Bell Let’s Talk Day
February 1, 2020

COVID 19 in the Year 2020

When I first heard of Coronavirus I brushed it off like many others. It sounded like SARS – serious and the need to be cautious for certain people but I didn’t feel it applied to me or my family. People began to panic and clear out the stores and I still thought they were over reacting. I mean, who needs that much toilet paper for a respiratory infection? What I wasn’t thinking about was a long period of self quarantine. I wasn’t thinking ahead to what supplies we did and didn’t have in our home.

Then it moved to Italy and all kinds of people began to die including the Italian actor Luca Franzese whose sister died while they were in self isolation. His sister was 47 years old. Almost the same age as me. She didn’t die in an overtaxed hospital where they did everything they could to save her. She died at home with her brother who then was stuck inside with her body for 2 days before his appeal on Youtube finally lead to someone taking her body away. Other less famous people were not as lucky.

I don’t write all this to scare people. I write it because it made me come to my senses and realize that this could be much more serious than I thought. Thankfully I have a job where I can work from home and an employer that is taking social distancing seriously. I feel very supported as we move into these uncharted waters. I have a grown son who spends all his time on video games and talking to people virtually – I’m not sure other than our lectures about cleanliness and social distancing that even realizes anything is different. Our 16 year old is a very social kid and this is really taking a toll on him and of course he is well beyond all the online ideas of what to do to keep kids from getting bored. My husband Adam is practical, stoic and awesome as usual.

Myself. Well you all know I struggle with depression and anxiety. Thankfully my anxiety is not around cleanliness or germs or contagions so I am able to stay pretty calm. However, I do like to feel like I am in control and being on home isolation has taken that illusion of control away. I had joked initially that I am an introvert and have been practicing for this my whole life. Funny how being told I have no choice has suddenly made me anxious for contact and activity outside these four walls. Add to that one of the medications I am on makes me agitated for a few hours after taking it has made this a challenging time. In a bid to stay ahead of the depression and anxiety I headed out to Michael’s the other day and bought some supplies. I am now jumping from adult colouring to learning to crochet to completing a puzzle. This is on top of reading, working and watching TV. I’m trying not to go on social media as much as it was beginning to consume me looking for updates about the virus. I have a feeling I may be reading more of my Purple Project letters in the weeks to come.

Things I was really looking forward to have been cancelled. School is likely done for the year. We really are in uncharted waters and I think the best we can do is stay safe and stay flexible. Hopefully more employers will close their doors. We all need to keep in mind the essential employees that have to keep working during this time like cashiers, pharmacists, gas station attendants, hospital staff and so on. Be kind to others and be kind to yourself. I am here if anyone needs anything!!! tina1973@gmail.com

Tina Szymczak
Tina Szymczak
Tina Szymczak is a 40-something mom and wife with two spirited boys. She has worked in early intervention and as an advocate resource for families with a loved one with a disability. Now she also writes a blog about raising children with complex needs, trying not to lose your sense of self as you parent, and her struggles with mental health.

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