Sheltering In Place

A rainy day. Somehow it seems more like October than March. As the rains have fallen this week, color has begun to creep across the landscape.

I have not posted in a while. The simple tasks of everyday life have taken over, along with fretting and, at times, worrying. The constant barrage of information, misinformation, and outright lies, and the challenge of trying to differentiate between them, have been difficult to weather. This week it has become clear that the competing versions of reality in our social world are more fragmenting than ever.

We’ve been trying to be reassuring to others, while reinforcing the seriousness of the situation. Often this feels very much like tightrope walking. All the spinning of information creates a stiff and unpredictable wind that threatens to toss one off the rope so we do what we are able to create a safety net for self and others.

We’ve also been sheltering in place, a nod to my Polio weakened lungs. Working form home means joining much of the world online. We have better than average internet but the demand on the system has slowed everything down and resulted in often highly fragmented, pixelated meetings. Much too often we are thrown offline, making working with individuals and families challenging at best.

The isolation created by sheltering in place creates, for me, profound memories of the Polio years, especially the nine months I spent in isolation after leaving the hospital. Strangely, there is almost no mention in the media of the Polio years, a time when most summers brought terror, social distancing, and illness and death. Further back are the flu epidemic of 1918, and further still, the innumerable settler induced epidemics that ravaged my forebearers.

In the present, we are online most days working with individuals and families who are trying mightily to navigate the present turmoil. The stress on individuals and families is enormous, and is largely ignored by governments. Particularly challenging is the expectation that parents will be home school teachers, playmates, and recreation leaders, while working, cooking, cleaning, and trying to find time for self care. This is, of course, an impossible task. If you are a parent and find yourself in this situation, please be kind to yourself!  If you are at home alone, social support is even more important!

Please do reach out for support; we are truly all in this together even as we practice physical distancing.


16 thoughts on “Sheltering In Place

  1. You are right, Michael. We are living in very challenging times now and all of us need to behave to others with empathy and protect the souls, who are in high risk for this virus.
    Social isolation is a real thing now. In Spain, we are locked down and only allowed to walk outside of our homes to do the most necessary. For parents this is a huge challenge, as the kids are used to stay much outdoor and together with friends and now even the playgrounds are closed with police tape. All this for the good of all, but very difficult for kids to understand and for many youth to accept, as they feel invincible and don’t mind so much in their dangerous ways of acting.
    Good to hear, that you are creating safety nets to support others too.
    Take good care of yourself and your family.

    1. Irene, it is good to hear from you. Certainly things there are much worse than here, although that will likely change. The number of new cases is growing rapidly in he US, and we live in one of the very active zones. For now, our community is not recording many cases, but we know this is a time to get ready for the inevitable. Sadly, many of our politicians are creating the conditions for disaster…….

      The good thing is that spring is coming and we can get out for walks., at least for now.

      Do take care and keep me informed as to your well being.

      1. Good that you have a chance to get out for walks, Michael. Enjoy it, while you can.
        I’m only allowed to walk shortly with Odin and to go buying the most needed. Otherwise only staying indoor at home.
        The last new rule is, that only one person in each car is allowed, so no help for shopping possibilities any longer.
        I got a virus, which broke out, when I went home from Denmark. If it was this Corona, I don’t know, as my doctor didn’t want to test for it. I think, we have a lack of test set here, so they only test the most seriously sick people, who end up in hospital.
        Though it would be nice to know, if I already had this virus, so I don’t need to worry so much about it for the next years. That kind of test doesn’t exist yet.
        It is first now, I start to get energy again after the virus, so now I try to create new jewelry daily, when I can find inspiration for this. I use to find inspiration in the nature, but for now I need to find it in other ways.
        Take good care of yourself and your wife.

  2. Hi Michael! I haven’t written anything on my blog since May, due to worries about my new house with major defects, and stress, stress, stress. Now there is this virus….
    Life changes so fast. This morning, I turned on the news and heard politicians wasting time blaming one another for the ‘mis-handling’ of the unknown–a foolish waste of time. So I turned the TV off, went outside, listened to birdsongs, and pulled spring weeds. I have to admit, at this point, I am soul-tired!

    1. Mary, the early arrival of spring is a blessing! So much insanity out there! We are trying to give clients reasonable information in the face of all the denial, while not adding to the panic. The politicians are hopeless, Anyway, birds are a source of great comfort for us!

    1. Thank you, Lara. We are well so far, and appreciate receiving good sources of information. We also get updates from insurers and other sources as well; the hope is that we can give clients sane information and advice…… although everything changes with remarkable speed. I hope you are well.

  3. Isolation is so painful, I hope that having your wife with you and access to others through social media helps to weaken the ghosts from the past. We are continually assessing when to go back to Michigan. Our quality of life in isolation is much better here in Florida than it is in Michigan at the time in the calendar. Our Canadian friends had to go back because their insurance won’t cover covid-19 treatment here. It does take a lot of energy and intelligent reasoning to sort it all out. I feel sorry for people with anxiety issues or who have difficulty with reasoning. I am now reaching out to people I know as a way of helping.

    1. Pat, We are doing well, working remotely and videoing with family. We actually see family in person when reasonably safe to do so. We have been out for strolls and trips to the bakery. Otherwise, home. Makes sense to me that you would stay in Florida for a while. At some point though I suspect Florida will face a tidal wave of virus cases. Warmth has not protected CA. Anyway, wishing you wellness.

      1. Rick Scott said that Florida hasn’t had nearly enough tests. I know that there are lots of people who are carriers but without symptoms here. At this time of year the vast majority of people have come from somewhere else. Florida is just lagging behind – but I too believe it will get really bad.

      2. Sorry – it is Rick DeSantis and not Rick Scott. But the result the same. Our country is acting and people seem to be staying home.

  4. What you say is so true and you say it so well!
    I am French, but I don’t know why, I have a lot of affection for the Natives, I read a lot about ; I am very sensitive to what happened, conquest of their lands, annihilation of their faith, diseases, broken promises ….
    I have been thinking these last few days about the diseases that Europe has brought. The fear, the suffering felt by these infected people!
    I hope all men people become aware of the mistakes we make. There are values that must be given priority: love, friendship, solidarity…
    It would be nice to put profit, power and money in the background.
    We always learn from our mistakes.

    I wish you to stay healthy. You are strong! You have resisted poliomyelitis, take care of yourself, you will resist this pandemic.

    Excuse my bad English…

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