Day 579, How Do You Adapt to the War With COVID-19?

Colorado Official State Web Portal (April 5, 2020)

 

Sunday Morning

 
Many of you are probably getting cabin fever by now.  Almost all U.S. states have reported at least one death from COVID-19, and all fifty have reported at least one case.
 
Most of us are asking, “When will this end?”  Let us look on the bright side of things.  Most of us now have a rare opportunity to spend extensive time with our families.  Others of us who have to work are doing it because it fills an essential function.  Doing that under such critical conditions means those who do are heroes in society.
 
Doctors and nurses are saying they are happy to help others but never realized their profession would put them at such intense personal risk.  A couple of weeks ago, I drove my husband to see his nurse practitioner.  She said she had decided she could no longer be passive about the situation.  It was not called a pandemic yet but soon would be.
 

Adapting to the War

 
What is the best way to adapt to the current circumstances?  Generally, I feel content to spend most of my time reading and writing.  However, in the past week or so, I have watched television more than ever.  And I have spent a lot of time talking on the telephone.  Notice the prefix ‘tele-.’  It means ‘to or at a distance.’  As we practice social distancing, our whole life seems to be ‘at a distance.’
 
Since I dislike crowds and high-density living, ‘tele-’ seems to suit me.  It gives me space, and I need that.  However, I do crave connection, even if it is distance contact.  I called my former neighbor, Jacque.  She is 88-years-old, living in a multi-high-rise retirement center.  If the COVID-19 virus were to spread in that center, it could cause many deaths.  Thankfully, the management has protected the residents, and according to Jacque, there is not one case of Coronavirus among them.  However, tight security means that I cannot visit her at this time.  She does have a telephone, though, and the ability to use it.  For that, I am grateful.
 
Another friend in Utah got sick.  We thought it might be COVID-19.  I awaited his test results anxiously.  Thank goodness, they were negative.  My 80-year-old mother likes to travel and does not mind running errands.  Neither I nor anyone else in my family has been able to persuade her to stay home.  The chance of contracting COVID-19 may be less in her county than mine, but I am not convinced that her location is safe.  She also has a chronic condition, which puts her at a higher risk of having complications from the infection.   At least, she canceled her plans for a cruise in Norway this summer!
 

Meditation

 
Am I reminding you of your canceled plans also?  What do we do for vacation this year?  To me, vacation is anywhere I can read a book.  However, most of you probably had more earthy plans than that.  Maybe you intended to visit relatives.  Maybe my last blog post got you thinking about the ocean.
 
 
One reason people go on vacation is to relax.  The problem?  Many times vacations are not relaxing.  One thing you can try instead of vacation is meditation, perhaps a guided meditation set to ocean waves.
 
You may already have a meditation practice, but if this war has interrupted it, for your mental health, please reinstate it.   [I have recently resumed mine, and the benefits are already apparent.]
 
Benefits of meditation from my ebook, Joyful Vibrance:  Transform Your Body Image, Energy, and Mood!, include:
 
  1. affects the epigenetic markers on genes in a positive way
  2. awareness
  3. attention span
  4. better blood pressure
  5. creativity
  6. decreased anxiety and depression
  7. focus
  8. happiness
  9. health and healing
  10. improved memory retrieval
  11. an increased amount of gray matter or number of neurons in the brain
  12. increased size of the hippocampus in the brain, which is crucial to memory formation
  13. learning ability
  14. a feeling of safety
  15. lowered cortisol (a stress hormone)
  16. lowered stress levels
  17. mental health
  18. pain management
  19. positive mindset
  20. relaxation
  21. relief from PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder) symptoms
  22. relinquishing of preconceptions
  23. will power
 
Of course, I cannot make you meditate, but I challenge you to try it and see if your life is more peaceful and happy, and you are better able to concentrate amidst all this confusion.  
 
Chiropractor
 
I just got word that my chiropractor may get shut down.  His email is asking me to appeal to the governor for an exception.  The rationale is that he is serving an essential function.  I also learned today that Colorado is the thirteenth worst state for COVID-19 cases.  We have more COVID-19 per capita than California.  I think I will side with the governor.
 
Our chiropractor wrote back later and said that he had been exposed to someone with COVID-19.  Even though he is symptom-free, he is taking “an abundance of caution” and not adjusting anyone for two weeks.  Then he will screen all of his patients by taking their temperature before they even come in the office.
 
By the way, my chiropractor’s patients were able to convince the governor that chiropractic is an essential function, like food and medicine, so I will be able to see him once he re-opens.  However, if I can wait for an adjustment, I may do so.  “One sick chiropractor can infect many.  Would that be worth it?” is the reply I emailed to him.
 

