I have to say that I am one of the lucky ones. Myself and my family have not been, at this point affected by the pandemic that has struck us this year. If anything, I am getting a break on some of my bills such as my student loans and our ADT system and getting free food!
My heart goes out to those families who are affected and cannot keep their businesses afloat. I could not imagine the anxiety and fear they are facing.
There was a time that I would have been in the same boat and I don’t know what I would have done. I lived for a long time not even pay check to paycheck, but day to day because all I made were tips. I was used to having cash every day. I could not save my money to save my life. I would spend it on whatever because I would just pick up another shift or work the next day so it didn’t make any difference.
What I wouldn’t give to have my saving mentality then that I have now. Now I am saving for my maternity leave. I am fortunate enough to get paid leave after labor; however that will not make up all of my income. The money I make for weekly therapy sessions will be halted and I work 10 hours a week PRN at the hospital. Neither of these sources of income will continue on maternity leave.
I have started doing more teletherapy, but have luckily not been forced to cease my counseling services as mental health is deemed essential.
I feel guilty for these reasons and I wish there were things I could do to help. I know there are, but I do feel limited. I fear donating money as I am trying to save for my maternity leave so my family is taken care of. I feel helpless because I cannot go out and bring my grandma groceries. Being pregnant, the grocery store is the last place I need to go. And still, working at the hospital I do not need to be around my grandma anyways. Granted she does have plenty of people in our family that can take care of her, but it is something I would like to do to help.
As I am so very grateful for the position that my family and I are in, I am anxious about the lift of the stay at home orders. I fear everyone is going to run out and start hugging on each other. I feel like I’m going to have a complex about getting to close to people or touching people. And here I am trying to work on not being such a closed and offputting person and now this… How are we supposed to feel “normal” again in this world?
All of the things we have taken for granted and not paid any notice to will become filled with anxiety. Just because the date is May 4, does that now mean it is safe to hug my family? That it is safe to go into a grocery store? That it is safe to shake someone’s hand? I feel like we are all going to be socially awkward coming out of this and not knowing what to do and how to act and how to not offend people? What is going to be our new normal?