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Mood swings a symptom of lockdown for me


Last updated 4/1/2020 at 4:53pm | View PDF

Despite my attempts to keep a positive attitude as we shelter in place, I'm not doing as well as I'd like.

My husband's cousin was hospitalized Monday with COVID-19. She is on an antibiotic, her brother told us, and the doctor is optimistic about how her lungs sound.

My mom, her sweetheart and my father-in-law are all in lockdown at their assisted living facility. So far no cases have been reported in their building, but someone in the nursing home across the parking lot has tested positive.

I FaceTimed Saturday with my friend from college, who's a nurse in a Chicago hospital. She is struggling. Her work, as you might imagine, is incredibly stressful. Concerns that she might be bringing the virus home means time off is stressful, too.

I made the mistake of reading an article about summer travel Sunday. It effectively ended my fantasy that we might be able to take our vacation to New York and Boston in June.

I see the "save the date" cards on my fridge for graduation parties and weddings and my heart breaks for all the plans that will have to be altered.

I also find I have less and less patience when I see groups of kids or adults walking together outside.

"Are you related?" I want to shout out of my car window as I drive home from work or while I'm out walking by myself. So far I've been able to keep quiet, but one of these days ...

And then, I find moments when I am able to move beyond the heartbreak.

Every day at work I hear heartwarming stories of the good people are doing to help others here in Hinsdale. And I know that in towns likes ours across the country, people are making all kinds of sacrifices for one another.

When I take a deep breath and look at the "power of social distancing" chart, I am reminded that even 50 percent less exposure makes a dramatic difference in the number of people one person can infect (15 vs. 406). I know that all I can do is my part and hope and pray others will do theirs. (No drive-by yelling is necessary.)

When I connect with my neighbors or my book club in a Zoom meeting, I feel better. When I listen to our pastor livestream our Sunday morning church service, I feel better. Exercise, going on a family dog walk, baking, playing a board game, watching a show as a family, reading a good book - all of these things help me regain my equilibrium. I need to keep doing all of the above.

I also, as you know, have enjoyed reading the many funny and inspirational messages on Facebook. Once again, I'll close by sharing a few that spoke to me this past week.

To make you laugh: Search "Coronavirus Rhapsody" on Facebook. "Is this a fever? Is this just allergies? Caught in lockdown. No escape from the family." And it just keeps getting better from there.

To make you think: "This quarantine is affecting everyone in the work force, but it especially sucks for men. We're losing $1 for every .79 cents women are losing."

And to lift your spirits: "Sometimes when you're in a dark place, you think you've been buried, but you've actually been planted."

- Pamela Lannom is editor of The Hinsdalean. Readers can email her at [email protected]

Author Bio

Pamela Lannom is editor of The Hinsdalean

Email: [email protected]
Phone: 630-323-4422, ext. 104


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