Doing Our Part: COVID-19

 

Why don’t we get right to the topic that everyone is talking about… This one is long, read it all, you have time now that you’re probably at home.

COVID-19 also know as the Coronavirus is here. Where you ask? Everywhere?

How do I know this? Well, here is the thing. I don’t for a fact know that this is not some government or world collabrative conspiracy; the thought of that makes me cringe, so stop saying it. I mean maybe we are all on some game show and will be awarded a grand prize for not loosing our shit, but the likelihood of that is 0 to none.

But here’s what I do know. I am NOT a doctor. I am also NOT a doctor or health care professional attending to anyone with COVID-19 or diagnosing it. I DO NOT work for the CDC or the Federal Government and I do not study diseases and viruses for a living. I work in hospitality. An industry like many or most that are being heavily hit by this pandemic.

I AM like most Americans, below average in knowledge when it comes to this disease or most diseases. I can spend all day and night compiling a list of “facts” and putting together my own research or I can follow the instruction of professionals who do this for a living.

I can tell you all the reasons why this virus should not have any impact on my life.

  • I am beyond “blessed” to be a healthy 29 year old female (what we know of this virus is that it is primarily affecting individuals 60 years and older? maybe not?)
  • I am beyond “grateful” that I have two healthy children
  • I have a wonderful husband who is also also a healthy individual with a flexible job and means of income
  • I do not have family that I will come into contact with in the high risk category of 60+ year old adults
  • I work for a company that is trying to do it’s best to keep afloat and keep their employees employeed (but who knows for how long)

And honestly… we are completely content hanging out at home with our children and dog (most days 🙂

So why would I take the information I am given and proceed with caution? For these few reasons…

  • I work with a group of individuals that may go home to family that are immunocompromised or elderly
  • I may come in contact with individuals in the high risk category of 60+ years old in my place of work
  • I have encountered enough people over the course of my life who have minor to fatal diagnosis’ that are impacted by this illness to care
  • Most of the people I work with outside of my career and volunteer for are not financially secure to plan, quarantine or live without basic necessities for multiple weeks
  • Although I have a job today, I may not tomorrow because it is simply not safe for me to be around anyone; really for any one of us

I can very well easily not care. Seems like most Americans are split between #flatteningthecurve and #notgivingashit Whats new? We like to sit on opposite sides of the spectrum; rarely the solution is on either side but possibly in the middle.

I have seen many memes floating around but the one that stands out most is a simple thought. that seems to be coming from a huge population of Americans… “This virus won’t affect most healthy individuals, it will only affect the elderly and immunocompromised. The fact that it doesn’t stop us is the problem it self.”

Something else that caught my eye is an old highschool classmate of mine who posted a picture of her family including her child on what looks like a breathing tube; joyful and happy as ever, but with the words “Your only, is my everything.” Really let that sink in. These are her cards, her life, her child, her everything. That is all we really need to see right? It should be. But apparently not, so I will keep going.

This is the probably the most alarming thing I have seen on Instagram.

Shoud I keep going? Okay will do…

Harsh right? In all honesty, it is too close to the truth right now. Check out ‘Rythm 0’ a live exhibit by Marina Abromovic from the 1970s. When allowed to people visiting the exhibit did terrible things to this woman. After the experiment no one could look her in the face. Oh humanity… you fool me sometimes.

I get it, this world is run on money, oil, resources etc. etc. etc. We as human beings are greedy. EVERY. SINGLE. ONE. OF. US. myself included. The thought of the economy going down on a world scale still leaves us in utter panic about our personal financial crisis even if it has such little play or affect by all of this. So the extreme grocery shopping and stock piling is some what of a natural response per our regular asshole like behavior. (The toilet paper situation I am yet to understand)

But I can’t help but think that although there is no solution to all of this, we can still work together. I mean that or we all die together?

Some people, like myself, are still working. IT IS A LUXURY NOT TO HAVE TO WORK EVEN IF YOUR COMPANY IS STILL OPEN. People that are still working are probably worried about a virus possibily taking down your family or your electricity being shut off. Either way I am sure our company will soon follow suit and I too will be at home. In the mean time trust that for me is it to work and back.

No one with common sense, outside of the Healthcare field or grocery store workers (because let’s be honest they are the true heroes here) are working because they want to contribute to this spread. Although my family is quarantined at home and my husband is working from our dining room, I still have to shower, sanitize, pray, hang garlic around my neck, gargle salt water and do a nightly ritual hoping I don’t catch this thing and worse, pass it along.

