Making a collective noise … or shared silence … or virtual hug …
April 3 and counting … I’ve watched with interest the dialog about making a collective noise in solidarity against this virus. The idea took hold, and from my little hilltop I joined the rest of you and sang – at the top of my lungs. And, trust me, your collective banging of the pots and blasting of the horns sounded way better than my rusty old pipes … but I digress.
The point is, our community is in total solidarity during this coronavirus stand-off. Our efforts to disengage and isolate ourselves is a clear message of love and care for each other. The challenges that come with this effort are astonishing, and we’re all working everyday to figure out ways to protect each other and ourselves and still provide the tangible, critical things that we need in order to manage this drastic lifestyle change. And it’s working. Someone posted about playing “We are the Champions” – positive reinforcement. If we aren’t the champion’s quite yet, let’s just assume we will be. We can do this. We will do this.
As we do this, a most important detail to remember is that we are not alone in this battle. Although we may be alone lots more than we’re used to (that would be me), there are neighbors, friends, work associates … any number of people just a call away. They’ll be as happy to hear your voice as you are to hear theirs.
Please keep in mind that isolation, even shared isolation, can make it harder to control and manage some strong feelings and actions. The CDC offers guidance and resources about stress and coping. If you are concerned for yourself or others, please seek help. See the list of Mental and Behavioral Health Help Centers with help lines just after my note.
Lyme has a number of structured teams established for the sole purpose of your health and welfare. Neighborhoods have been identified and assigned Zone-Keepers (my term, they’re being called neighborhood “captains”) committed to checking in with near neighbors. These folks will reach out periodically by phone or email to be sure you’re doing OK. If there’s a need for food or a medication run, there are coordinators and volunteers to help with that. (Call 795-0603, email firstname.lastname@example.org). The Parish Nurses are constantly on stand-by, as always, willing to lend an ear and steer you in the right direction if there’s a medical concern. The School is helping in many ways, through “mentors” and other forms of outreach and coordination. They are managing the creation and delivery of lunches to kids and serving as a central Drive-in for pre-ordered supplies and materials. Our Lyme Covid-19 Response Team meets at least twice a week, assessing the situation, receiving important updates from the state and federal government, and providing guidance to all of us who are working together to safely respond and support one another.
Our Parish Nurses send a heartfelt message to remind us this is not forever, but it is for now: Let’s please try to stay home for a couple of weeks at a time. These are weeks where no human-bound virus will escape to others. Plan your bi-weekly outing to restock carefully and thoughtfully. Take all the recommended precautions and enjoy the sights as you travel to and from your destination. When you return home, immediately change your clothes, take a shower and wipe down your items. Yes–it’s a cumbersome business. But it will help.
The messages are clear. We are all here for each other. You are not alone. We will march ahead and continue our COVID-19 stand-off.