Wednesday, April 1, 2020

Coping In These Unusual Times by Diane Burton

Is anyone as mixed up as I am about days of the week? Hubs put out the trash a day early, and I'm almost a day late on this post. (I did remember to post for Insecure Writers Support Group today.)

I pray everyone is staying safe. Being at home for a month is a challenge, as I'm sure you know, especially if you have children. Working at home is nothing new for a writer. We joke about coming out of our cave after a lengthy writing session. Now, to protect ourselves and others, we hunker down in our cave. Thank goodness for social media that helps us connect with others. 

Darn Facebook.

As you can tell, I'm conflicted about Facebook. It keeps us in touch with family and friends. We get memes that make us laugh and lighten the tension. Then someone passes along false info. I'm careful to make sure I only share from reputable sites. I take the saying "consider the source" very carefully.

But FaceBook, like most social media, is a time suck. I tell myself I'll only check my profile page for a few minutes. An hour later . . . Well, I have to respond, don't I? Even if only an emoji. Then, I get upset when people turn it into politics. Please, not now. When this pandemic is over and we're all healthy again, that's when we can say what should have been done. Hindsight is 20/20. Still, we'll need to decide how we should proceed as a nation when something like this happens again.

What can we do? My colleagues here on Paranormal Romantics have given you so many great ideas:  Abigail Owens suggested what to do while we self-quarantine, Nancy Gideon told us how she's dealing with the anxiety we're all feeling, L.A. Kelley shared links to scientific discovery, Megan Slayer gave us something new to read,  Lea Kirk helped us laugh, and Elizabeth Alsobrook showed us how to make face masks. 

I can't do better. I'm having a hard time sticking with my writing. My mind is all over the place. As I said in my Insecure Writer's post, I haven't felt like this since 9/11. It's a national tragedy. We're inundated all day with news shows whose experts tell us what's happening around the country and what we can do.

Anxiety ramps up with each announcement from the reporters, from the White House, from the experts. I try not to watch too many news programs. Call me an ostrich as I hide my head in the sand or binge-watch movies or TV shows to escape. 

My heart goes out to those who've lost loved ones, who fear that they or their family will contract COVID-19, who've lost their jobs and worry how they will pay their bills. Amid all this anxiety, I thank the superheroes: the doctors, nurses, healthcare workers, and first responders. Let's not forget the grocery and drug store workers, those who work in restaurants where you can pick up a meal, and the truckers who bring much needed supplies. You all are the heroes of this war.

Stay safe. Stay at home unless you have an essential job. Please follow the guidelines to keep yourself and others safe. Who would've thought that handwashing and social distancing could defeat the unseen enemy?

We're in this for a long time. But, we're in this together. We can win the war.


Karen Baldwin said...

These times are strange and tough. I've told myself that I cannot waste this precious time. People used to say they're so busy, they have no time to read, or relax and watch TV, whether Netflix, documentaries, or other entertaining or informative shows. All those projects that we never have time there's the time.
This will pass. Life will get back to normal. We did after 9/11. You, I, and the world will be OK.

Diane Burton said...

Thanks, Karen. My daughter is finishing projects started many years ago and posts pics of them on Facebook. I love that she set up a schedule for her kids to keep them structured with school work, exercising, reading, etc. so they don't watch TV all day. Gotta admire those parents who are taking on the job of teaching when they don't have the skills but have the desire to keep their kids learning.

I keep comparing this to 9/11 for the emotional impact. Yes, it will pass. We'll be stronger and hopefully wiser.

Maureen said...

It is wonderful how many of our authors here are sharing great tips! Thanks Diane! It is a tough time for everyone.

Lucy K. said...

Good post, Diane. You've expressed what most of us are feeling.I think one of the hardest things to deal with is the total uncertainty. What's true today won't be true tomorrow. Don't wear a mask; now wear one. Go to the ER if you feel sick; now don't go, just call. I understand it; it's something we've never dealt with on this level before. Hopefully we'll learn lessons for the next time.I try to stay positive and not pass on anything that doesn't help people, while still taking as many precautions as I can. Stay safe and well!

Pamela S Thibodeaux said...

Staying healthy is the main goal right now. Not seeing children/grandchildren is the WORST for me...writing, editing, etc is business as usual - as is the Insurance industry.

Great post.

Take care and God bless!

Alicia Dean said...

Well said. This is a great post. Thanks for sharing. I'm not quarantined because my day job is considered essential. I WISH I was able to stay home and write and edit. I am concerned but not freaking out and just praying for our country, and the world. I agree, this is a time to come together and to support one another. The viciousness and attacks are unnecessary and counter productive.

Alina K. Field said...

Well said, Diane. It's a struggle to get words on the page and work on marketing while wondering when/if loved ones will catch this and how serious it might be for them. Sending prayers for the world!

Kara O'Neal said...

It is hard to write while the world is falling apart. The same thing happened for me during Hurricane Harvey. But I still sit and write because it takes my mind off of it. Sometimes you just need it to de-stress.

Denise Covey said...

We'll win this war. Just strange, isn't it? I don't mind staying at home, enjoy it in fact, but miss my children and family. I had to throw a virtual party on our deck to celebrate our daughter's wedding as we couldn't attend. Big party when this is over will help!

Keep safe and well. FB I hate, but it is the best place atm to keep in touch!

Diane Burton said...

Maureen, I'm amazed at all the great tips, too. Some are so simple, I thump my forehead "duh", why didn't I think of that?

Lucy, you're right about the uncertainty. Our leaders say one thing, scientists say something else. Crazy.

Pam, thanks. I always appreciate the blessings you send with your comments. We all need His help.

Alicia, I agree about the viciousness. We need to work together. For some of us, that means staying away from people. For others, like you, they're doing their jobs amidst fear.

Thanks, Alina. I quit struggling when my mind refuses to cooperate. The world needs lots of prayers.

Kara, for you it was Harvey;, for me it was 911. It's like my mind is swirling yet numb. Reading and watching movies helps, too.

Denise, I am so sorry you had to miss your daughter's wedding. How awful, though necessary. We'll have lots to celebrate when this war is over. If not for Facebook, I wouldn't get to see my grandchildren (FaceTime, too), greatnieces & nephews (babies) and hear how my family is coping.

Thanks, everyone, for your supportive comments. Something good will come of this crisis. We've learned a lot. I hope our government does, too. Please take care of yourselves.

Margo Hoornstra said...

Whew! Been wanting to leave a comment and couldn't. Now, hopefully, I can. Trying times indeed, but when you think about it, the 'cure' is so very, very simple for many of us. STAY HOME! We were down in Gulf Shores, Alabama when all of this started. It was amazing, and exceptionally disappointing, to see all of those who chose to ignore the warnings. My heart goes out to many of those, some of my kids included, who are considered essential and must keep going to work every day. The rest of us can make their jobs easier by doing our part. Stay away. Give them as much distance as they need. When you think about it, many of us have such a small sacrifice to make. Let's be determined to follow through with our sacrifice, until we all come out of this on the other side. Thanks, Diane for sharing.

Diane Burton said...

It is so simple. My heart goes out to those healthcare workers and first responders who are on the front lines fighting this unseen enemy so we can stay home.

We were planning to go to Gulf Shores this winter, but with Hubs' surgery we couldn't. I love that town. Stay safe, Margo.

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