(Late summer, 2021)
I’ve been working on this post for awhile.
First, I began the post a couple of month ago, when vaccines first became available.
The next time I began writing this article, variants of the virus had begun to appear. As of today, I’ve started and stopped a few times with edits.
This pandemic is frustrating.
So, as I once again work to push through and write as I work to track this pandemic and some of the effects it has, I notice a couple more things.
In good frustration fashion, I started and stopped this computer 3-4 times, and the blog is continuing to want to open as if I am viewing it instead of working on it.
Now, as I begin to write, I realize the wordpress.com app has an update so I did that and waited.
(that was a very short time, so I’m able to continue to write)
I participate in trauma recovery daily. I work in trauma as a mental health therapist who listens to stories about trauma.
I am trained and informed to be a trainer in Trauma Informed Care (TIC); and I am trained and practice Trauma-Focused Cognitive Behavioral therapy (TF-CBT).
In March 2021, I completed Lane Peterson’s course and exam for Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT) through PESI.
I am also living in, through, and working together with those who are trauma affected by the pandemic we are currently experiencing. This pandemic is fairly traumatic, so I’m using the word frequently.
As the pandemic began to show more effects in March of 2019, the effects we are all experiencing were quite unclear to me.
My grandmother lived through the Flu (frequently referred to as the Spanish Flu) in 1919 and talked to me about it, a little bit, when I was a kid and I would ask her.
‘Grandma??’ I would say, with a question in my voice to show I wanted her to answer and was pretty curious…’
…..’yessss……’, she would say, again, with pleasure in her voice because she talked like that.‘How come you were born in 1910, but graduated in 1929, but you didn’t repeat a year in school?’
That last quesiton was because those of us born in the first year of the decade (ends in ‘0’) tend to remember our birth year and others’; and, like I said, I was pretty darn curious.
She would then answer me with a little bit of laughter in her voice, a little bit of frustration, and would then again be a little bit misleading; her experience with the pandemic in 1919 was really not my busines, nor did I need to know the answer, but eventually she told me.
‘I was ill one year, or actually; I was ill later in the year. The schools closed for the first half of the year, and then I got sick.’
So she missed a year of school, which was true; did not repeat a grade, which was also true. And I, the granddaughter of Eva and a child with lots of curiosity and questions, had my answer.
So, I moved on to different questions, different thoughts, and different experiences as I grew up to be just right about 50 years old.
2020 is also a decade year, or ends in zero. And I, as a 50 year old rising, was busy getting ready for things like creating income as a mental health therapist; my children graduating from college; and preparing to make income during the time that was just prior to COVID at the group practice I am contracted with, Blank Slate Therapy. (March 2020)
Emerging and Gathering in Crowds/Groups of People
So, as we begin to get together into bigger groups, the COVID 19 virus is mutating into a form that is more contagious and possibly less deadly.
For those who have chosen to be vaccinated, the effects appear to be less deadly. There also tend to be some health conditions which makes the COVID experience quite a bit longer lasting, which has been termed ‘long haul COVID’. Those with autoimmune struggles seem to be some of the ones more affected by the virus, as far as we can tell so far.
Many hospitals are filling with people with a diagnosis of COVID. Many of those with hospital admittance are not vaccinated, from research I am informally conducting through health providers I know.
I’m fairly certain that the cold virus has been mutating and changing like this ever since people began to work to create a vaccination for it.
I see larger crowds, as a resident of Texas, a little more often than some people in some other states do.
My son who lives in Wisconsin has had a very different COVID experience than my husband or me, since Wisconsin’s mandates related to the virus have been quite different than ones we experience in Texas.
My son who lives and goes to school in Indianapolis has had a different experience as well. On-line courses were the norm for some of his classes last year, and professors and students in his school continue to adjust and change as they work to provide structure to the courses to provide a safe learning environment. Or at least as safely as they can, while promoting that the students learn.
Indiana is a different experience as well.
The urban county (Marion) has very different rules and structures from the local surrounding counties and farm communities which have their own cultures around how wearing masks, being vaccinated, and responding to the pandemic are addressed and responded to by people who live there.
When I see a crowd of people on television, I am not as surprised as some other people may be. Those who live in an area of fewer people or who have different perceptions about the germs and their feelings about vaccinations have some different reactions to seeing crowds. Someone who lives in a crowded area may not react as strongly as someone who sees very few people.
I haven’t been watching much television for several months due to how often the warning voices of the newscasters get my attention. I prefer an upbeat tone, with optimism in it.
Some National newscasters, or perhaps those who guide and write for them, have determined that if you use a very scary, deadly voice people will listen. I do listen, but the fear that the voice induces in me is not pleasurable
I’m noticing that working to adjust and synching back and forth from COVID is as difficult for some people as synching into it was for others.
I would guess that many of the same people struggle with synching back and forth, which is a sensitivity, and also affected by the pandemic, routine shifts, and change.
Highly Sensitive People, (HSP) and Highly Sensitive Children, coined by Elaine Aron, are more sensitive than others and tend to be more affected by routine changes, as well as smells, fabrics, medications and anything else that can be classified as a sensitivity.
Reading Elaine Aron’s books about ‘Highly Sensitive People‘ and her book about ‘Highly Sensitive Children‘ helps with understanding how sensitivities can affect parenting and ourselves.
I have gmail accounts for different purposes; and this is a complication that can be frustrating to me.
That’s a frustration that I’ve been having at times, but not quite as often as I was, during the quarantining and trauma we’re experiencing during and through this pandemic.
If I log out of my gmail that is logged into one account, I have to take some steps to show gmail that ‘I’m really me’. This causes me to experience an amount of frustration.
The computer that I’m using is particularly impacting my level of frustration, regarding Google Suites and how it affects my MacBook Pro.
What Can You Do?
We are all living through this pandemic and have had some changes in our experiences in some ways.
As we work to stay healthy, emerge to experience those all important social connections, and continue to work, parent, and exist, there are some important things to remember.
Remember that we do not all have the same values, upbringings, or set of beliefs about health; whether that be mental, physical, or how we act during and post-pandemic.
It’s important to show respect to each other, and to recognize that each of us needs a level of respect as well.
If you ask an introvert who does not enjoy seeing people in person or interacting with others all that much what they have thought of the pandemic, you may get a very different answer than from someone who is quite social and enjoys moving around and changing their scenery.
As always, we remember the value of children and their own experiences which have been affected by the pandemic; what kind of changes that have been and are still being made to their daily lives and patterns; and their own tendencies to want to be around people or to leave their homes for activities.
I hope you, your family, and your loved ones work to recover from the changes we are continuing to experience, and I hope that you stay as healthy as you are able.