Our lives right now could be called “Six Degrees of Isolation.” They mirror Dr. Elisabeth KüblerRoss’s five degrees of grief with a bonus:

Denial: This really couldn’t be happening!

Anger: I am so frustrated and angry this is happening in the world!

Bargaining: I promise to wear my mask and gloves going out and will wash my hands and sanitize regularly; just please keep me healthy!

Depression: I feel helpless and sad.. So many people are dying? When will this end? Will things every be back to normal?

Acceptance: Well, let’s just make the most of this situation. It is better than getting sick. Time to hunker down and ride this out.

Finding meaning: What can we learn from this? What are we as a global community going to do better to make sure this does not happen again?

Somewhere here in week 3 (or is it 4?) we have lost track of what day of the week it is and the time of day. The sun rises and sets with daylight in-between.

We’ve learned to create and adapt to new schedules. Many of us wake up and go to sleep in the same clothes We may go to sleep earlier or wake up in the middle of the night filled with worry or jolted by another weird dream.

We make calls and check in. We cook. We bake. We sew and knit, craft and color. We drink and fall asleep on the sofa. No makeup. Roots grown out.

My city clothes and shoes hand in the closet asking, ‘Remember me?” I promised myself after a long stare at my unused shoe rack: anything with a bow must go; time to donate or dump. We realize our homes are filled with too…much…stuff and promise to pare down.

We take long walks; we talk with friends by phone or zoom. We long for real hugs over virtual ones. Hopefully, the person sharing your home hugs back. Maybe you are a lucky dog owner enjoying your fur-baby’s unconditional love.

Kids are restless; you are restless; everyone is restless, or anxious, or confused, or growing numb from the news. You promise to stay optimistic for yourself, for the family, for mankind. You hope for a cure; hope to stay strong; hope for a better future. We cannot lose Hope. That keeps us going.

We make grocery lists to see what we can buy, checklists to see what we can manage and accomplish and bucket lists to inspire us once we can break free.

You either feel like a a prisoner in your own home or appreciate there is no place like home. You may feel frustrated because you cannot go out or content to settle in and relax. Maybe you pick up a book off the shelf, thumb through old photo albums, take a class, revisit a hobby. Maybe you do nothing at all just and just dream and chill out.

You may be pan-demic-fried, frazzled with emotions…or sizzling with new ideas. You may be stir crazy from feeling shut in or bursting with energy.

Either way, it’s your recipe for dealing with it all. Bitter or sweet.

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