The Busy Bee at I-10, Exit 283
The Doxology (what Beth hums while she washes her hands)
Ma’s Diner in Tallahassee
Call or text us at 850-270-3308 and answer this episode's question(s):
Have you traveled during the Coronavirus outbreak? Were your spring break plans scuttled by all this? Tell us what this first week or so of #coronapocalypse has been like for you.
Questions for Reflection
Each episode we offer you a few prompts to think about how that day's conversation applies to you. You might pause the podcast and answer them right then and there, but if you keep a journal (Steph and Beth both do), you might find one of these PDFs useful. Choose the orientation that fits best in your journal.
Welcome to the Discovering Our Scars Podcast.
Where we have honest conversations about things that make us different. I'm Steph.
Today is March 18, 2020 around almost 10:00.
Now, we don't normally timestamp our episodes, but we think it's important to do that today.
Things are changing almost minute by minute with the coronavirus outbreak.
We wanted to share with you some of our initial experiences, including our recent travel experiences since the virus was known to be in the US. I know that we had recorded some other episodes, but we felt like those could wait, that we would make this decision now to come and talk about what's actually happening now, have an honest conversation about some of the anxiety that we're feeling and the ways that this is affecting us.
Yeah. Normally, we do plan ahead. We are planners, and we have two episodes ready to go, but this... I had just edited the podcast for this week and texted Beth. We both agreed, "Wait. We got to talk about the coronavirus." I mean this is huge. This is life-changing. We were just recently talking about generational impacts. We were talking about her daughter. What would be something that would impact her daughter? We're literally living in it right now.
Yeah, this is it. I think that she will always remember that her sophomore year of school got cut short. I mean it looks like it's going to be cut short. My son's a senior. He plays lacrosse. That season is finished now even though it's only March. All extracurricular activities have been canceled through the end of the year even if school comes back. Yeah, I think that this will be definitely one of those things that mark their time. Just like, for you, it was 9/11. For me, it was 9/11 but also when the Challenger exploded, those kinds of things. I think this will be one of those moments for them.
Exactly. We typically record episodes about things we live through, we've already processed, and so this is something brand-new for us. We obviously haven't fully processed this, but part of what we do on the podcast is talk about hard things. This is a hard time. We are going to release this episode on Friday, this Friday the 20th, March 20th, I believe. We might actually record an episode next week and release another one next week depending on how everything goes. I do want to mention we are practicing social distancing right now-
... as we're podcasting.
You're so far away.
We are so far away. I can't touch Beth. We're... have the table that we normally podcast at in a different direction so that we are at least... Yeah, as far as we can.
Yeah, we're as far apart as we can be and-
Yeah. We have tissues. If we need to touch our face, we have hand cleaner. We are practicing the CDC recommendations, everything. We're doing that because we don't know. We could have the virus and we wouldn't know. At this point, we're not showing any symptoms. That's what's scary about this is this invisible thing that we could have and pass on. My concern is passing it on to my mother, I mean she's in the at-risk age group, and anyone in the at-risk age group, but that's something tangible that... That's my big reason for staying safe. Also, they say it's flu-like symptoms. I don't want flu-like symptoms. Flu is bad. I'm like I don't want to take a chance on-
That is the truth. It's true.
I don't want to be like, "Maybe I get it." I'm like, "No, no, I want to stay safe."
There's so much we could talk about with this virus and everything that's transpired, but what we decided to talk today about was traveling with the coronavirus. I just wanted to tell my story of literally a week ago, last Wednesday. For months now, my publishing company, every season, they have a book launch for the authors that release a book in that season. Mine was always scheduled for a week a go, March... What was that? March-
A week ago would have been March 11th?
March 11th? Yeah, I think it was the 11th. I had planned on going. I booked my ticket a couple weeks ago. The coronavirus was definitely in the conversation before I traveled. I don't think there was cases in Florida yet a week ago. I-
I don't think there were cases because we weren't testing.
Well, yes, of course. That's a-
Yeah, that's a whole nother thing.
There wasn't any reported. It was still kind of like, "This is a thing. We need to be cautious about it." I was definitely cautious. I was very concerned about traveling with it going on. I brought hand wipes. I brought hand cleaner. I learned how to wash my hands. If you haven't watched the video on how to properly wash your hands, I definitely recommend it because, literally, 20 seconds and-
Let me just say that not everyone has watched those videos because I have been... We can talk about this, and then I'll tell more of the story, but I've been in public restrooms lately, and people are not washing their hands for 20 seconds.
