What a difference a few days makes. Life, as we knew it just last week, has changed drastically in so many ways.
It wasn’t that long ago that the coronavirus — COVID-19 — was something happening on the other side of the world, and although it seemed serious then, most of us didn’t realize just how much of an impact it would have on us here, and certainly not how quickly it would affect our day-to-day lives.
But the announcements started flowing in at our office around Wednesday of last week, one after another, detailing cancellations or postponements of many local events and activities. And updates from state, county and city agencies have also come at a brisk pace, to the point where the majority of us now are just assuming most events have been canceled.
Tighter restrictions were also announced this week, with the latest coming from Gov. Kate Brown’s office on Monday, limiting all restaurants to carry-out, delivery or drive-thru service only. And gatherings have been limited to no more than 25 people.
Schools are temporarily closed, and households with working parents are scrambling to figure out how to handle that. There are also employees facing forced time off as businesses restrict their hours or close altogether.
Probably the most difficult thing for people to deal with is the uncertainty — not knowing what’s coming next or, for that matter, how to deal with what we already do know.
Without a doubt, the pandemic has affected us all in one way or another. And although this is certainly a very serious issue, we want to reiterate what we said on this page about this topic just a short time ago — be smart, but don’t panic.
That can be a hard thing to do, especially when we are bombarded with increasing concerns hour by hour, and sometimes minute by minute. But panic will not solve anything. All it does is get people more worked up.
It may not seem like it right now, but we will get through this. It could very likely be a tough road, but at some point, this will all be behind us, and “normal life” will resume. The best thing to do is get the information you need, and then focus on something else. Don’t spend all of your time thinking about the “what ifs?”
In the meantime, one thing we can all still do to make a difference in our mental outlook is to search for a little bit of joy as we go about our day. We may be facing huge restrictions when it comes to our normal social activities and day-to-day existence, but we can still enjoy a beautiful sunset over the ocean or the majestic ocean waves crashing ashore. We can lose ourselves in a good book or perhaps binge watch some favorite TV shows. Or better yet, simply spend more time with family members now that all of the other activities that normally keep us apart have been put on hold.