Last week The Baltimore Sun issued a call for stories. Stories from Marylanders on Life Amid Coronavirus.
Here’s my submission:
I write from the perspective of a senior who owns her own business and works from home. My husband Dave is an essential worker at Johns Hopkins Medical Center. He used public transportation for years, but now he drives to and from work as a precaution. Our eight children are spread out around the country. As of today, we’re all doing great.
I’m 67, have multiple sclerosis, and am on an immunosuppressant drug. All three factors put me at high risk of infection and even death. I’m careful to follow a strict protocol to stay healthy—one that’s not much different from what I did before.
I take an array of essential vitamins and supplements, eat good food, get a lot of rest (8-9 hours of sleep each night), exercise almost daily (in my home and neighborhood), and drink a lot of liquids including hot herbal tea. What’s new is washing my hands more frequently and more carefully, wiping down surfaces as per CDC guidelines, not going to the gym, not going to church, not visiting in person with family and friends, and not hugging my husband when he comes home from the hospital until he properly “disinfects.”
Thankfully, much of my work is online. I stay in regular contact with my colleagues and clients through Zoom, social media, and phone calls. Since I can’t network and collaborate in person, I’m moving my Meetup events online as well. Necessity is the mother of invention.
I also keep up with the news; check in with friends and family by phone, text, and Facebook; watch one or two “shows” with my husband in the evening; and pray intermittently throughout the day.
Critters make me happy. My dog Cowboy and guinea pig Jitterbug entertain me immensely. My daughter Brett (a USNA grad and naval officer who’s currently working from home in Portland, OR) FaceTimes me often so I can visit with my “granpuppy” Bonnie. Brett’s twin sister Jana (an actor and entrepreneur who’s now working from home in Atlanta) sends me short videos of cute animals she finds online. We laugh a lot. My husband and I laugh a lot too, making sure we intersperse the news and action movies with comedies and comedians. Laughter is good for the soul.
What I’m Learning About Myself
I’m strong, I’m resilient, and I’m a woman of faith who is not afraid of death. Though I remain stubbornly optimistic that my husband and I will get through this pandemic just fine despite our being vulnerable, we know we will live even if we die. We will live in the hearts of our children and friends. And we will live forever with our Creator.
What’s YOUR Story?
What have you learned about yourself or others? What are you saying to children? How are you protecting your health? How are you growing? What concerns you most?
We’d love to hear. Please share with us in the Comment Box below.
Wish you joy and good health!