Wow. Well, I will tell you, when I was traveling, I saw people washing their hands for a long time. I even saw a mom instructing her kid on how to do it. I saw the opposite, so I'm really happy that people are watching those, but we still need more people to watch those videos on how to wash your hands. It's good information to know.
I booked my trip before the coronavirus. I was prepared. I didn't have a mask or anything. I didn't think that was necessary, but I knew staying away from people, anyone that was sick, all those things. I was going with what the CDC said, but I was still super nervous about traveling. A week ago Wednesday, my plane left around 2:00, 2:30, I think. I get to the airport. No one is line because Tallahassee Airport, it's not a hot...
Not a super hopping place. Got on the plane. Every seat was full and-
You had to fly from here to where?
From here to Atlanta, yeah.
Yeah. You can't go to Nashville from here.
Tallahassee. I flew to Atlanta. I didn't really notice any difference. They didn't talk about it on the plane. I had gotten an email from Delta a day before saying how they were doing advanced cleaning and everything. When I was on the plane, I literally saw a mound of dirt in one of the seat areas, and I was like, "This is really gross. I do not feel like they're cleaning these things." When I was on the plane, I literally sat there, didn't move. It wasn't a long flight, so I just didn't move. I was like, "Okay, just be fine."
Then on my flight to Atlanta to Nashville, the flight was full, no... The guy next to me was coughing, which did not make me happy. He was coughing into his elbow, which was good, but I-
Hopefully the elbow that was away from you, hopefully.
It was, yeah. It was. I was in the middle of two different guys. I was like, "Oh, my goodness," because when you fly alone, apparently, they give you the worst seats ever, I think, is the thing. If there's a bad seat, I was in it.
I got to Nashville, and I was very much cleaning my hands. Every time I went to the bathroom I... Also, something that I saw, I heard, and it is verified that it's fact is the hand blowers to dry your hands, they just spew germs everywhere. My mom suggested that I bring some paper towels, and I'm so glad I did because the Nashville airport only had those dryers. I was able to get my paper towels out and clean my hands and be on my way.
I read that for the first time too, that the air dryers are actually not more sanitary. I always thought they were more sanitary because you weren't touching anything, but apparently-
They're just spreading germs.
That might not be the case, yeah.
Yeah. Got to the hotel, and I was feeling pretty good. When I got to the hotel, I sanitized a lot of stuff. I had wipes with me. I cleaned stuff. I was feeling pretty good. The next day, during the event, I was very cautious about touching hands. Some people were acting like it was no big deal, acting like it was silly. Some people understood it. What I did was we had this two-hour event where all the authors got to speak about their books for a little bit.
By the way, you did a great job.
Yeah, I was really proud of you.
Thanks, yeah. It was fun. I got to meet some new friends, new author friends, and we got to go to a dinner that night at Wildhorse Saloon in Nashville. We had a private room on the side, and there's a big place for line dancing. I guess there's normally a bunch of people line dancing, but there really was not, the whole time we were there, not a lot of people there. I asked somebody about it, and they said, "Oh, this is always packed. This is because of the coronavirus." I was like, "Oh."
That was a very visible wow, no one's here because of that. In downtown Nashville, we were walking around all the bars and stuff. I'm not going in them but just walking back to the car, and there was no one around. I mean there was some people, but they said, "This is completely abnormal." They said, last time they came, you could not walk there was so many people. People definitely were not going out.
I failed to mention, the day before this, so Wednesday when I got to Nashville, that night, the president did his address where he said that he was banning travel, well, whatever... The travel ban to Europe thing, that was happening. That's when that happened. Also, that night or the next morning is when Disney said they were closing all their parks. That hit me hard. I was out of town. I used to work for Disney. They never shut down for anything, hurricanes maybe for a day or two, and that was it.
That was like, "Whoa." That hit me hard. I realized I'm out of town, I'm in a strange place, and things are shutting down. I wasn't afraid that I wouldn't be able to get home, but I was like, "This is unprecedented. I don't know what's going to happen during this time." Thursday went well. The dinner was good, but then... or yeah. Then Friday is when I planned to come home. My plane didn't leave until three something because I had planned to meet up with a friend in Nashville, but she couldn't meet because of the virus. Her kids were home, and it was just too crazy.
