Island-Time Living is about more than just working from your laptop and being your own boss. It’s also about state of mind… about being at peace and in a place of low stress.
Last night I went to my neighbor’s safe social distance driveway movie and it’s normally just been the people on my street. The little get-togethers on our street have truly helped to keep us sane during the Coronavirus lock down, but this time was different. There were quite a few more people, many of whom I didn’t know, and their kids were running around playing with each other in close proximity.
A local restaurant owner even showed up and was selling ice cream, and chips and salsa out of his pickup. He was the only person there wearing a mask and gloves.
Fortunately, my neighbor who hosted the driveway movie had marked the ground every six feet with red tape so people knew where to set up their chairs, but I had to ask two of our friends to please move their chairs away a little further from our spot. Am I the crazy one? She was surprised by my request for space, but we’ve all been self-isolating for 10 weeks now and I don’t want that effort to be for nothing.
Since 1998 my nervous system has been affected by chronic Epstein Barr Virus and I’ve been unable to work and on disability three separate times because of it. I’ve learned to have a healthy respect for viruses and their effects. Some use us as hosts for the rest of our lives, so I’ve taken COVID-19 pretty seriously. I don’t want it.
One of my neighbors just got over breast cancer and I normally see her wearing a mask when she’s out walking with her son, but last night even she was without a mask. Her husband came over to tell me that she was mad at him because he’d gone back to the gym. Understandably so, she’s high risk. He was invigorated by his workout, but said he was seriously in the dog house at home.
I asked him, “If she got sick or God forbid died, would going to the gym really have been worth it?” He smiled through his guilt and sarcastically said, “We’ll see!” An old mentor of mine would have called my neighbor’s actions extremely selfishness and self-centered. His wife is still recovering from cancer!
I’ve counselled quite a few couples through my profession as a wedding officiant and told him that if he wants her anger to subside, avoid the gym for now and find a different outlet.
I then asked his wife why she wasn’t wearing a mask when she normally does and she told me it was because of peer pressure… that no one else at the driveway movie was wearing a mask. “Wow!” I thought to myself. “She’s not only healing, but is a psychologist and is still succumbing to the guilt of being afraid of the Coronavirus. What does that mean for the rest of us?”
I gotta be honest… she shook my confidence in our ability as Americans to get this virus behind us. If a psychologist doesn’t want to be the one person wearing a mask and can’t stick to a plan to protect herself from Coronavirus while recovering from cancer, how is the general public supposed to keep themselves safe?
So, for starters please give yourself permission to protect yourself if you feel so inclined. Feeling shameful or guilty for wearing a mask or gloves is really silly. It’s new and so it’s awkward, but quite rational to wear PPE and I assume we’ll see people wearing masks here in the U.S. from now on, like it’s been in Asia for years.
What is safe social distance?
What’s expected and how are we supposed to act? Is six feet between people enough if no one’s wearing masks? Do I have the right to have an opinion, or to judge others for what they’re doing? Why am I so disturbed by everyone’s lack of respect for the virus and willingness to forget about the past ten weeks of being stuck at home because of danger?
Arizona currently ranks dead last in testing. That means we have no idea who’s infected and while 60% of those who catch SARS-CoV-2 will be asymptomatic and not get sick, the other 40% will get quite ill and some of those people will die. Others might have long-term health issues. We don’t know because the data is still unreliable.
I believe safe social distance is 6 to 10 feet between people as long as no one’s sneezing or coughing. Face masks are definitely recommended for closer contact than that. If you’re looking for the best info I’ve found on COVID-19, check out Chris Martenson at Peak Prosperity.
Because of Chris Martenson’s daily videos we know that too much focus is being placed on treatment and not enough is being placed on prevention. According to many health officials a second wave is all but guaranteed. We must stop the spread and here’s why:
Why is this coronavirus so bad?