Wednesday Morning

 
The pandemic has worsened the past few days.  Last night, I was making noises of fright before going to sleep at night.  It is time for me to take a break from all the media and create some of my own.
 
My reaction to recent events had disrupted my “process” routines even before I got them fully established.  In some ways, I feel like a failure.  I have strengthened several relationships recently, though.  I feel whole about that.
 

Psychiatrist

 
Today, I have a remote visit with a different psychiatrist using Zoom.  To me, the psychiatrist is unfamiliar, and I have never used Zoom before.  I will see how it goes.
 
The first thing I want to do differently is to stop eating uncontrollably.   The pandemic has triggered a response in me.  I want to eat all the time, or at least much more than what I need to maintain my weight.  Of course, a psychiatrist will not help me with that.  My medications force me to eat more rather than less.  I remember that during one hospitalization, my doctor gave me Topamax (topiramate), which was supposed to help me lose weight.  I did not take it long enough to find out if it worked.  Instead, it kept me from being able to play the piano, and I was playing the piano for the children’s group at church.  I discontinued it.  It turns out that therapeutically, I did not need it.
 
I do not want to try any new medications presently, so it is wise not to complain of much.  I am affected by the pandemic like everyone else, but that does not mean I need a new medication to fix that.  I have suffered severe numerous side effects from experimenting with new drugs in the past.  I hope this doctor will give me medications I have proven to work for me.  If he is an experimenting doctor, I may have to go somewhere else.
 

My Seven Immediate Desires

 
 
IMMEDIATE DESIRES
 
But back to what my immediate desires are:
 
Anxiety Relief
1.  I am probably experiencing anxiety, not so much over money, (even though my renter, who supplies almost 25% of my income, lost her job) but over my inability to obtain certain things.  I am also concerned that I could bring COVID-19 home and transmit it to my 76-year-old husband, who is vulnerable.  I could even end up in the hospital with it myself, which could be a lonely death sentence.  I want a way to alleviate anxiety.
 
Depression Relief
2. Currently, I do not feel depression, but it comes and goes.  I have not figured out how to prevent it entirely.  My psychiatrist suggested a new medication.  I have questions about that since the drugs he mentioned can give me diabetes.  He also said to let go of SAMe, which may be driving me up and down, up and down.  I question that, though.  SAMe appears to be good for my joints.  Do I want to let go of it?  More research is necessary.
 
Obsession Relief
4. I want to let go of my obsession with the media.  It is interesting, but it is also confusing and time-consuming.  I do not need to get involved in the governors’ pleas for PPE (personal protective equipment) and ventilators.  Still, I applaud the inventors, innovators, and manufacturers who are seeking solutions to the current equipment supply that otherwise may not meet our needs at the apex of the curve.  Focusing on my blog instead of watching T.V. all the time may help me let go of my obsession.
 
Outdoor Walks
5. I want to get out for more walks, but I am having a hard time getting myself to do that.  Is it fear of COVID-19?  I went out last week with a neighbor, but we decided to discontinue our togetherness based on the governor’s orders.  We were keeping a six-foot distance between ourselves and between ourselves and everybody else, though I admit we were not perfect at it.  One person on T.V. said sunlight kills the virus.  However, that could be a myth.  I also heard that Florida sunshine has not diminished the pandemic there, at least not so far.  I will have to force myself out somehow–with a cloth mask or scarf.  I can make a list of reasons to do it.  Reviewing my mind map Circadian Code will probably help.
 
Sadness Relief
6. I am feeling angst over the collective suffering of the nation and the world.  Fortunately, this sadness is not the same as depression.  It is not as disabling.  Whether I need relief from this, I do not know.  It may fill a well of compassion in me, which could be a benevolent thing.  Let me feel some sadness.  I can learn from it, and it will not hurt me.
 
Overeating Relief
7. As I said, I want to regain control of my eating.  I learned through the media that I am not alone in overeating in response to the pandemic.  You may be experiencing something similar.  I do not have solutions at present.  Even my tried and true solution of using Cronometer is not curbing my appetite.  However, I can say, “I hear you.”  For this, let me try reviewing my mind map Achieve 50 kg daily and see what I can do.  This mindmap works in peacetime.  I am not sure about war.
 

Friday Morning

 
My Zoom interview with my APN went okay.  However, I could tell he wanted to experiment on me.  I am a bit leery about that.  He listened to me talk about my history with different medications and took it seriously, which I appreciate.
 
Colorado now has almost 100 [now 126] deaths from COVID-19, including one in our county.  I do not think there have been any outbreaks in retirement centers here, even though there have been 27 [now 30] outbreaks at residential and non-hospital health care facilities throughout Colorado.  I am very grateful that Jacque and all of her friends have been spared.
 