I basically had a whole half a day to sit in the news of coronavirus, and I was getting so much anxiety. I was like, "I want to leave." I had ordered room service the day before. I couldn't even order room service for breakfast on Friday because I felt so much anxiety. I was like, "That was a bummer," because I like... That's my special treat. I was almost panicking, and I was not feeling good. I was feeling sick, and I was like, "What if I have coronavirus? What if I start showing symptoms? They won't let me fly home. How am I going to get help? No one is going to want to help me if I have this."
All of this was spiraling in my head, and I was getting so much more anxiety than ever. I mean I've had bad anxiety before, and that was this. I was physically getting sick from it. My head was spiraling. It's like how do you get away from germs? They're everywhere.
Yeah, they're everywhere.
Once I touch one thing... and then I was just like... and so I called my recovery sponsor. We talked for a while on the phone because I was spiraling. I started praying about this. I started deep breathing and just trying to calm myself because I was so anxious. My plane didn't leave until 3:30, but I finally was just like, "I'm going to go to the airport early and see if I can get an earlier flight." I was able to get an earlier flight, did have to pay an extra fee, but I was able to get on... Essentially, I got home two hours earlier than I would have, which I was thankful to be able to get home, but how my-
I can't believe they charged you a fee.
Was that plane that you transferred to, the earlier flight, was it really full?
No. That's what I was going to say. It was a $75 fee to change.
To get onto a plane that was already not full.
I know. I know.
That is not okay.
I know. I know, but I was like I didn't want to... I thought the same thing. I was like, "Really? We're in the coronavirus. You literally..." Also, they didn't have this when I was going. On my way back, every Delta gate had this new sign that was the CDC recommendations of how to stop the virus, the cleaning hands and stuff, all these signs. I'm looking at this sign as he's like, "$75." I was like, "Okay." I just passed over the credit card. I was like, "I'm not going to. I have the receipt if there's anything in the future," but I was like, "It's worth it. I'm not even going to." There's some things to get mad about, but I was just done.
I texted my mom. She's like, "Totally worth it." I was like, "I know." It seems ridiculous, but anyways, on my flight from Nashville to Atlanta, there was 59 empty seats when just a couple days before when I flew, there was no empty seats. I know it was 59 because it said on the sign. There was probably more than that because there's probably people that didn't even show up. That was how many were available for standby.
Then on my flight from Nashville... Oh, and then also when I was in Atlanta waiting for my Tallahassee flight, I saw people with masks. I saw a ton of people with mask on. There was a guy that was sitting near the gate near me that was coughing, and I was like, "Am I six feet apart from this guy? Because he's just going on and on." I was like, "Mmm, this..." He was older. I was like, "Mmm, this is not good."
I tried to eat because I still had no appetite because I still was just so anxious. I got some grapes from Starbucks, and I was eating grapes, but I literally put a glove on because I was like, "Grapes, you have to touch them." I was like, "I'm just going to wear gloves so I don't even have to think about it and..."
But then you ate them. You put them in your body. What good did the glove do?
Oh, if my hand had anything on it.
Oh, gotcha. Okay.
Yeah, no, I mean I... Obviously, yeah, someone had put the thing in the thing, whatever, but that was my like, "Okay. I'm going to put a glove on. It will make me feel better that I'm not..." It also helped remind me not to touch anything else with that hand because the glove was a symbol. I mean, yeah, it seems like overkill, but it helped me... anything that could help with the anxiety because it was eating me up inside.
Yeah, and so on my flight back to Tallahassee, there was 22 empty seats. That's a small plane. It's a small plane because Tallahassee, we don't have... only small planes.
Yeah. I'm not used to there being any empty seats on those flights to and from Atlanta-
I know. Yeah, yeah.
Exactly. There was-
There really are only maybe four cities you can fly direct to from Tallahassee.
Yeah, I know.
Atlanta is one of them, so those flights are always... Even though they're small planes, they're always full.
Yeah. Just in the two days that I was gone, the difference that it was... When I got home, I was also, in my head, playing out, "Okay, when I get home, my dog is going to be super excited to see me. She's going to jump up on me. What if I have the virus on my clothes if someone sneezed on me or something? What if it's on my clothes? I want to take a shower right away, but she's not going to let me because she's going to be so excited." I literally texted my neighbor and asked if she will take my dog before I get home so I could shower first. Thankfully, her son was home and kept [Mack 00:14:58] so I could get home. I put all my clothes in the wash, I took a shower, and then I got my dog and got to have some time with her.
