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It is okay to be afraid and anxious…just don’t sit in those emotions for too long.

Hi my loves!

I hope you are all safe and healthy.  Been thinking about what I wanted to write about today. I kept telling myself I wanted to write about something light and funny in the midst of this new reality we are living.

Every time I got an idea and would start to type, my thoughts kept going back to COVID19. I finally gave up and stared at my computer screen. And sat and stared. And I literally heard a voice say, “Write about what you’re feeling because you are not alone.”

And, so I started typing.

Let me go back a bit. A few weeks ago, I was celebrating my birthday in Miami. This is about the time I started to pay a little attention to the news. In my defense, don’t have cable at home, so most of my news comes from social media, 1010 Wins, and friends.

Anyway, I remember in the airport, my best friend pulled out two surgical masks. I was like “Heck no, girl you crazy!!” And laughed as I joked around about how silly we would look. I even took a picture of us in the airplane but it was more of photo op for IG. I also have to say that I probably counted about five other travelers with masks, only one actually covering their face.

While in Miami, my girlfriend who is a nurse (God bless her soul) kept talking about the coronavirus in very serious tones. As serious as you can be while drinking right? Anyway, she kept saying that this virus scared her, that it was going to do a lot of damage.

She kept saying things like, “As of Monday, we will all be zombies.” I was like, “Ok Rick!” (Shout out to TWD fans!!!). But really, I didn’t even take her seriously because I just felt like the news kept saying this was just a different strain of the flu with no vaccine.

I was back at work on March 4 and suddenly I was being bombarded by news out of Italy and Europe and the numbers of cases and/or deaths. My ears perked up, but I can’t say I was worried yet. As is the norm for me, I was still celebrating my birthday (which is a month-long event). I was looking forward to Friday the 13th to meet up with friends at our local bar to continue the celebrations.

And this is where I think I started to feel a little rise of panic in my chest. That night, that Friday night, the bar which is typically crowded with diners, drinkers, and karaokers every week was eerily empty.

There were about 20 of us in there including the employees. Very few people were singing. I was kind of like oh, ok. What’s happening? That Sunday evening, we received the email that the school I worked in was closed until the end of the month. It felt so surreal, like what do you mean schools are closed. As I watched the news that Sunday more and more districts shut down. That was my first panic attack.

Since then I’ve been social distancing and isolated at home for 15 days with my 20 year old. Rough! Friday, I got laid off from my job and that was my second meltdown. I wanted to take a xany and sleep and wake up to find out this is all just a bad dream. As we all know it’s not.

Over the last two weeks, I’ve had three anxiety attacks, usually at night, when I start to pray for all the people I kept hearing about that are testing positive and/or very sick. Friends I was working with before the shutdown.

Initially I tried to not give into these episodes, I thought I was being ungrateful by having meltdowns and wanting to not deal with this considering I am still healthy and able to collect unemployment. But I found that when I resisted, the anxious feelings, the panic, the fear lingered. It immobilized me. It kept me on the couch, drinking wine, or napping. It kept me from wanting to pull myself together.

And then I thought, wait why can’t I just have my meltdown? Why can’t I give in to the panic and the anxiety? Why can’t I be scared at times? Why can’t I cry and scream? We are entitled to being scared, anxious, confused during these crazy times.

What we are not entitled to do is to sit in that fear or anxiety for too long. So, when I feel an attack, I cry, I get mad, I question why, why, why? And then it’s over I pray, and meditate and I give thanks for all that I have. If none of that works I medicate. And then I’m fine.

I started to think about things I could do to make my days more productive and keep those anxious feelings at bay. I had to be proactive. So, I created a schedule for myself to stay focused and productive. I make sure I exercise every day, whether it’s a short workout from IG or a walk if it’s nice out. I am meditating more. Eckhart Tolle https://eckharttolle.com/free-resources/ has a ton of free guided meditations on his page. I am also doing a 21 day meditation which I started late with Oprah and Deepak Chopra https://chopracentermeditation.com/experience.  I am journaling. I’ve been going through paperwork, drawers and closets. I am constantly cleaning and decluttering. I have magazines, books and Netflix.

Are there days that I just want to lay on the couch and do absolutely nothing? Yup! And guess what? I do it. And then I buckle back up. And get back to tackling my to do list.

It’s easy to get in a state of panic and stay there, but what good will that do? It’s easy to allow this new normal to become our permanent normal. But the reality is I am looking at this as an opportunity for transformation-physical, mental, emotional and spiritual.

