LIVING THROUGH COVID-19

LIVING DURING THE COVID-19

LIVING THROUGH COVID-19

LIVING THROUGH COVID-19

LIVING THROUGH COVID-19

So the way we lived pre COVID-19 was different.  We know this.  We cannot pretend otherwise.  The way our parents, our children and our friends lived was different too.  Our work place and our work colleagues lived differently too.  

We have stories to tell. 

Speak to someone and they will tell you their story.  A new living: COVID-19.  Everyone has a story.  Some sad, some angry, some anxious, some confused.  Regardless, we all have a right to say our story.  And so we can all listen to someone else’s story too.  

Listening out for A new living: COVID-19 story

To speak and to listen.  To listen and to speak.  Either way, it’s essential.  Speak to relieve yourself.  Listen to relieve someone else.  It’s a partnership.  

So I asked for some contributions from some real people.  I asked how COVID-19 has affected an area of your life.  They spoke to me. They spoke to me and told me their story via a keyboard.  Have a look at what they wrote.

CONTRIBUTION 1 for LIVING THROUGH COVID-19

Worry about elderly during a new living: COVID-19:

My mother who was widowed last year and now lives alone was becoming upset, agitated and angry about her isolation.

She was getting nightly visits from my brother, multiple calls per day from myself and others (We live nearly 2 hours away) and occasionally her grandchildren could call in too – however –  no-one was allowed to touch her, had everyone had to wear masks etc as she is over 80, had to have a splenectomy and had a heart valve transplant last year, amongst other risk factors.

AFFECTION

The lack of physical contact was having a clear detrimental effect on her mental health, as my father and all of us have always been very tactile and affectionate – she had none of that since the COVID-19 crisis started and it was taking a huge toll..

I knew it was the isolation that was making mum focus inward and overthink and was leading to this agitation – I thought I knew how to help – and so I worked with my nieces who could handle the logistics as I checked on getting mum a companion – to arrange for a foster cat from a nearby rescue for my mother.  What better than another soul, a close pet friend and family member, , so she could have the comfort of touch, affection and close companionship.  

I called my mother, checked to see if she would be OK with fostering a cat – She was so pleased – she said yes straight away.

So we made sure we got a cat based on my mothers criteria, who was older, calm, gentle and sweet, we got the paperwork done to foster him. In less than 24 hours, we arranged the food, litter, toys and all the needs of the cat and he was dropped off to mum, who from that moment completely improved, in that moment she relaxed, the tension released, she was more connected, content and happy.

Now she had a very special someone else to focus on, to look after and to care for, and that took her out of her headspace and into action, in a way that relieved her loneliness, anxiety and agitation. 

HENRY

Mum has now christened her cat Henry, and she loves him and just a week after he was fostered – he has been adopted.  It is important that she had this friend, this new family member – and it is important to remember her condition for getting a pet was that should anything happen to mum, Henry would have a safe forever home with one of the family, because it was that reason she had been reserved about getting a pet.  Because pets need to have the assurance of a forever home, and our elderly deserve the companionship, knowing all will be well for their family – no matter what!

THE END OF CONTRIBUTION 1 – living through COVID-19

May I say that this surely shows the importance of adding to ones life when so much has been taken away.  Whether a cat, a dog, a bird, a mouse, or whatever.  Something to keep you grounded, calm, loved, interacted, connected and many more advantages.  I truly hope you love your new home Henry.  You are surely amazing.  What an inspiring story.  

Thank you for your contribution.

CONTRIBUTION 2 for LIVING THROUGH COVID-19

I live with my parents who are both aged 77 years of age.

Upon hearing of the news of COVID 19 both my parents have been restricted to our family home. 

My father has a lower immune system as he has recently had a number of surgeries and for his health it is safer for him to remain home.

THINGS HAVE CHANGED

They would go out for a walk along the beach front until we heard there have been a number of cases in our suburb

They haven’t even gone out for groceries this is a role that my siblings and I have taken for them.

This has taken away their independence from doing basic things to now having to according to them “rely” on others. It’s measures we have to take to try and avoid contracting this virus.

END OF CONTRIBUTION 2 – – living through COVID-19

Thank you for your contribution.  I guess it really shows the impact that the elderly can have on us.  We see them differently now.  They have moved from just being “our parents” to fragile elderly that we must look after as best as we can.  Im not suggesting that we loved them less pre COVID-19.  Though we have a new attitude about their health and wellness being in danger. 

SAFETY

Im really loving the way we are looking after them and keeping them safe at home.  I hear wonderful stories about strangers looking after their elderly neighbours.  But let’s not forget those who are forgotten.  Those who don’t get the visit.  Not all of them have devices which they can use to email or face time.  This saddens me.  

I know I make more effort now to smile more at the elderly when I am outside going for a run (if I see any), or if I am doing a quick grocery run.  It’s almost like we look at young babies with innocent care and attention.  Well I see the elderly are just as vulnerable.

CONTRIBUTION 3 for LIVING THROUGH COVID-19

Well, where to start 

I’m blessed all my family member are well and healthy I don’t have anyone that is sick or needing day to day therapy. My mum who is 80 and in good health I had self isolated her early along with my 2 kids 9 and 12 when they had recommended if you are able to keep your kids at home I did.

My mother in law on the other had is in a nursing home and we are unable to visit her. This is not only sad for her but also the whole family especially my father in law. 

