Today is the first day of April. It is almost 3 months since we heard about the novel Coronavirus in Wuhan. Boy! I don’t even like use the word, “Coronavirus” in my title.
Here in Seattle, Washington we had the first novel coronavirus outbreak in a nursing home in mid to late February. It was followed by the major high tech companies ordering people who can work from home, to stay home, in the first week of March. The schools officially closed on March 13. The governor addressed the stay-home-order starting on March 25.
As I summarized the timeline, I can not believe this change of our life happened this fast. A month ago, I was not remotely aware that we live surrounded by virus and bacteria. We sometimes caught cold and needed to be a little careful of seasonal flu. I was not afraid of invisible danger; virus that could kill me and pass to other people. Now I am afraid of touching the boxes delivered to our house by the Amazon delivery people who risk exposure to the virus. I am afraid to touch the trash can after the weekly garbage collections. I touched my trash can without thinking and realized I had to wash hands and clean the door knob with alcohol because I touched the door knob after touching the trash can! I wore my hand sewn mask to go to the post office to mail the several masks to a family member who needs to go to work instead of staying home. The post office worker with a N95 mask was behind a clear plastic window. Still, as soon as I paid by credit card, I wiped my hand with hand sanitizer.
I wish this was an April fool joke.
Since I heard about the novel Coronavirus before it got the official name by WHO, SARS-COV-2, I read various reliable articles from Japan, UK and U.S and I was taking a position to be calm and prepared. I wiped the tables, chairs, around the sink, door knobs and light switch diligently with soapy water then sprayed alcohol each time my clients left. The building custodian disinfected three times per week. To tell the truth, nothing prepared me to be in the current situation.
As I continue to visit my clients at home online, I noticed everybody’s experience is unique and different in this difficult time. So you may be feeling safe and happy surrounded by your loved ones at home. You may feel isolated. You may be struggling to work while your children are at home. Your loved one may be sick. You may be working with patients with the Coronavirus and unable to stay with your family members. And a lot more….
So how to live with various situations?
This is what I do every day:
I accept things are difficult and different. I kept checking my emotions; fear, sadness and irritation. I allow myself to travel my distressing journey with equanimity. I walk every morning with my dogs. My dogs seem to be happy to be with human family members all the time.The neighborhood is oddly quiet. I see white pink cherry blossoms. The petals are blown by strong winds and the air is cold but very clear. This is a moment I feel joy and feel encouraged that we all go through this.
Let’s acknowledge each moment’s various feelings and let them pass. We feel sad, then experiences a moment of joy. Do not despair. We feel afraid of specific things such as a door knob that somebody just touched. You can wipe the knob and wash your hands. Wash away your fear. Soapy warm water helps us to feel relieved. it even smells good. I understand the worries about financial future but let bring our mind back to now and feel the earth under the bottom of your feet. That helps us to feel grounded.
We can also paint just blending colors. Many suppliers are overwhelmed and off course we need to prioritize the essential goods to be delivered to your home but I hope painting helps us to focus on present and to maintain good enough mental health. The materials I recommend my clients to use are;
Watercolor papers-you can use any paper but this inexpensive watercolor papers suck water and you can enjoy painting more. Unfortunately it will take several weeks to be delivered to you…
This heavyweight construction paper pad is still in Amazon warehouse. I think you can use this for painting.04/02/2020
My favorite water paint set from Pentel. You can let paint dry and use like a typical dry watercolor pan or use just out of tubes to get the mat and strong strokes like tempera paint. For years I was buying those from Japan and am very happy that Pentel started selling them in reasonable price in US. Still in Amazon warehouse. 04/02/2020
You also need paint brushes, watercan and paper towels.