The New Normal With Covid19: 2 weeks Shelter in Place


Today marked two weeks we’ve had “Shelter in Place.” We’ve been social distancing since March 16 ( I think?)… Our Shelter in Place has been extended until April 30 and the CDC is suggesting that we wear masks in public places now. Illinois has surpassed 10,000 positive cases and has 243 deaths. Our county (DOUGLAS) has currently 9 cases as of today. Champaign county (which is about 45 minutes away) has over 40 cases now.

Today has been a little harder I have to admit. I need to start distancing myself from the news and try to focus more on self care. All of my anxiety, fear, frustration and sadness from news stories hit me physically and sent my digestive system into an uproar. I suffer from IBS, and today was no picnic- it gradually got worse throughout the day until it just pretty much made me physically ill.

I realize what we are doing is for the best… Staying home to keep from getting infected, so that we don’t overwhelm our healthcare system. But what really frustrates me the most are the stories I hear of people who still aren’t staying home or social distancing like they should be. I’ve heard of people having parties, gathering in groups and it just irritates me to no end. And then I hear about New York City and the decisions they may have to start making of who lives and who dies, because they are having a horrible shortage of ventilators and personal protection equipment (PPE). I have so much fear because I am immune compromised. I worry about other people’s selfishness and stupidity putting other lives in danger. This is a time we need to be mindful of others.

We are doing our part here at home besides going to work when we need to. My boyfriend is an essential worker in a nursing home and I visit our church office from time to time to see if there are messages, mail and to take anything to the bank. Then I head home to do what work I can from home.

Our lives have changed so much since the beginning of March.  I am really beginning to miss my friends and family members. If I am going to make it through this, mentally healthy, I must start practicing more self care. I need to continue to journal, do my art, write poetry and do some creating. It hasn’t been easy to focus though. In the back of my mind, is always my worry about this virus. I’ve had a few people tell me not to worry about something I can’t control. But that is what makes this scary. We have no control over this and there is so much uncertainty.  We do not know when this virus will lose its grip. They have data models to go from that help them make estimates, but still, nothing is completely certain.

I  mourn with those who have lost loved ones, friends, co-workers. And I feel for those workers on the front line of this virus who put their lives in danger every day. It is so overwhelming…

I continue to pray every evening and I continue to try to keep my faith in tact. It is hard to believe it has only been two weeks, as it has felt so much longer than that. It isn’t that I am having trouble staying at home, it is that I am having trouble trying not to feel all the pain that is currently in our world right now. I continue to look for the light and take hope on the positive stories that I hear from those who are trying to help others get through this dark time.

Published by Ariana R. Cherry

“Within the depths of our mind, we are battling the duel of light and darkness…good and evil…love and hate…” Between Light and Darkness is Ariana’s most recent collection of poetry… Cherry’s frequent message she delivers throughout her work is, “The journey through the darkness, back into the light.” Her hope is to let others know that they won’t be in that place of darkness for long – that they indeed can reach the light once again…She also wants her readers to know – that – it is okay if they find themselves in that bleak blackness…Sometimes we feel guilty for going to that dark place – but it is necessary to conquer the demons that battle our souls…. Other books that Cherry has written include "Only If" and "Twisted Paths Poetry." Her epic tale, “Only If,” won the “Reader’s Favorite Award” and a 5 star review…and her collection, “Twisted Paths Poetry,” received a 5 star review from Realistic Poetry International. She has been writing ever since she was a child. Some of her inspirations include Edgar Allen Poe, Robert Frost, Stephen King, Emily Dickinson, Christopher Pike and Shel Silverstein. Ariana writes a variety of genres: inspirational, humorous and horror – although writing horror is one of her favorites…. She was 12 years old when she read Poe for the very first time – which inspired her epic poetry tale, “Only If.“ During other parts of her free time, she enjoys taking photos and creating art. Her “day-jobs” include working as a church administrative aide and reporting for a local newspaper.

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