I’m lucky My family lives in my mothers home along with her, so I didn’t need or have to worry about not seeing her. Or worrying if she was okay. 

THE KIDS

My children are now being home schooled, one in year 5 and the other her first year in high school. Thank goodness they are very high tech especially my daughter who is in year 7.  I feel that I’m not so computer literate and feel a little incapable of helping them to the best of my ability.

But once again they are high achievers and are taking this on as a challenge. I don’t know for how long this will run smoothly and yes it’s all new so for now it’s all good.

MELTDOWNS

In saying all that we do have meltdowns and my son is very emotional at times and will cry at times. And when asked why he tells me I don’t know I just feel sad. He misses his friends he misses his soccer he misses his every day interaction with others. He is such a social person. 

Both my kids are FaceTiming friends and relatives but I feel that both my kids spend far too much time on social media and devices. But that’s a battle for another time not now

I can also see in his day to day life his behaviour has developed some different routines some good some not so good. 

QUESTIONS

He always is asking if I have a shower will I be clean enough not to get sick.

If I wash my hands will I be safe 

And if I brush my teeth then I don’t need to go to the dentist. 

If I stay safe I won’t need to go to the hospital and will not catch anything. 

My daughter, I don’t see anything different in her she gets on and does her school work each day with very little complaining. She is ahead of her lessons and has gotten very good feed back from her teachers. 

She is loving the time doing her cooking lessons from home. 

BUT

But I’m sad for her first year in high school new friends new places new teachers and most of all – the independence taken away.

Like I said she is fine. I’m just scared will she crack because she has it so well together. 

No one sleeps. We go to bed late and wake up late. It’s like we sleep the day away or don’t get out of bed cause we don’t want to face reality. 

PANIC

I fall asleep for short periods of time and wake up in a panic. 

Or when I wake up I forget for a while then remember and start to cry.

Everyday I worry. I worry when I leave home for work. 

To go to the shops, I worry.  I worry when I have to take my mum out to the doctor. 

Every day I worry. I hate watching the news or getting on and looking at social media. All my friends talk about on our chats is what’s going on now. It’s making me feel anxious that somedays I don’t look at my messages or want to pick my phone. I just want to live in denial.

WORRY

Am I worried about work. Yes will I get sick at work. Maybe no one knows are we safe now. I don’t know, will I have a job tomorrow. Who knows. Do I have bills? Yes it’s just the how long will this last?  For now I’m lucky. I’m now able to juggle work and be home for my kids and home schooling. Then in saying this I fight a battle everyday leaving them. And my son fights his own battle when I walk out the door.

I feel that everything is so unsure. Yes I’m scared for my kids. What this will do to their well-being and their personalities at the other end of this. 

RESPONSIBILITIES

I also feel I have no time for me. I’m a mum, worker, housekeeper, cook, wife, daughter to a elderly woman. And every day that goes by I say tomorrow is the start of the new me. But I wake up, have a coffee or two and start my day. This leads to not so healthy eating or just over eating. Oh and then dinner happens and the drinking starts. Just one beer or one wine or two with my elderly mother. 

Oh well tomorrow is another day let’s hope it’s a better one.

END OF CONTRIBUTION 3 – living through COVID-19

Wow what a story this one was.  So much emotion, so much uncertainty, so much fear.  I’m going to say, I am not surprised.  Your whole world has shifted.  Your relationships have new meaning now.  I truly believe so many people will resonate with this story.  You have become the voice for so many.  And I bet if you had more time, you would write a whole chapter.  

I hope you find some peace in your day.  Perhaps it would be nice to notice the curve flattening, the community coming together even whilst its apart.  The kids are fine.  They adapt.  They even have more time on screens and we all know they must love that.  

COMPASSION

I do feel for those in nursing homes.  They so much rely on family visits.  I even wonder about those in hospitals who really need the love and support from their loved ones and they are not allowed to visit.  Heart breaking.  

Remember we are safe at home, not stuck at home.  How lucky are you to watch your movies with your mum and share a drink.  Though I must stress that if drinking is excessive or used to distract or to unwind, then perhaps it may be healthier to think of some other options too.  A relaxing herbal tea often does the trick.  

FEAR AND WORRY

I also hear of some young kids who are feeling rather fearful and worried during this time.  There are great resources out on how to keep kids calm and reassured during such uncertain times.  I believe the schools have also prepared the kids too.   I wonder how much fear and worry your kids notice in you.  Sometimes it’s a good idea to do exactly what you are doing.  Turn off the news, get off social media and avoid the negativity. Look after your mental health

Thought this is to limit your COVID-19 diet, not to hide from it.   I say that it is important to be aware.  Not be afraid.

So my message to you is to be ok with being part of the solution.  Its clear you are not part of the problem so you can feel proud that you are doing your part.  

I wish you well and may you recover and take lots of care of yourself and your family.

This time won’t last for ever.  Think about how you want to live it and what attitude hat you choose to wear.  Finally we have permission to slow down.  And even then we complain that we are forced to slow down.  

Before you know it you will be rushing to sports, and all those social outings that you are probably use to.

So here we have it.  LIVING THROUGH COVID-19

A taste of what 3 people have experienced and voiced as a new living: COVID-19. 

Be safe and be well.  

We are in this together.

Amanda Dounis

Positive Thinking Clinic

1/7 Magdalene Terrace

Wolli Creek, 2205

0458 850 850

amanda@positivethinkingclinic.com.au

www.positivethinkingclinic.com.au