The coronavirus pandemic will certainly be a defining experience of our lifetime, much the same way the Great Depression and World War II were for an earlier generation. It will forever alter our sense of vulnerability and our sense of our country and the world. There may be difficult transformations (for ourselves and society) as we recover, but there might also be bright spots and hope.
Each of us is experiencing this crisis differently based on our geographic location, job status, personality, and a hundred different elements, yet many of our feelings and fears are the same. We are going to be regularly publishing stories from readers that let us see how others are getting through the crisis. We think sharing lightens the burden for us and can help others too; knowing you’re not alone (even when you might be physically alone) can be calming and fortifying.
Please tell us your story here; we’ll send you a BOLD tank top as our thanks.
Here we hear how Alicia Ellis, who is sheltering with her grown daughters in Hendersonville, NC, is managing in the new normal.
What was your life situation and routine before coronavirus hit?
I had just returned from an all ladies trip to the US Virgin Islands. I traveled bi-weekly from the coast of South Carolina to the mountains of North Carolina. I was actively searching for a home in Wilmington, NC. My mediation was scheduled for my impending divorce in May 2020. The the world around me just stopped. All I could do was cry.
What is your state of mind right now?
I’m on edge. Going out for the first time in 10 days for groceries made me quite agitated. People driving were rude and dangerous. I couldn’t wait to get home and hide in my shell on the mountain.
What is your biggest fear/concern at the moment?
The small businesses will fail. Our local sheriff has advised us “we are on our own.” Basically, in short, he stated they are not actively patrolling and response will be delayed. So, I take that as, I will be defending my home and family and let God or a Judge sort it out.
If you’re sheltering with others, how is everyone getting along?
My grown daughters and I are doing well. We have enough space and land to grab some time alone in the woods or down by the creek.
What is your daily routine now?
I wake, coffee, watch the birds at the feeder, mow the yard or just look at the unfinished projects. My mind just races and I nap, hoping the next day I’ll be more productive.
What is the most important thing you do for yourself everyday to maintain your mental health?
I walk the woods when I feel I’m about to explode or cry. I watch the sunrise almost every day and when I don’t, I feel like I’ve started my day off poorly. I’ve read all the books I own.
How often do you go outside and for what?
Once a week for essentials. I sit on the deck or porch many hours a day.
What’s the first thing you want to do when life returns to some kind of “normal”?
I want a nice dinner out with people laughing and enjoying cocktails on the beach or deck with many hugs and a campfire.
How do you see yourself changing from this pandemic experience?
I will travel often. I will save more. I will live more for me and try not to concern myself with what others think about my decisions. I will become much more quiet and keep my life much more private.
How do you see society changing because of this pandemic experience?
I think the world may become less tolerant and friendly.