So now that we have that covered let’s go over a few things…

-Firstly, talk to your children. Explain what is going on. Don’t scare them, well hell scare them a little, my kids shower twice a day now 🙂 its great! (I have two boys…) They are and will be a part of this world’s history. We believe in 100% honesty and communication. We talk about the birds and bees, mental health, poverty, racism so why not this right? The more they know the more proactive they are likely to be as well. Plus let’s raise smart children together, yeah?

-Antivaxxers, ya’ll are quiet. Very quiet. Please observe and notice how vaccines work and also watch how viruses and diseases CAN and WILL BE contained. Your rebellion to vaccines put other immunocompromised children at risk; not just during this pandemic but EVERY. SINGLE. DAY. I am sure I will receive the googled note from a nurse, the one that is 1 in 30,000 BUT no one wants polio… And if you still don’t get it, let us make this even more simple… we better not see you in line when there is a cure to this sucker.

-People that are stock piling food supplies. Ugh. Yes, you have the means to stock up for 3-6 months. Most Americans do not. Most Americans who do not have the means to stock up for months are the ones working to get that food from the fields, to the cans, to the stores and into your pantry. So fine if you want to stock up like a real A1 jack-o-lantern but realize when everything goes back to normal (which it will) your grocery stores are going to look really bare so get ready to turn in that white color for a quality stained one.

If you are going to stockpile, regardless to how you feel after this post ***please make sure to         shop for items without the WIC logo on the price tag. These products are the only products             the government assistance program fro Mothers, Infants and Children can purchase.***

-To everybody comparing death tolls, survival rates and age brackets. Stop. This is not the flu. We know the flu, SARS, ebola etc. etc. etc. Yes they also grew rapidly. Yes the numbers may be larger, but we have only 3 months of data and as of 3/19/2020 the numbers doubled and it would not be surprising if they double over night, every night for a while. We don’t have a solution but it can start with slowing this down by doing our part.

-Stop saying well there are so many Survivors. Realize survivors, will still live a life with damaged lungs or one of them. These elderly people dying with atleast 5-10 more years now passed away, alone, scared and without family due to contamination rules. We are human one death SHOULD mean something. It is someone’s grandmother, someone’s brother or someone’s 7 year old with asthma. You may think you don’t care, you do, look deep inside, no one is that shitty of a person.

-Wash your hands. That was news from 400 years ago. But hey let’s start doing it now?

-Toilet paper. Stop. Please. This is ridiculous. I want everyone to be able to wipe their behinds. When this is all said and done, no one is shaking my hand because I am not sure who had TP and who didn’t

-Teachers, raises for all of them. My kids are at home with my husband. He should get an award too. And for the teachers getting online to read books for their students to watch, for the ones organizing sack lunches for children without meals, for the teachers offering video conferencing and counseling for our children during this time and the ones sending emails for us 9-5er parents to stay strong as we are now relearning to be parents and even to the one’s who really needed this break to get back to their own family. YOU ARE THE REAL MVPs

– For the Spring breakers. No words. I have seen this all over Instagram. Your grandfather was called to war. You are called to sit on your couch. There is no better time to be quarantined. It is 2020. Netflix, Hulu, AmazonPrime Video… the INTERNET? it is all there, waiting for you. We flex all damn day. Let’s see who looks the cutest on the couch, snap a pic, put it on IG. Let your natural hair color grow out, nails go undone and lashes look like a naked mole rat. Whatever who cares, its COVID-19 we are all going to get ugly together.

-For the healthcare workers. WOW! Every single one of them. For the hospital staff from the maintenance and housekeeping staff to the doctors and nurses. WOW! To walk into a fire every day, look at it in the eyes and say I am here to help and then come back for another round. All of them are going to work for us; the least we can do is stay at home for them. And on that note, stop taking their masks. They need them to stay healthy, when caring for those who are sick and to lower the chances of spreading this. Unless of course you have been hiding your credentials of being a doctor in your back pocket all along and are ready to jump on the line? Then by all means buy up all the masks and we can quarantine you with a COVID-19 patient.

-For everyone that doesn’t believe any of this. See you on the other side. We can always over react and say “whelp that was silly” or we can avoid reacting and not have the oppurtunity to say anything.

-For our government….

…………..

We can all fill in the blank. But let’s all remember these few moments. When this all dies down, and when we are at the polls remember who it was that denied this ever existed a few weeks ago as this nation is now struggling and suffering economically, socially and in our healthcare system. How you choose to lead in a time of crisis is the biggest display of your ability to have ever become and remain a leader.

There is a cure, I know it. I can feel it, a little inkling. There’s talk of a cure through a Malaria drug and a study that went into effect 2 days ago. I have faith in that. I am telling myself that, trust me you should too. It helps. So does a margarita or 4 right now.

