Fear and Anxiety in Today’s News
Do you remember your New Year Resolution? Mine blew apart with the news of the Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) spreading across the globe. Funny thing is my resolution had nothing to do with this virus when I made it on January 1.
The airwaves are filled with warnings and updates on how to protect against COVID-19. Wash hands thoroughly, trap sneezes and don’t touch the face are behavior changes all of us can enact. As a result, our collective protection will increase when each of us doing our small part in stopping the spread of our own fluids.
Now for the reality check, we are caring for the most vulnerable people to COVID-19. We perform the most intimate activities of daily living tasks on others who are already suffering with pre-existing conditions. The CDC recommends we increase our personal space to a perimeter of six feet. In fact, this practice is impossible when helping someone transfer from sitting to standing, using the bathroom or getting into bed.
Mental Health Reset
My New Year resolutions was to start each day with gratitude in my head and heart. To find joy in the simple acts of helping others less able than myself. However, COVID-19 is driving me off this path. It is the insidious worrying that I cannot get the right supplies and equipment out to help other family caregivers due to the rising product shortages. That the health professionals working tirelessly to treat people with colds, flu and potentially this new threat are increasing their own vulnerability. These same workers are unwittingly increasing their risk by picking up germs on equipment and surfaces between patients.
As a result, I am setting a revised New Year Resolution, a “do over” of sorts. My New Year Resolution is to recite and live the Serenity Prayer each morning and evening:
God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change.
Courage to change the things I can.
And the wisdom to know the difference.