I haven't felt that much anxiety probably in years. I haven't had that much anxious... that literally making myself sick, the anxiety making me sick. I just saw the tip of it. I wasn't international traveling. I was just normal traveling, normal everyday travel. I'm glad I went on the trip because the event was good. I'm really glad I did the event, but honestly, I don't know if I have the virus. I don't know if I got the virus from being there because the symptoms can... I could have no symptoms and have it. The symptoms could show up in 14 days, and so I still have some anxiety in my head.
One thing that I have done, I was... The three hallmarks of the virus are fever, cough, and shortness of breath. One thing that I was like, "How can I help distinguish anxiety from the virus?" and so I took my temperature. I thought, "Okay. That's something I can physically do, take my temperature to see." I didn't have a temperature. I haven't checked it in a while. I-
Yeah, but that's an objective measure.
You can feel, "Oh, I have shortness of breath." That's not as objective as a number on a thermometer.
Yeah, because I have shortness of breath from anxiety. I have chills from anxiety. I'm like, "I don't know what I have." I think part of it is are well going to get the virus? I don't know. If I got it, what would that look like? I don't know, but I'm going to try my best to not get it. I'm going to try my best to not pass it to people. I would hate to know that, because people came in contact with me, this happened. I'm not touching my face. I'm washing my hands. I'm being so cautious and trying my best to stay in. That was my travel story.
Yeah, but it's interesting because, as you're traveling, the situation is really developing quite quickly.
Like you were saying, on the way there, there weren't these CDC warnings at every gate at the airport. By the time, two days later, a day and half later you're ready to come home, all of this has changed.
Big places are closing down. The sports teams stopped having audiences. So many things changed. It was minute by minute. When I got to the airport coming home, I literally was like, "I have to have my AirPods in and listen to music. I can't watch the news," because the news was on everywhere. I was like, "I can't watch the news. I have to just get home." I think, actually, when I was gone is when the federal state of emergency was declared, while I was coming home to Tallahassee. I believe it was...
I think it was that Friday.
Yeah, and that's when I was traveling home.
Yeah, that's when you were coming home. That's right.
I just happened to walk past, and I saw the little thing on the screen, and I was like... kept walking. I was like, "I can't. There's no good knowing that right now." I was like, "I'll find that out when I get home."
I feel like I've been the opposite. I'm a news junkie normally anyway, but now it's like there have been these memes, I'm sure everybody has seen them on Facebook, about how Floridians, we're used to having our update every four hours. As much as that's a joke, it's true. I really do find myself like, "Okay. It's been a few hours since I heard about something closing or some new restrictions or... Okay, so what's coming? What's coming?"
Just yesterday, they made the decision... I don't remember now which day. They made the decision that all Florida schools would be closed. Oh, that happened on Friday. They made the decision that all Florida schools would be closed through March 30th. We'd come back on March 31st. But then, yesterday, our governor decided that schools would be closed until April 15th, and our superintendent put out a video saying, "And all extracurricular activities are finished through the end of the school year." It was this snowball of information. I am like, "I want to watch the news because I want to know everything that's happening." I always get news alerts anyway, but now I'm like, "Yeah. What's happening? What's happening? What's happening?"
I want to know it when I want to know it. I don't like to get notifications on my phone. I have almost all notifications turned off because I want to be ready. Even when I check social media, I don't just check it willy-nilly. I'm like, "Okay, I am prepared to take in whatever there is there." I'm paying attention to what's happening with this, but I'm taking it in chunks. I'm taking chunks of where I'm completely distancing myself from it and just watching fun things. I've been rewatching Gilmore Girls because it's fun. There's no virus in it, and it's just like I love it. Then there's been times where I've been watching the latest news in little chunks so that I can not just be in a funk all day.
The last time we recorded an episode, that's the one that we will release later on, I guess-
At some point in the future.
At some point in the future. I remember, specifically, we recorded and then we were planning the next episode. I was asking you about your spring break plans, and you were telling me about them. Then, right then, you were saying that, "I'm not sure if it's going to happen. I want to do it. I'm not sure, though." Tell us the story of how that all transpired.
We were supposed to fly out on Friday the 13th and fly to Barcelona. We were supposed to be in Barcelona for five days, four or five days, and then Madrid for four or five days. We made the decision that we weren't going to go, but we were... We made that decision on the Monday before Friday the 13th, whatever date that was, but we hadn't actually canceled anything with the airlines or with... We had an Airbnb set up for Barcelona and then one for Madrid. We were waiting to cancel because we were waiting to see what kind of travel notifications would come out. Then the president went on TV and said there won't be any flights allowed from Europe. Well, Spain is in Europe, so we were like, "Okay, well."
