“These are unprecedented times.” If I had a dollar for every time I’ve heard or read that statement, in the past few weeks, I would have enough money to buy more quarantine snacks for two months. COVID-19 is the topic of the day and has been the trending topic for weeks. Everything is unpredictable and unknown. I’m sure whether you are choosing to be optimistic or pessimistic, at this time, we’ve all had our fair share of worry. If you are an over dramatic worrier like me, then I’m pretty sure at some moment you’ve had a slight, nervous breakdown.
How am I handling this crisis? Let’s just say better than expected. You all should know from previous posts, I am a planner. I tend to worry myself about unnecessary things. I overthink. I like to be in control .. blah, blah blah. What can I say? It’s the Virgo in me. Shockingly though, I am okay. Which is extremely weird for me. I recently became a homeowner. I am at the end of my clinical fellowship. My caseload has decreased, significantly. My co-workers are stressing about pay cuts and using vacation time due to down staffing. However, in the midst of all the chaos, I am not worried. This is a perfect opportunity (with logical reasoning) for me to stress and cry until I can’t breathe (been there done that). However, at the perfect opportunity to demonstrate my true Virgo attributes, here I am acting the complete opposite. It is actually quite scary that I am with assurance during a time where practically the entire world, isn’t . I can partially owe some of my comfort to my mom, but also to my faith. My mom recently shared a verse in our family group chat that has reminded me of such much during a time that we tend to forget.
“If you say, The Lord is my refuge,” and you make the Most High your dwelling. No harm will overtake you, no disaster will come near your tent. For he will command his angels concerning you to guard you in all your ways; they will lift you up in their hands, so that you will not strike your foot against a stone. You will tread on the lion and the cobra; you will trample the great lion and the serpent. “Because he loves me,: says the Lord, I will rescue him; I will protect him, for he acknowledges my name. He will call on me, and I will answer him; I will be with him in trouble, I will deliver him and honor him, with long life I will satisfy him and show him my salvation.” Psalm 91: 9-16
Immediately reading this, I was at peace. When the world is in a frenzy, the worrier of all worriers is at peace. Crazy, right?
A moment of gratitude has also guided me during this time of uncertainty. Every time I let my mind begin to ramble at the thought of uncertainty with my bills, job, or livelihood, I take a breath and counteract it with a moment of gratitude. There’s so much to still be thankful for in the midst of all of this.
I think we’ve all found ourselves reflecting about the days we griped about going to work or the plans we’ve cancelled with friends. COVID-19 has reminded us of the things we take for granted every single day. You know the saying,” You don’t miss what you had, until it’s gone.” I would say that pretty much sums up our situation, right now.
To my speechies, I know how we’re feeling and my heart aches for us all. Our clinics and speech rooms that were once filled with laughter, smiles and possibly a few tears, are now empty. We don’t know when or if we will see our speech babies again. Teletherapy is unfamiliar and questionable territory to most of us. Our speech babies don’t understand why they are seeing us on a screen and not in person. They don’t understand why we are treating them in masks or gloves.
I had a brave client come in the last week and say “Ms. KeeKee, I don’t have corona.” It broke my heart to explain to her that me wearing my mask was not because I thought she had corona but simply as a required precaution. She also wanted to know why was she the only person in therapy, because when she typically comes, there are so many other friends with PT, OT, or ST. I had to tell her I didn’t know why others weren’t in therapy today, when in actuality, I did (but you know, HIPAA).
These are in fact, unprecedented times. The newscasters and opening sentences of our work emails aren’t lying about that. There is a slight fear of the unknown. However, I encourage us to explain. Explain to our babies that we don’t have all the answers and we don’t know what’s to come, because they deserve to know why their lives have drastically changed in a matter of weeks. They deserve to know even when we don’t.
I also encourage you to stay grounded. Before you become fearful or worried, just stop. Stop before your mind attempts to go there. Breathe and offer a moment of gratitude. Take a moment to reflect. Be grateful for what was then and what is now. If you are a believer, I encourage you to be cautious but do not worry. Instead, reflect on Psalm 91. Pray for your loved ones, be at peace and know that everything God does is according to our good.