We are on day whatever of the pandemic. So far, many of us don’t see the light at the end of the tunnel yet. We’re trying to cope with things on a day to day basis, adjusting to what I referred to in an earlier column as “the new abnormal.”
Masks are the new accessory. Restaurants that are open have tables marked off limits to preserve social distancing. There are older friends I haven’t seen in months because their medical condition requires them to self-isolate. I miss them.
So far, other than saying occasionally that I hate the virus (who doesn’t?), I haven’t had a meltdown about the situation. I’m sure there are others who can’t say that, especially in the beginning of things when everything shut down.
But if you did melt down, I’m fairly sure you weren’t as adorable about it as 4-year-old Blake, who lives in Phoenix, Arizona. In a video that has gone viral, the little girl lists everything that’s wrong in her life.
“…everything that is fun has to be shut down. The only thing open is nothing. Nothing!” she says at one point, gesturing with her hands for emphasis.
According to the article I read on www.abc7news.com, her father videoed her and posted it on his Instagram account early in April. Her venting has touched a chord with many watching it.
The video, available at youtube.com/watch?v=v5VpmLFLcck, shows Blake recounting how the shutdown has affected her personally. When she talks about not being able to go to McDonald’s, her favorite restaurant, she’s moved to tears.
Even the fact that they can go through the drive-thru brings no comfort, because “it’s just boring” to sit and wait for your food instead of being in the playground, which is not boring.
(I’ve heard that some people have given the parents flack for taking the girl to McDonald’s period. Give the parents a break. What kid doesn’t love McDonald’s, and an occasional Happy Meal isn’t going to hurt the kid.)
Here’s hoping things are better for Blake and that her family stays safe and well.
Then there’s the tale of Mary Daniel of Jacksonville, Florida. No, she did not have a meltdown. She had a problem.
Before the pandemic hit, she’d put her beloved husband in Rosecastle, an assisted living facility which had a memory care unit when he was diagnosed with early-onset Alzheimer’s. At first, she was able to visit every night and help him get ready for bed and thus stay a part of his life.
Then COVID-19 hit, and Governor DeSantis shut down visitation to nursing homes and the like. Mary was unable to see her husband. Window visits were not successful – he would cry because he couldn’t understand why she couldn’t be there.
Mary sent messages to the governor’s office begging to be allowed to visit her husband. She appealed to Rosecastle, offering to volunteer in some capacity if they’d let her visit. After nearly four months of separation, the facility offered her a job as a dishwasher. Mary gratefully took it, and on July 3rd was reunited with her husband. It was, according to her, quite emotional.
One thing I’ve been grateful for is that Don’s mom did not live to endure this pandemic. I can’t imagine how difficult it would be for her. Especially if she had been hospitalized and I couldn’t be there for her.
I’m glad it worked out for her – I’m sure there are many in similar circumstances who aren’t so lucky.
Do you have a pandemic story you want to share? Email me at email@example.com and tell me about it. Let’s hang together and encourage each other during this challenging time. It will make getting through it that much easier.