I decided I would go ahead and cancel our Airbnbs. I contacted the airline and said that we weren't going to be... because, at that point, it was Thursday. We would have been boarding the flight. It was almost time to check in for the flight. I was like, "Well, I don't want to lose anything, so I'll let them know we're not going to come." Delta has been great. They've promised me that a refund is coming, but it might take them a little while to process it, but that it's coming. We're a family of four, so this is not a small investment. This trip was a significant amount of money. I can't get anybody at Airbnb to respond to me, but I know that Spain is on lockdown, and so I know that it's not reasonable to expect me to have taken this trip or whatever.
Plan A was we were going to go to Spain for spring break, which is this week. We were going to be there from the 13th to the 23rd. Plan B was, well, we can't go to Europe, but we can travel within the United States, so let's take a road trip. We were going to go to The Alamo because I've never been there, right, so let's go to The Alamo.
I remember it, yeah.
Remember The Alamo.
I've been actually.
We were going to drive from Tallahassee to The Alamo and then go from The Alamo and, on the way back, we were going to spend a day or two in New Orleans.
A lot of people.
We headed that way, and we got as far as Baton Rouge. We stopped to spend the night. While we were there in Baton Rouge, it was the time when things started. Governors started saying, "We've got to close all the restaurants and bars." Everything touristy was closing. I actually think The Alamo stayed open, but they were only letting small groups in. It just felt irresponsible to keep going. The hotel we were staying at normally has the free breakfast in the morning. They nixed that. They were like, "No. We're not allowed to do that anymore."
With all of these changes, it just felt like the responsible thing to do is to go home and be home so that we are not coming in contact with someone who has this and then spreading it. Much more worried about that than actual illness. I will say I had flu A this year, and it did stink. I know that corona is not the flu, but it just... When something like that takes you out for a week, you realized it's really unpleasant. I don't want to experience anything like that.
In addition, I do serve. Through my church, I do serve people who are in this vulnerable population, and I couldn't... Oh, my gosh. I can't even imagine how it would feel to know that I had somehow passed that on. Now church services are canceled. That's creating a whole nother issue, but the travel, specifically, was anxiety-producing. Our Plan A was Spain. That got scuttled. Plan B was a road trip. That got scuttled. Now we're home for the foreseeable future because school's not going to be in session for at least a month.
I remember, when I was in Nashville just a week a go, texting with you. You said that you were still going to do the road trip. Did you feel like it was safe to go on the road trip when you started it? Why did you really want to do it?
Yeah. I really thought, "This is our last spring break," because my son is a senior, and so I thought, "Well, we can still make something out of this. We can do it in a way that's responsible." As I was checking in with other friends and as I was looking as social media, nobody was home. Everybody went to the beach or went to a cabin or went to north Georgia, went to North Carolina. They went somewhere drivable, and so I was like, "Okay, so drivable is socially acceptable. This will be okay. We can do this."
Then checking along and seeing, well, hotels are open and restaurants are open, and the things that we want to see and do are open. I checked in with some tour operators about some tours we were going to do. They were like, "Yes, we're still going. This is how we're changing things, but the trips can still happen." I felt like it was appropriate to still go, but then, along the way, I realized that was not the right decision. A fool's errand, I called it. "This has been a fool's errand. I have taken us in the wrong direction."
Yeah. That's why I figured it was your son's last spring break. It totally made sense of why you were going on the trip. It does sound like you didn't just like, "We're going. Whatever." You did your research. You saw that everything was okay. You decided to drive and not fly.
I stocked up on hand sanitizers and sanitizing wipes. Actually, when we stopped at the hotel in Baton Rouge, before I could stop it from happening... I will say the hotel we stopped in had been well-sanitized. You could tell. There was not a surface that had not been touched. Everything has been touched by sanitizer. We got into the room and, before I could get to it, my son picked up the remote control. I was like, "No."
He licked it, right? [inaudible 00:25:36].
Yeah, but I ran over, and I have these... The only sanitizing wipes I could get were actually medical-type wipes.
They're very small, but they're very potent. I was cleaning the remote control, and cleaning his hands, and cleaning the remote control, and cleaning his hands, and just trying to be smart about it and to be as safe as possible, but yeah, it was a bummer. You stop to get gas, and it's like, "Okay, well, now we have to sanitize before you touch anything in the car."