I don’t have a solution, clearly, I am writing about this on my blog named Stilettosinasandbox but my suggestion in containing this would be working together with our nation. Locking down every business except grocery stores, pharmacies, hospitals and shelters. Regardless how we feel about this pandemic, one thing is clear we don’t know this  BEAST. We are seeing something that has not been witnessed for GENERATIONS. We are smarter, faster and prepared with more technology than ever before, but we are fueled with more greed than we ever shoud have been.

It seems like the only way out is to collectively struggle. Disagree all you want, I promise this blog and your opinion will probably go no where but if one person buys one less 12 pack of TP or 6 less cans of soup then my job is done. Because you made it possibly for one under privellaged familly to find a way to survive another 2 weeks.

Thanks for reading, now go wash your hands for two happy birthdays. twice 🙂

 

Finding & Living Your Purpose

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Super dramatic title, I know. I promise this post is equally as dramatic so with this 6 minute read you will definitely have your daily dose of unsolicited advice.

For most of us our careers are what supports our lifestyle, our hobbies are what we do, when and if we have time, our schedules are made up of to do lists and tasks and our goals usually fuel the desire to accomplish all of these things. Dreams and aspirations are usually fond memories and far from our daily life.

I literally cringed typing that because those few sentences were a huge portion of my life. It was my Monday through Sunday, what I breathed and lived. Or thought I was living? So at what point did I go in to autopilot and believe that my life had to be this routine that seemed so normal to me.

When I was a child I remember organizing a New Baby Item Drive; I believe at the age of 9. I had a goal of giving pregnant, under privileged women the essentials of what they needed for the first few weeks with their baby before they were back on the streets of Los Angeles. With two supportive parents, family friends funding my little vision and an idea that I thought could save the world, I was able to create packages for these women to take home with them from the hospital.

Fast forward a few years, when I was a teenager I was familiarizing myself with folks on the streets of Los Angeles on Humanitarian Day or volunteer soup kitchens. After having children I found myself serving food at the local food pantry, volunteering to help women and children at the local YWCA and donating extra items to foundations helping children and women get off the street and into stable housing, incomes and lives.

I would love to say I was giving back because I felt I needed to in my heart, and I am sure as a child that was where it stemmed from. Truth is as I got older and had children of my own I felt almost guilty.  Moving out of my parents’ home at 18, 7 months pregnant with my first son, I was one of those women at some point in my life. Though the streets were not my home and safety was not an issue for me I shared more in common with many of those people than the person I strived to become. The only difference was I had a little bit of luck and far too many blessings that allowed me the chance to become successful in this world.

Though I made some poor decisions, the man upstairs (or the universe, friends of the big man, karma however you want to spin it) had a different plan for me. I was blessed with a few skills, talent and heart to keep pursuing my goals, giving my children and myself the life we want, nothing short of beautiful, adventurous and memorable. Once work and life became more routine I realized I was taking my blessings as a given, as if one day they couldn’t be taken away. I started to realize every year I lease my life but not truly living it to the fullest and making a difference.

About a year and a half ago after going through heartbreak I realized no one should break me. Not because I have taken nearly a decade to build myself, career, life and family but because I have more to give. I have more to offer and to break me would mean I could not pass my light. I knew I wanted to do something. Changing the world was a little out of the scale for me but changing someone’s world was not.

I decided to live with purpose; to change one person’s life outside of my children. After months and months of searching for how I can apply purpose to my life I decided I wanted to help people who were not always given the opportunity to ever find theirs. I decided at the beginning of this year to start writing in hopes of inspiring one person, maybe a tired mother or a heartbroken girl and then to create a chain of hope. With Jonathan cheering me on I created Austin Hope Squad. With every visit to Austin, I planned how I could mark my purpose when I moved here. And what almost felt an overnight change, I found my purpose in life.

Hope Squad Austin

IG: Austinhopesquad

Aside from this being a shameless plug for Austin Hope Squad. It is a slight nudge, asking you if you are living your purpose. Do you wake up to a routine? Do you ever think about a goal or dream you never really got to? Do you think about the day you take your last breath and where ever you go to next, if you left something behind worth remembering? Regardless of if you believe in a life after, do you feel like your time here has been worthwhile?

If the answer is no I encourage you to find your purpose. Of course this is coming from the girl behind this blog so take it as you will. Whether you are an artist with a story to tell, a teacher with an idea that will change the way your students look at their education, a doctor with a gift of healing to offer someone in need, a mother with the talent of comforting someone else’s child as well as your own or just someone who wants more of this beautiful life, find your purpose. And then live it.

Hope you all have a wonderful fourth of July holiday!