like a dream come true. Or like many, you may be on the front lines working with COVID patients or helping the overwhelming amount of people struggling with mental illness.
The isolation that people are feeling from being at home is really taking its toll on people of all ages. The news and social media are constantly talking about COVID and the effect that it is having throughout the world. 2020 has been an extremely difficult year for all of us with no end in sight. Now that the numbers are spiking again throughout the United States, we are beginning to hear of restrictions being put back in place. Many people are fearing another quarantine. This can be very stressful because of the unknown.
Do you ever think about what you did prior to COVID that you are missing? I do and I realized it is not so much what I am missing, it is more being told what I can’t do or shouldn’t do. I feel confined and that I am not in control of my life– but that is a matter of perception. If you Google “perception,” one of the definitions is a way of “regarding, understanding, or interpreting something; a mental impression”. A mental impression.
We need to focus our thoughts on what is important to us. During these last nine months it has been a struggle being at home all the time, except for going to the grocery store, but there are some things that I have learned during this time:
- Enjoy the time you get to spend with your family now that your busy schedule has been minimized.
- Treat every day like a new day. The past is in the past and we need to keep moving forward.
- Take time to read a book or start a journal. My two younger daughters started a journal the second week of the pandemic because they wanted to try to remember what happened. Little did we know how long it would last.
- Most importantly, take care of yourself and hug those around you a lot more often!
Guest Blog Author Dawn Rasmussen is a Salisbury University social work intern at Jenerations Health Education, Inc. A proud cheer Mom for over 24 years, she also works at University of Maryland Global Campus as an Academic Coordinator.