The Four Tendencies

 
I have been reading Gretchen Rubin’s book The Four Tendencies. The book has given me some insight into how to motivate people, including my husband.  I am a Questioner, and my husband is a Rebel.   The other two tendencies are Upholder and Obliger.
 
 
Responds to External Expectations
Responds to Internal Expectations
Upholder
Yes
Yes
Questioner
No
Yes
Obliger
Yes
No
Rebel
No
No
 

Expectations

 
An Upholder responds to internal and external expectations.  The Questioner responds to inner expectations.  The Obliger responds to external expectations, and the Rebel responds to neither.
 
The Rebel does whatever he or she wants.  The Questioner responds to an expectation if it makes sense to him or her and asks a lot of questions.  The Obliger responds to external expectations.  However, he or she may get overloaded and break down into Obliger-rebellion.  Upholders love rules, and Rebels hate them.  Many CEOs are Upholders.
 

Questionnaire

 
It took me a while to figure out what tendency I have.  I scored the highest for Questioner on Gretchen’s questionnaire.  However, I questioned the accuracy of the results.  That is funny.  I guess that questioning pegs me right there.  Questioners like to do research and get lots and lots of info.  They are always changing their routines to find the most efficient one.  Upholders tend to stick to their routine.  Rebels will not follow a routine at all, and Obligers need their routines externally mandated.
 

Questioner-Rebel Pair

 
As a Questioner, what is the best way for me to get myself back in gear amidst this COVID-19 pandemic?  There I go with a question again!  How can I help my Rebel husband?  According to Gretchen Rubin, the answer is not to put him on a schedule.  I think the answer is to get him in touch with what he wants and let him know the consequences of his actions.
 
I have not been able to coax my husband into a shower for some time.  I finally asked him if he wanted to take a shower some time, without specifying when, and he said, “yes.”  Okay, I get it, he wants to shower sometime, but holding him to a specific schedule is not going to work.  After waiting for approximately six months, I persuaded him to shower.  How long can we go this time?  Maybe I should do some research on the consequences of not showering.
 

Family Tendencies

 
If my husband was an Obliger like my father was, I could tell him to do it, and he would do it.  I am not sure what my mother is, but she is probably an Upholder.  She balances internal and external expectations.  She is very organized and manages a variety of activities.  When my father was alive, she kept him on schedule and organized.  My father was always helping many people, but he depended on others to initiate things.  He was not one to keep a to-do list.  If you asked him to do something later, he would forget it.
 
I suspect that I am a Questioner, my husband is a Rebel, my mother is an Upholder, and my father was an Obliger.  None of these tendencies is better than the others.  They all have unique challenges and strengths.  You can be successful in any of the tendencies if you manage them correctly.
 

Read It Yourself

 
You may want to read The Four Tendencies yourself and figure out what tendency you have.  It will give you some keys on how to motivate people, including yourself.  If you are an Upholder, you may not be able to fit another book into your rigid routine.  If you are an Obliger, you probably will not read it unless an authority figure in your life asks you to.  If you are a Rebel, you likely will not read it unless you want to.  It will do no good simply to ask you.  If you are a Questioner like me, you may read it to find out more.
 

Routine

 
As a Questioner, I have great difficulty sticking to a routine.  I am always questioning my rituals and then changing them.  I even doubt whether I should follow a procedure at all.  When I do, I tend to become very productive, like an Upholder.  However, unlike an Upholder, I question myself out of my rituals.  I am always looking for the next new thing.  I want more information all the time.
 
When Mom asks me to do something, I ask her a lot of questions, even before committing to helping her.  She gave up asking me to do things for a time.  I was okay with that, not wanting her to drive me externally.  I have trouble responding to some of my internal expectations as well because I question what I am doing to address them.  Even though I may have a perfectly good routine going, I may interrupt it.
 
Lately, I have had so many questions about COVID-19 that I have stopped almost all of my routines.  Perhaps now is the time to say I have satisfied most of my need for new information and get myself back on track.  Again, I am questioning myself:  is it time?  I do not need to morph myself into an Upholder.  Instead, I can capitalize on my strengths as a Questioner.  I can focus on why I do my routines.  I keep lists of why I do things; I need to review them.
 
[The solution of getting back to my meditation is an answer to my anxiety around COVID-19.  The answer is not some new thing.  It is tried and true.  I only need 5:21 minutes a day.]
 

Prayer

 
 
MORNING PRAYER
 
Dear Lord,
 
Death Toll
The pandemic goes on and on.  Almost 7,000 [now 9326] people in the United States have already died.  Public health doctors, Anthony Fauci and Deborah Birx have warned that hundreds of thousands of Americans may die, even if we follow all the recommended public health guidelines.  That is sobering.
 