I mean it's gross on a good day.
The place that we stopped, though, where people were not washing their hands, I don't want to say where it was, but I will just say it was-
It was not in Florida, but it was a very, very large gas station. You know the Busy Bee?
Yeah. Oh, yeah.
This is the Busy Bee on steroids. It's huge.
What? Bigger than the Busy Bee?
Oh, so much bigger than the-
By the way, if you don't know Busy Bee, it's amazing. The one we're talking about is in Live Oak [crosstalk 00:26:34] Florida.
Yeah, exit 283 on I-10.
This one is the other direction, and it's much, much bigger and-
But it's not a Busy Bee.
It's not a Busy Bee.
It's like a Busy Bee.
It's like a Busy Bee, but it's not a Bee. It's a Beaver.
Oh, I don't know that one.
Yeah, so I will just say I was surprised that, as I was standing there washing my hands, being very diligent about my 20 seconds, singing the doxology Praise God From Whom All Blessings Come, that people were coming up beside me and finishing. Then someone would come up, and then they would finish. I'm like, "We haven't hit 20 seconds yet, people. Let's start over."
You were about to have a sermon here, "Everyone, let's... This is holy water. Let's enjoy it all together, 20 seconds."
"20 seconds, friends, all together now. Who wants to count?" I was a little bit disappointed in that. Then it made me super wary of everything in the... Then I thought, "Wait. This is just, in general, gross that we haven't been washing our hands correctly or for the proper amount of time," or all those things. I was, "Oh, this is a real wake up call."
I don't like knowing all of these things.
I know. It's a give-and-take because we do need germs. Germs are important for us to build up immunities to and-
My mom always said I ate dirt when I was a kid. She didn't feed it to me, but I have a really good immune system because I was exposed to germs as a young kid. I do clean my hands. I'm not a dirty person. I don't shower daily. I'm going to put it out there. I don't normally shower daily because it's not great for you to be overly clean, but I am now showering every single day. I always shower before bed because I feel so gross. This time is like I'm too clean. I don't want to be this clean. I'm like, "What is this actually going to do, in the long run, that I am too clean?" Right now, it doesn't matter. I'm going to clean. I don't want to get the virus, so I'm trying. I'm following the CDC. Whether that's all I should be doing or not, that's what I'm doing.
It's like we're all just doing the best that we can.
Just do the best that we can.
I think, if I do have the virus and I do find out that I passed it on to someone or other people in my life have it, I know that I did my best. That's my biggest thing is I don't want to sit there and say, "Oh, well, maybe I should have done..." I just saw a news article where some reporter or something got coronavirus, and he was like, "I wasn't taking it serious, but now I am." It's like, yeah, we all need to be taking it serious now because we don't want to be that guy.
Yeah. Also, if you do spend time on social media, you're probably seeing it too. People are starting, especially on Twitter, which I know is not your favorite socia media channel, but people are starting to put a name and a face with the 100 people who have died. That is heartbreaking. We did have someone die. My family lives in Pensacola, which is three hours away and several counties away from where we are in Tallahassee, but we have had people die between our two counties because someone died in Santa Rosa or Okaloosa County.
Oh, wow. Yeah.
It really is close.
Yeah. I feel a lot of fear and anxiety with this virus and the unknowns of it. Even the knowns aren't really truly knowns because it's brand-new. We don't have the history on it. We don't know, 100%, anything on this. For me, this is brand-new anxiety that I haven't had in years. For me, I've been doing more prayer than normal. I mean I'm just giving it to God. I have no control here. I'm out of control and doing more breathing.
My mom and I had some outdoor projects that was scheduled for us to be working on, and it's the perfect time. The weather's been really good. We've been working outside together and being physical, being outside, being in the fresh air. We've also been taking Mack and her friend [Layla 00:30:38] to the woods and walking outside. We've been seeing a lot of... not a ton of people, but definitely we've been seeing people walking with their dogs outside. I think this is a great time to be outside. Those things have been helping me with my mental health because I'm pretty good at social distancing. Being an introvert, I'm pretty good at that. No hugging? You're welcome. I can do that. As much as I'm not a big touchy-feely person, I do need to be with people.
You do, yes.