I am not saying I will not have any more panic attacks and that I won’t have moments of being really scared, but what I won’t allow myself is to live in that space too long. Because if we come out of this the same as we went into it, then shame on us for not taking advantage of this blessing and opportunity.

Thank you for stopping by!

LolaUncorked♥

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We are not even thinking about the economic fallout of the COVID19…

In light of the coronavirus quote pandemic unquote, I am compelled to write this quick short blog sharing my thoughts and opinions.

We as a society (myself included) love drama, epidemics, pandemics, and crisis.  We love having our anxiety challenged to new heights.  We love any reason to run to the supermarket, Costco, Target, and/or Walmart to wipe out shelves.  In moments like these, instead of hunkering down and listening to intelligent news reports we’d rather get our news from social media and IG memes.

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I had no idea what the difference was.

Sometimes I think that maybe some of us are afraid of not being able to understand the terminology issued by health care professionals or government officials, so in order not to feel dumb, we resort to IG and FB which somehow makes us feel smarter. And when we feel smarter we feel more in control!! And we all know we love control.

Listen, I am not saying that there isn’t a new strand of the flu virus that has no vaccine that is developing, but hasn’t this happened before? Many times? And we survived?

Yes because it’s unknown people who are exposed will get sick and different variables will determine the outcome.  Like many other illnesses in our history. But we don’t live in the middle ages folks!

This was a great article that both debunked the link between virus outbreaks and election years, even though us conspiracy theorists fed into that shit, me included.

BUT it also gives us some data and reliable information about the rise and decline of some of these viruses and we’re still here.

“There is no “cure” yet for COVID-19 as the claim suggests, however many patients do recover on their own. The WHO hasn’t released a recovery rate — in general or by age — at this point, but a recent situation report said that 80 percent of cases are mild or asymptomatic. It can be assumed that most, if not all, such cases have led to a recovery.”

You know a lot of people keep telling me that I am making light of it because I am not necessarily concerned with the health aspect of this virus.  I am particularly more concerned with the economic fall out of the virus.

In 2019, it was reported that 40% of Americans live one paycheck away from poverty. Two great articles below.

https://www.marketwatch.com/story/half-of-americans-are-just-one-paycheck-away-from-financial-disaster-2019-05-16

https://fortune.com/2019/01/29/americans-liquid-asset-poor-propserity-nowreport/

How many Americans are living in poverty?

Current estimates on poverty in the U.S. The official poverty rate is 12.3 percent, based on the U.S. Census Bureau’s 2017 estimates. That year, an estimated 39.7 million Americans lived in poverty according to the official measure. According to supplemental poverty measure, the poverty rate was 13.9 percent.

Now these articles refer to the “average” American.  I am thinking average American is the person who works for pay, gets taxes taken out, gets sick leave and vacation (maybe) and is paying into a pension or retirement fund.  I couldn’t find a definition for the “average” American, but this is what came to mind. If you find one please do share.

My question is though, what is the reported % of average Americans?  Because I’ll tell you what I work in public education in an urban area and the percentage of average Americans is pretty low.

I work with a high population of transient, immigrant families who work for cash or under the table because many are undocumented or it’s  the only job they could get when they arrived.

These jobs include cleaning homes, busboy or server in restaurants, home repairs or working behind the counter at a grocery store.  So, tell me, if we shut down for two to three weeks to “sanitize and contain” a virus that represents itself as previous viruses have, how are these families supposed to survive and pay bills?

Is the government going to put a pause on everyday utility bills? Credit card debt? Mortgages? Student loans???

So, when I say I am not worry about CV-19 what I am saying is I am not concerned with the health aspect.  Viruses come and go. We have medicine and modern technology. We do not live in the middle ages, thank God.

As it has historically occurred with these types of viruses, they affect the frail, those with compromised immune systems, the elderly, just like the flu, pneumonia, even sometimes the common cold if left untreated.

So while some of you are bum rushing supermarkets and wiping out shelves of anything and everything in preparation for this zombie apocalypse, keep in mind that you may be one of the small percentage of “average: Americans that will actually survive and come out on the other side with your jobs, homes, and families intact.  Food for thought!

Follow this link to hear a survivor’s story.

https://www.cnn.com/2020/03/12/health/coronavirus-survivor-elizabeth-schneider/index.html

In the meantime, thanks for visiting!  Remember to like, comment, share your thoughts and or opinions and sign up for email notifications!

Oh! And please wash your hands!

LolaUncorked

 

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Why? Why? Why?