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Pandemic Gut Check

March 13, 2021

Another Way for week of March 5, 2021

Pandemic Gut Check

I look at the pictures or short videos of women (usually) and children sitting and staring in a refugee camp in some African or middle eastern country. Maybe I begin to feel just a hair of what they must feel like. They must think: Another day. Another day to somehow feed the family. Another day of waiting. Not really knowing what’s ahead.

Of course before you say wait a minute there are mammoth differences between a retired woman in the U.S. facing another day of the same old, and a desperate but patient woman or man somewhere “over there” waiting for a chance to move on, get out, find a new home, feel safer. I buy that.

But I—and maybe you too—have now felt the tedium, the frustration, the wondering. When will it end? Will it ever really end? Will one of my close family members die? We have lived with fear of these things, many of us, down deep.

It all helps me feel—in a way I’ve never been able to feel before (thank God) — the worry that thousands (millions?) around the world have felt for three, five, ten or more years in refugee camps. Can you imagine also dealing with the threat of Covid amidst all this?

Sigh. Okay, it’s been a year since the world shut down … since our lives changed here in North America where I live and write.

Ah: Writing. It’s been my salvation, my inspiration, my thing to do that keeps me going without falling into dark days of sleeping and situational depression and “I’m ready to scream” insides. I hope you have similar outlets, whether it is taking up piano or guitar again, finding time to knit, crochet or other needlework, projects long waiting you in the garage or shop, finding new movies and Netflix series to love, coming up with creative and delicious new menus. Or comfort food.

Those needing hospitalization for any of numerous ills are bearing the brunt of much suffering. Not only here, but around the world. If your spouse or family can’t visit you, how do you survive without going out of your mind?

Early daffodils: have you spotted some?

An article I found online tells the story of a Roger Collins in Kansas City, Kan., hospitalized now for almost seven months. His wife has been visiting at his window every day since last July. Even in bad weather. She brings a two-person tent and is just trying to keep her dear husband’s spirits up, to keep fighting. The article said that their children and grandchildren also visited at the window. They leave love notes for their dad and granddad. His trachea has been damaged through some of his treatment, and he now needs reconstructive surgery to remove scar tissue. The next step will be transferring to a rehab facility, they hope.

Billie Collins hopes that after her husband has reconstructive surgery to remove scar tissue from his damaged trachea, he’ll be able to transfer to a rehab facility. How do people hang on to hope?

We are beginning to hope as one person after another who I know is managing to get a shot, the vaccine. My husband and I were able to get our first shots a week ago. What an emotional experience that was for me. We celebrate each and every one. We see some numbers going down. We suspect we will be wearing masks a long time yet.

I do know this: all of our family has had many many fewer colds or illness this past year, due to more sheltering at home, more washing of hands, more hand cleaner used, fewer person-to-person contacts. Knock on a lot of wood for all of us, ok?

And keep doing what keeps us all cleaner and healthier and we hope—more mindful of those struggling with difficult daily dramas that most of us in North America don’t know much about.


How has it been for you?

Comment here, or send stories to or Another Way Media, P.O. Box 363, Singers Glen, VA 22834.

Another Way is a column by Melodie Davis, in syndication since 1987. She is the author of nine books. Another Way columns are posted at a week after newspaper publication.  

  1. The woman pitching her tent to see her husband through the window gives new meaning to the phrase “window on the world.” This is HARD, even though it’s a form of connection. for the couple. What a trooper she is!

    Cliff and I have had it comparatively easy: Both retired, and now having vaccines, we pursue our daily routine with less stress: Husby with his fix-it and art projects, and I with my writing.

    One year ago this day, I had a clash with Cliff over an under-boiled egg, the first sign that the pandemic had arrived and my psyche was being attached. It was also the first Sunday that our
    church-going in person was interrupted. You may remember I did blog about it – ha!

    Thank you for all this — especially the signs of spring in Virginia. 🙂

  2. Yes, I’ve been wondering about an update from this fellow and his dear wife.

    I agree we as retirees have been in a good place to just stay home more and try to be safe. We have missed the grandchildren so much but technology helps!

    Blessings and thanks for checking in. I guess your computer got fixed?

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