I am a person. People need people. Part of my routine normally is, a couple times per week, is I go to Starbucks. I don't sit with people, but I'm around people, and I'm working. I get things done in that time. I can't do that now. That's such a simple thing. Of course, I totally understand why I can't do that, but it's changing my daily routine. I work well in my routine. Seeing people in the way that I see them, I'm not able to do that right now, and so I'm having to add ways... Oh, like I'm seeing psychologist. Hopefully, I'm seeing my psychologist today. I have an appointment. She hasn't canceled yet, but it's 1:01, so I assume... We'll be six feet apart, so I assume that's safe.
Hopefully, she sanitizes the chair or whatever in between. Yeah.
Yes, I know, exactly. It's a couch. I'm like, "Please be Lysoling." I'm just taking every day one day at a time. I'm distancing myself from the news as much as possible, following what I need to follow but also not following second by second because that's not helpful because I tend to process a lot of stuff in my head and overthink things, and so I don't want to know too much that I don't have control over. I feel like the podcast is... I'm glad we have this that we can share these things. If nothing else, it's a time capsule for us for, one day, to listen back to how this time period was.
Well, and it's a chance for us to be together in a way that's safe. Also, I hope that it's like we're reaching out so that other people don't feel alone, that we do still have, even if it's digitally or whatever, there is some sense of human contact.
Even in this time when we should be reducing our human contact, we can do it in a way that's safe.
I'd encourage you to listen to our podcast while you're taking a walk outside in the fresh air.
That's right. That's right. That's right. Prayer is always a good idea.
How about you, Beth? How are you dealing with the fear, anxiety, all of that?
I'm trying to create a schedule so that I have control of what I have control over. With needing to work from home and with not having the routine of my kids being in school and now my husband is working from home, trying to navigate the new boundary between work and family, my goal today is to set up a schedule so that I know when I'm going to be performing each of those roles.
It's really important because I'm a pastor, and our church is not able to meet for regular Sunday worship now. We are live streaming our services, of course, but we want to enhance the ways that we do that. We want to come to people more. We want to create more online content, and so that's generating some additional work, so I want to have a schedule for that so that I know I can do it well and it won't feel so [inaudible 00:33:50]. It'll be like, "Oh, no. This is happening in this way."
I'm also calling and checking up on people. I don't normally like to talk on the phone. I'd much rather text or email or-
Or see them in person.
Yeah, or see people in person. Since we're not able to see each other in person, I think it's important that we can at least hear each other's voices, and so I've been on the phone a lot more just checking in on people saying, "Hey, how you doing? You doing okay?" Trying not to absorb anxiety but to let it be released through conversation.
Yeah. My mom and I went grocery shopping on Saturday to get food for the whole week, and we've been eating... we normally eat out a lot because that's part of... Since we work from home normally, we normally go out, and that's our getting away time. We go to Home Depot and things like that.
We still have been going to Home Depot, although we've been doing online pickup, which is awesome. You can order all your stuff online and then just pick it up in the store so you don't have to walk through. Their employees are wearing gloves. They're Lysoling things. Just from being at Home Depot, I've seen them being very safe. I'm really hoping they don't close because that's a big... but if they need to, I totally understand it, but that's a place that we frequent a lot, especially when we're in the middle of projects.
We went grocery shopping so that we wouldn't have to go out to eat, so that's been definitely a disruption in our daily life, necessary for sure. We've also been trying to eat really healthy because you want to make sure your immune system is in tip-top shape during this time, as well, which is always fun. After we eat each meal, we're like, "Mmm, that was healthy. Carrots and broccoli and, ugh, healthy. Yum. It's good."
Yeah. Meanwhile, in my family, we're like, "Oh, we're going to be at home a lot, let's get snacks."
We went to the grocery store yesterday, actually, and it was a surprise to me how much was not there, that there's no lunch meat. There was no pork, no chicken. There was some beef, so we got some of that, but there's no... There were no frozen hamburgers left. There was no frozen meat left at all. The only frozen vegetable left was cauliflower.
I'm just going to leave that alone. I mean I knew that they would be out of toilet paper, which actually I did get some toilet paper, but-
It was a total score.
They were out of things that I didn't expect like yeast. Apparently, everyone on this side of town has decided that this is the time to make bread, which is why I was looking for the yeast, because I had made that decision, but yeah.
Yeah. We went to Fresh Market on Saturday. We were able to get a lot of stuff. Also, it's not super busy. Fresh Market's never a crazy-busy store.
