NO, I am not selling anything, despite my use of this hackneyed infomercial phrase.
More learning. So much to learn. All of us are learning more than we wanted to know about coronaviruses in general and Covid-19 in specific. I’m learning details about symptoms, timelines, clinical courses of illness. All that good stuff that’s helpful to know when interacting with individuals who may be ill or recovering, as well as anxious community members.
And how to prevent spread. Stay home, wash your hands, keep your distance. We are all learning the challenges involved in such a disruption of our usual days and habits.
As you likely know from my earlier posts, I’m doing a bit of medical volunteer work these days, checking in on the ill individuals recovering at an emergency shelter nearby. Tomorrow will be a week since the shelter opened, and the first person admitted was discharged yesterday. On the days I’m there, I spend time talking (from a 6 foot distance) with each resident. How are they today, what’s better, what’s worse, do they have any questions? Like everyone at the shelter, I wear a mask (the simple kind) and gloves for protection while working.
Today, after finishing rounds, I removed my mask and gloves, applied a squirt of hand sanitizer and said my thank yous and goodbyes. Arriving at my car, I took out my hearing aid. Yeah. One. Hmmmmm. I’m sure I started out with one in each ear. Crap. I bet it came off when I removed my mask. So soon enough I was back inside, donning a second mask and gloves and feeling guilty for consuming more than my share of PPE, and heading to the wastebasket. Fortunately, on top of the pile was the mask and gloves I had removed minutes before, with my hearing aid tangled in the elastic ear loops. Phew. It may be getting close to time to update my hearing aids, but I really didn’t want my hand forced, and I’m pretty sure that’s not an essential service these days.
Two unexpected learnings for me. I’m still getting used to masks with elastic loops that hook around the ears as in my practice days we had the masks that tied, and when I was in practice before, I wasn’t wearing hearing aids. If I can learn about virus’ behaviors and symptoms to watch for, I can also learn to be careful of hearing aids and mask elastics. Interestingly, it’s easier for me to pick up and amend intellectual material than it is to change old motor habits. But hearing aids aren’t cheap, so that’s a motivator, too.
In this time, with such stress, a pervasive sense of emergency and crisis, it’s very easy to get stuck in that mode. I’m challenging myself and encouraging others to remember to slow down and look for what is working. Look for beauty, goodness, growth. Take a breath. Appreciate that even as there is hardship and difficulty, there is good. So today I close with a photo from my garden. A crocus, and a bee busily working away. Life does go on. Peace and healing to us all