- spreads asymptomatically AND via droplets and aerosols
- it’s been found in the air conditioning systems of buildings
- can take up to 27 days before infected person has symptoms (not 2 weeks)
- cases can last longer than 50 days for some
- causes blood clotting issues that really affects the lungs
- even mild cases can cause what looks to be lifelong damage
- has a very high serious complication rate – 15% pneumonia and up to 5% requiring intensive care, which is complicated
- 10 to 20 times deadlier than the flu (if hospitals aren’t overrun)
- 3 to 5 times more contagious than the flu
- evidence that you can get it again and second exposure is worse
- no natural herd immunity
- no vaccine available and will you actually be first in line to get it?
- virus can live on plastic and metal for up to 9 days
- damages multiple organs including lungs, kidneys, gut, heart and testes
- loss of sense of smell and taste
- causes heart attack and stroke
- multiple waves are all but guaranteed
- NOT THE FLU!
The kids I saw last night had me worried. They were playing with each other in close proximity, as if nothing is going on and their parents didn’t seem to care. I saw my neighbor’s teenager welcome three of her friends into their home, and two other teenagers showed up with a group of their friends too. Their parents then invaded my family’s space to start a conversation and NO THANKS!
After they sandwiched me in between their conversation while showing off a new puppy, I decided that the path of least resistance was to leave the driveway movie, so I did. Fortunately, my house is only a few steps away. I thought about grabbing one of my masks and going back to the driveway movie, but I had already mentally checked out.
The CDC’s website says, “Avoid gatherings of any size outside your household, such as a friend’s house, parks, restaurants, shops, or any other place. This advice applies to people of any age, including teens and younger adults. Children should not have in-person playdates while school is out.”
So, what are we supposed to do about safe social distance? When will I feel safe enough to grab the sun screen or bug spray handed to me without stressing about the virus being on that container? Am I going to live life as some fear-based germaphobe? My grandparents were super thrifty because they were scarred by the Great Depression. Are my kids going to show their Coronavirus scars by being lifelong germaphobes, avoiding shaking hands, hugging, or showing physical affection?
God, I hope not.
We, the last two generations of Americans have been asked to do very little for our freedom. My grandpa was shot down in WWII and kept in a German prison camp for over 2 years! Can’t we suck it up and respect safe social distance protocol for a few months?
We need to stop the spread, but we also need to tend to our emotional and psychological states. We need to STAY SANE. That’s why my neighbors threw a driveway movie to begin with.
So, here’s my two cents after last night’s get-together…
How to be happy during coronavirus
- ACT yourself into right thinking
- Have a spiritual practice of some kind. Wake up and meditate for a few minutes, or pray. Go outside to listen to the morning and soak in the sunrise.
- Walk barefoot on the Earth to ground yourself. Science says it boosts health.
- Stay connected by making phone calls and video calls with the people you care about. Tell them why they matter to you, or how they positively impacted your life.
- Read. Now’s a great time for self-development. Check out these 100 books that changed people’s lives.
- Skill-up and become more self-reliant and in turn, more marketable. There has never been a better time to learn how to make money using a computer from home.
- Exercise. You don’t need the gym. Rocky dragged tires and carried logs! Do push ups, sit ups, walk, jog, lunges, squats, stretching, yoga, guided videos on Amazon Prime…
- Improve your diet. I’ve seen both ends of the spectrum during this Coronavirus outbreak. Would you prefer to emerge from self-isolation fatter, or in better shape?
- Work on your relationships. Find things to do with your kids and various ways to help your spouse or partner. It’s guaranteed to lift your spirits.
- Envision your future and plan for it. Figure out where you’d like your life to be in three years and work backwards to create action steps that you can take to get you there.
- Finish those projects around the house you’ve been putting off
- Start a garden and restore your connection to food
- Start and end every day by writing a gratitude list. List 10 things each time you put pen to paper. I am truly happy and grateful for…
- Get outside. Sunbathe responsibly, walk, jog, bike, garden, etc.
- Learn to make masks
- Stop watching the news
- Watch comedies and shows that make you laugh
- Find an online community of people who are improving their lives. There are plenty of social media groups.
There are so many things you can do to keep your thinking positive. COVID-19 is terrible for sure, but you can use this situation to actually better your life. One of the things that makes America great is that we get tough when the tough get going. We suck it up and get things done. We kick ass!
Stay safe and healthy.
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