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.