Caregiving and the Pandemic

The events of the last few weeks feel extremely surreal. Waking up to the reality of “shelter in place,” “safer at home,” “self-quarantine,” or whatever you want to call it, is just surreal. This is about to get personal as I would like to share my list of worries as a caregiver right now.

Worry 1: GPA is 95 in June and if he gets sick…. I haven’t fully processed this reality but it is on my mind and often. As an essential employee, I have been going into work once a week for the past 2 weeks which has been a blessing and a source of anxiety. Going out to grocery stores, the post office and to work exposes me and I could be exposing him as his main caregiver. GPA has survived The Great Depression, a few wars, being black in the Midwest, two wives, sepsis, pneumonia, cancer, etc. To think that my unintentional negligence could be what causes him to become sick makes me…

Worry 2: GPA keeps eating all his pandemic food. I mean, at almost 95 to just discover hot pockets I guess is exciting, but a Costco sized box needs to last more than a week. 

Worry 3: Linda is no longer with us (Stay tuned for the upcoming article “What to do when your care receiver threatens to slap the shit out of his caregiver”). Monica seems fine, but she isn’t Linda and is essentially a stranger. I also don’t know what her hand washing routine looks like, so that makes me nervous.

Worry 4: Life in general. When will I go back to work, when will Hawaiian bread be in stock, will I have a job to return to, what happens to all those people who are unemployed, what happens if I get sick, what happens if GPA or my kid gets sick? What happens when the hot pockets run out?

The takeaway:

Take care of yourself and those around you the best you can. Our physical health is especially important right now and stress does nothing but inflict havoc on our immune system. Try to focus anxious energies on positivity and practice gratitude. I am trying to actually catch up on work that I have neglected and read more. I cook breakfast most mornings. Attempt to stay in the now and literally count your blessings.

Be well!

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