Symptoms
So far, I seem to have some symptoms of hay fever but not the dreaded COVID-19 virus.  I have not felt too cooped up.  I prefer being at home.  However, I have found it virtually impossible to focus on my projects.
 
Purpose
Perhaps it is time to reflect on my purpose.  Why do the things I want to do?  As I learn, I sometimes change my course.  Is that always for the better?  Maybe not.  Help me to integrate my knowledge in such a way that my actions are congruent with where I want to go.  David of the Bible said in Psalm 23 that You would guide him along the right paths.  Will you do that for all of us as well?
 
Guidance
Speaking of guidance, I could use some right now.  I try to make you the Source of my internal expectations.  Perhaps we all could use some direction.  Even a simple misstep into the wrong area of town could spell doom.  Authorities have counseled us to stay home.  People are chafing under that recommendation, but perhaps this is the time to clean out our closets, literally and figuratively.
 
Questioner
Lord, I have learned that I am a Questioner.  I do not like to do anything unless it makes sense to me.  I work diligently to obtain information that pertains to improving my mood and energy.  However, I still struggle with both my joy and vibrancy.  I am writing this blog to help others with the same goals.  However, I am an imperfect model.
 
Is It Worth It?
Lord, should I close down this blog?  What purpose does it serve?  I am going to die anyway, maybe sooner than I thought.  I am not depressed, Lord, but I have lost sight of my purpose.  America is hoping to possibly save the lives of 2.2 million people, at the cost of 2.2 trillion dollars.  That is one million dollars for every life saved.  Is it worth it?  Many would say, “yes.”  Some may not.  Who decided it was worth it?  A billionaire?  Okay, I understand.  I suppose we are all worth more than one million dollars, but who is going to pay?  Our children?  
 
Perhaps it would be more damaging to the economy (more than 2.2 trillion dollars) if 2.2 million people died.  How could I figure that?  I am glad America places a premium value on the lives of its citizens.  I almost cried when I saw the U.S. House pass the relief bill.  It was an act of compassion.  But so expensive!
 
Britain
Two prominent public figures in Britain have COVID-19, Prince Charles and Boris Johnson, showing that the virus is no respecter of persons.  They will probably recover.  However, the disease is no fun for anyone.  
 
Lord,
 
Masks
Another day has passed.  Colorado Governor Polis asked us yesterday to start wearing cloth masks when out.  An Upholder would already be wearing a mask.  An Obliger just needs to be asked by an authority figure to wear a mask.  A Questioner will want to know all the reasons he or she should wear a mask.  A Rebel will say, “You can’t make me wear a mask.”  For me, a Questioner, Governor Polis has supplied sufficient reasons, so I asked Mom to sew me some masks.  That way, I will have a few to give away also.  I already agreed to give one to my neighbor if she needs it.  [Now my mother has already sewn them, and they will be in the mail tomorrow.]
 
Four Tendencies
Since yesterday, I have reflected more on The Four Tendencies.  For people I have known well, I can predict their tendency.  Gretchen’s theory helps explain a lot of their behavior.  I have been attracted to many Rebels.  It must be their freedom-loving ways that draw me.  Rebel freedom comes at a cost, though, to those who oblige them.  Even though I am a Questioner, I have had some Obliger behaviors.
 
Suffering
The cumulative weight of global suffering is torturous right now.  States are also coming up with relief packages.  Governments are asking landlords to relieve tenants.
 
Beauty in the Quarantine
Something beautiful happened this morning.  I listened to French orchestra members play in concert from their homes.  Their brief rendition of Bolero brought tears to my eyes.
 
NYC
NYC is the epicenter of the current pandemic.  NYC officials are begging for equipment and personnel.  Many people and organizations have already stepped up in response.  For a medical worker to drop all and go to NYC is to risk his or her life.  Yet he or she would potentially save many lives.  Already, people have responded to the call.
 
My Calling
My calling right now is to care for my husband and myself and stay healthy.  If I get sick, he will get sick.  If he gets sick, I fear the worst.  Either or both of us could die.  The featured Web portal graph shows that more Coloradoans in my age group, in their fifties, have fallen ill from COVID-19 than from any other age group.  Almost one percent (.95%) of them have died so far.  Only some have recovered.  6.42% of COVID-19 patients in my husband’s age group have already died.
 
Lord, bless us all.
 
Amen.
 
If you would like to join me on this journey from the beginning, please start with Day One.  If you wish to download a FREE copy of my ebook (with no need to enter your name or email), click on the book below.
 
 
 

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.