The pandemic is beginning to dwindle, and it’s ok if part of you is grieving

The pandemic is beginning to dwindle, and it’s ok if part of you is grieving

In late March 2020, I sat on our reclining chair in the living room and watched the United States shut down. Within 72 hours, my children were home 24/7, I had multiple anxiety attacks about my husband going into his office for work, and my hands were cracked and bloody from overusing hand sanitizer.

I couldn’t process any of it, so I cried. I grieved. I grieved over our business, an art gallery, temporarily shutting down at the state’s request. I grieved for my kindergartner who wouldn’t see her friends for a long time (because let’s be honest, any of us who had a basic biology class knew that “fourteen days to stop the spread” was complete bullshit). I grieved for myself because all of my childcare was gone, but the job was still there and needed tending to. I grieved for my college students who were suddenly online learners and probably never wanted it to be that way. I anxiously grieved for my parents, in their sixties, who may not be able to survive COVID-19 if they caught it.

This probably sounds familiar, eh? The sudden changes, twists, and turns brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic brought most of us to tears and to our knees. Suddenly, life as we knew it was over.

Fast-forward a year, and cases are down significantly from April 2020. We know how the virus works. We know social distancing works. We know that masks work. At least 18% of the US population 18+ has been fully vaccinated against COVID-19. Schools are back in session, and according to the CDC, people who have been fully vaccinated are permitted to hang out mask-free with other vaccinated folks and to travel again.

It is, however, a change — and any change can cause grief. If you’re a little sad that this season of your life is ending, well sis — you are not alone.

There will likely never again be a time during our lives when we will have our children with us 24/7. I know; I know — “thank God,” right? Sure, but I would be lying if I said I wasn’t happy to be “the person” for my children all day, every day. I remedied every cut, burn, or scratch. I dried every tear. I made the decision whether something was worth crying about. I resented the last parent-teacher conference where I was told my daughter is “too emotional over everything.” While the pandemic strapped me for any time whatsoever to myself, it allowed me to transfer that freedom to my children and give them the safe, comfy space that I know they deserve.

When our children are in school, we wonder. We worry. We overthink it. Despite the non-cholent way we brush our hair off our shoulders as we gossip over salads and lemonades with friends while our kids are in school, be honest: Deep down, we worry constantly.

Was that rambunctious kid mean to her again? Is the Spanish teacher snapping out on all of the kindergartners like she did last week? Did she It’s Tuesday — did I sent money for ice cream? For fuck’s sake, she better not solicit her friend for ice cream money if I forgot. Will she end up catching the stomach bug? Please God, no. Please. I can’t deal with puke.

The truth is that when something changes, we lose. We lose a routine; we lose our stability; we may even lose part of ourselves. And while “positive change” is the understatement of the past year from hell, it’s still a loss. It seemed unimaginable to us to settle into the “new normal” (can we cancel that phrase, please?) a year ago. We became grade school teachers, students of infectious diseases, and — albeit — zombies with hair that hadn’t been washed or died for quite some time. We became advocates for science. We stood up to friends and family members who wouldn’t take this horrific pandemic seriously. Those of us who were quiet spoke up, and those of us who spoke up learned to listen and to understand that we really are not in control of anything.

As we leave this phase of our lives as women, adult children, mothers, and employees, we will never forget where we came from over the past year. If you watch your partner leave for work after working at home for a year and sneak into the bathroom to cry afterwards, it’s okay. If you painfully watch your kids, donning a mask and a smile, hop onto the school bus and you feel a little bit angry inside, it’s okay.

If you’re grieving that this chapter is over, it’s okay.

I don’t want to talk about masks anymore

I don’t want to talk about masks anymore

When the pandemic started, I got back into Twitter. And every damn morning when I look at Twitter, I see the following tweets even though we are months into a global, once-in-a-lifetime pandemic:

“Doctor So-and-so explains the importance of wearing masks!”

“OH Dept. of Health shows the proper way to wear a mask!”

“WHO states that wearing a mask helps prevent COVID019!”

Every. Single Day.

My question is this: Why, for fuck’s sake, do we continually need a third grade diagram and explanation to show us how to wear a mask and why? We have topped millions of cases in this country, and it’s honestly amazing that people still don’t understand how or why to wear a damn piece of cloth over their face.

The time has come: I don’t want to talk about masks anymore.

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5 Tips For Safe Run Streaking

5 Tips For Safe Run Streaking

Welcome to Coronarunning: Everyone is on a run streak because we may or may not be able to stomach another virtual race!

Okay — maybe not everyone is on a run streak. But a lot of people are, and that’s a little concerning as an RRCA run coach.

We had a discussion in our certified coaches group about how on one hand, we preach that rest days are “so important,” but on the other hand (and due to the pandemic), run streaks have become the new 5K (statistically, 5K is the most popular racing distance). So, what gives?

As both a distance runner and running coach, I have thought about this, and I really do think there are ways for every runner out there to complete a run streak. There are right and wrong ways to do it, though — and the following five tips will help you start and finish a run streak safely.

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The Sassy Girl’s Guide To Saying “No”

The Sassy Girl’s Guide To Saying “No”

It’s no surprise (at least not to me) that coronavirus cases are on the rise. On Wednesday, multiple sources — such as The Washington Post — reported that the United States topped its previous all-time daily high for new cases.

On top of that, the US is expected to experience a historic Saharan dust plume that could cause additional respiratory health risks and problems.

Some states in the southern and western parts of the US are operating at near-max capacity in their hospitals and ICUs.

Shit is getting real. Again. In fact, shit never got “un-real.” For some reason, several political leaders in this country (we won’t name names) decided that the COVID-19 pandemic was over. I guess the virus didn’t get the message — who knew?!

Look, people. Now is the time to start saying “no.” It’s time to grow a pair (or maybe not because I swear, that “pair” I’m referencing doesn’t signify strengthen if you ask me) and stand your ground. You know the pandemic is real. You know it’s not going anywhere. You want to protect yourself, your grandparents, your parents, your family.

It’s time to say “no,” and I will give you the playbook to do just that. Why am I an authority on this? Well, I’ve been confidently canceling plans for no reason since I was old enough to make my own plans, so listen up.

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A letter to my daughter: When you see me crying, it’s not you

A letter to my daughter: When you see me crying, it’s not you

My sweet girl,

We’ve discussed “the sickness.” We’ve played games of counting how many steps equates to standing six feet from the wall. We’ve had fun choosing fabric for your special masks that help you avoid passing “the sickness” to someone else.

I’ve lovingly looked you in the eyes and told you that “the sickness” is why we cannot see your best friends, hangout with your grandparents, climb and jump on the playground, or go to the store on a Sunday afternoon to get pink nail polish and a new LOL Doll.

We’ve been over singing fun songs that span at least 20 seconds and bought “cool soap” to help remind you to wash your hands.

We even joked about “the sickness” foolishly thinking that it’s only temporary. The joke is on us: it is a lot more permanent than we thought, and my soul is in mourning as I face the grief that comes with understanding that we need to settle in for the long haul.