That felt really good and safe. Yeah, I am getting a little apprehensive about the coming weeks and stuff, so we're going to get some... We got fresh foods on Saturday, and we're going to probably go in a couple days to get some more dry foods that we can pantry stuff and just keep trying that once a week, going to the grocery store and get in, get out and then eat from home so we can try to minimize the interaction.
I do feel bad for the restaurants and all the local businesses. I don't-
I don't know what this will look like a month from now for them.
We probably will do some takeout from places like that just to have a break but also to try to offer some support, some encouragement.
Yeah. I mean I'm hoping they don't fully close. I know Chick-Fil-A and Panera and Starbucks have gone strictly just mobile order. Also, I go to Starbucks daily. I know it sounds ridiculous, but that's a comfort thing for me is I have my things I like at Starbucks, and I just feel like, "Aah, my drinks." I haven't gone, actually, since I got back from my trip. I haven't gone to Starbucks, which sounds so superficial, but just it's my thing. I do that. I get my beverages. I haven't gone because I'm trying to... I mean and I could go through the drive-through, and I'm still-
Not at ours. Our closest Starbucks doesn't have a drive-through.
Yeah. I mean the other one.
Yeah, and I-
Because there's always another one.
Well, yeah. We have-
I know. I'm being true. With Starbucks, there's always another one.
In Tallahassee, though, we have our drive-through one, and then we have the go-in one.
Well, where we live, we have the two, and so yeah. I probably will try to go, but also, I don't know what every day is going to hold. Maybe they will just shut them down completely. I don't know. I'm trying to stay in like I'm told.
Yeah. Well, I went to Ma's yesterday.
Oh, did you?
To Ma's Diner, which if you're ever in Tallahassee-
It's real good.
It's a great little local place.
Yeah, breakfast, brunch, lunch, that kind of thing. I was just talking to one of the owners about it. He was saying, "We're committed to receiving food deliveries. We're going to have food."
Yeah. Oh, that's good.
They were seating people only every other table, which is a big deal because this restaurant does not have a lot of tables, so they were already giving up a lot of business that way.
They're going to be offering takeout and-
Nice. Oh, because they hadn't before, yeah.
That was one of their things was no-
Right, no takeout.
They do have takeout now.
They didn't have the regular wait staff there because I don't think they could justify having employees, so it was just the three guys, but yeah, he was saying, "Well, no, we'll definitely have food," so then-
Oh, that's good to know.
He's like, "And I still have bills."
Yeah, I know.
"I still got to pay my rent on this space." Hopefully, this'll work out.
Yeah, it's such a tough space all around.
I hope this podcast was helpful. I mean I hope we weren't super bummer. I don't know if people are going to want to listen to this episode, they're going to be like, "No, I don't want to hear anything coronavirus," or if people will want to listen so we can be part of that conversation.
Well, we never know that with our podcast episodes.
Yeah, we don't know.
We never know if it's something that people want to listen to, but we do it anyway.
We like it, and so we think there might be some people like us out there that want to hear and be part of that conversation.
I think that, a week from now when we get back together to record, I think that we will have started to see some of the bright spots in all of this. I mean I think we're already seeing hints of it, people being able to take sabbath and some other things that are coming, but we can talk about that as it continues to develop.
I do hope that people will call in to our voicemail line and that they will share their stories with us. Have you been traveling? Were your spring break plans scuttled by all this? Tell us what your experiences in this first few days, first week or so of corona apocalypse have been like. What's that number that they can call, Steph?
Yeah, so definitely call in and share any story you'd like to. You can also text. The number is 850-270-3308. There'll also be a link in the description below to the phone number.
As always, we have our questions for reflection. These are questions we've written based on today's show. Beth will read them and leave a little pause between each. You can answer them in your head. We also have a PDF that you can download from our website possibly. I'm not sure if we're doing it for this one.
Number one: When did it sink in for you that the coronavirus is a big deal?
Number two: How has it changed your daily life, and how do you feel about those changes?
Number three: How are you staying positive during this time?
Number four: How are you reacting to and dealing with the heightened levels of fear and anxiety in yourself and in the world? Take a moment to identify the tools in your healthy tool kit that you can use in this situation.
This has been the Discovering Our Scars Podcast. Thank you for joining us. Stay safe out there.
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Mental Health Advocate. Author. Podcast Host. DIYer. Greyhound Mom.
I'm a mom who laughs a lot, mainly at myself. #UMC Pastor, recent Seminary grad, public speaker, blogger, and sometimes lawyer. Learning to #LiveLoved.