Something Good

Just a few weeks ago, I was stressed about my upcoming implant (no matter how you try to sugar-coat it, an implant means someone is screwing a metal post into your jaw), my dog’s heart-worm diagnosis, and managing a Spring calendar that was overcrowded with events and trips.  I found myself wishing that somehow my life could become less complicated.  Today, my social calendar is completely empty, my dentist’s office closed after completing only the first part of the procedure, and Finn’s much-needed heart worm treatment may be postponed.   Which I guess supports that old saying, “Be careful what you wish for.”

Lots of people are pointing the finger of blame and even more are trying to dictate exactly how we should be feeling right now, and I have very little patience with any of them.  But there are also many people who are spreading messages of hope, who are encouraging us to be kind and tolerant, and who are reminding us that no matter how bad things become, we will get through this.  I don’t know about you, but I find those messages very comforting and reassuring.  And I thought maybe I could help others by sharing the coping mechanisms that work best for me.

First, I’m limiting my exposure to the news media and to the negative aspects of social media as much as possible.  I turn on the news in the morning just long enough to stay abreast of current events, and then I switch the channel.  There’s something comforting about watching people on television shows go about their normal lives, and doing the things we used to do before anyone knew what “social distancing” meant.  As for Facebook, I’ve found that the “unfollow” button is my new best friend.  It allows me to stay friends with those who are constantly publishing angry posts without having the vitriol spread all over my news-feed.

I’m using the extra time I now have to do the chores around my house that I’ve been ignoring for so long, and that feels good.  I take my dog for (sedate) walks when the weather permits, and still go to the shelter to help with the dogs that are living there because animals in cages always need someone to care for them.  And now that my grandson’s daycare is closing, I’m going to be babysitting for him while his parents work from home.  I’m eager to spend more time with him, even though I’m sure there will also be times when I remember why I had my own kids when I was young.

u69gwAJcQXfDEE8WD6QI’m trying to indulge in small pleasures whenever I can, including taking the time to read a little bit every day.  When I spotted flowers while stocking up on food at the grocery store, I hesitated.  Should I really be spending money on something so unnecessary?  But then I realized that now is exactly the time to surround myself with anything that cheers me up, and added them to my cart.

Most importantly, I’m trying to stay in touch with family and friends, particularly those who are hurting the most, through calls, texts and emails.  I’ve found that each time I do something that helps someone else, I feel a little less stressed and worried, and a little bit more empowered.  It reminds me that I can still make a positive impact on our troubled world, in my own small way.  And that lesson will serve me well long after this horrible virus has left finally left town.

102 thoughts on “Something Good

  1. I’ve been watching the news as little as possible too. I find out the highlights, and I read the email blast we get from the mayors office, and that way I know what’s happening without going into overload. And I’ve logged off of Facebook, because I unfriended two people already…my mental health us worth more

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    • You’re so right, Svet! The level of pollution has gone way down, and we can spend much more time with our family. We’ll get through this, and I like the idea of making the best of it by looking for the positives in the situation. That helps us all, because we need to keep our spirits up!

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  2. This introvert is finding herself busy with sending and receiving emails and catching up on videos that I follow of soothing music, mindfulness meditations and a family in Utah with almost-2-year-old quintuplets! My Facebook friends are also posting really funny, really moving, really encouraging pieces that lift me up. And I try to write encouraging blogs and do something daily with painting and calligraphy. Have great fun with your grandson! And thank you for keeping us all in balance, Ann. Your posts are always a joy to read!

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    • You know I feel the same way about you and your blog! Your posts always make me think, and always make me feel better. You have that gift of being encouraging in a realistic way that is easy to trust. I have found myself gravitating toward people who speak, write or post things that I find helpful. Right now, I don’t have the stomach for hate or fear!

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  3. Hi Ann – you’re doing a nice thing here by sharing how you’re coping. There are many up and down moods that go with what we’re all going through. I almost bought flowers while I was out earlier this week. Maybe I will the next time I have to go to the grocery store. Thanks for cheering me!

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    • Get the flowers if they are there! It does help, trust me. I have my moments of stress and fear, or frustration at how this is playing out too. But then I take a deep breath, remind myself that I have no control of this virus or its effects on our world, and focus on all the good that is still around me. And I do find the encouraging words of friends and acquaintances to be very, very helpful. Thanks for being one of those people who encourage!!

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      • There is a lot of good coming out of people, despite the times. We are all figuring it out as we go along, and understanding the situation at different rates, depending on where we live. It’s getting worse here in Pennsylvania, but we all kind of knew it would. Take care. 🧡

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    • My guess is that it has saved you a lot of stress and anger. Sometimes I sit down at my computer in a good mood, but by the time I get up from it, I’m in a foul mood. And who needs that? So I’ve learned to be much more selective about what I read online. Thanks for the comment!

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  4. I’m surprised by the emotions that this virus and the effects it’s having on everyone. Working on managing my emotions and like you limiting the news and avoiding misinformation. Your flowers are lovely. Thank you for making a bright spot in my day. Stay safe.

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    • I know! The emotions are over the top, and sometimes I feel very anxious too. I think what is most unsettling to people is how our normal lives were upended, almost overnight, especially since we all know the long-term effects of so many people losing their livelihood will be around for a long, long time. Uncertainty always breeds fear. But that’s why it’s all the more important to focus on the normal and good things in our lives and to remember that this will end and we will get through it. And I think encouraging each other makes a huge difference! I hope you and your family stays safe too, Lorie!

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    • Thank you for the reminder, Tracy! You’re exactly right, now is the time for us to be our best person. I honestly believe that Finn will be okay, his case of heart worm is light, and he’s already had the anti-biotics, which help weaken the worms. His injections may have to wait, but the vet said that is not a huge risk. Together, we will all go through this! Australians are in my mind a lot lately, because I’m sure dealing with this virus is even harder considering what you’ve been through so recently with the awful fires. Peace to you….

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  5. There’s been a flood of good, almost-gallows humor on FB. I’ve cut a lot of news watching & pretty much ignore the Fed-level newscasts. Otherwise, pretty much business as usual as a retiree, except I really miss my public library!
    And of course, I do think in terms of before and after; perceptions have changed on what’s worth worrying about, and where are the everyday blessings. Yes, I am privileged and fortunate, and happy to be exchanging kindnesses with my neighbors, especially the ones I never knew!
    Please keep on with your reflective blog …it’s a bright spot and a blessing!

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    • Thanks, Liz! I will continue blogging, although I won’t have quite as much time for it once I start babysitting by grandson. I love the creative outlet and the blogging community way too much to give it up though, especially during these difficult times, because so many of the posts I see give me the encouragement and support we all need. And thanks for the reminder that we’re privileged to have the resources to get through this: so many people don’t. Which makes it all the more important that we help others whenever we can. Take care!

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  6. Staying calm and follow the two main pieces of advice (washing your hands and keeping a safe distance) is the best attitude in this crisis. Our news media seem to thrive wallowing in the constant stream of negative events. You are doing the right thing, Ann, turning off the news channel after you inform yourself about the latest development in the morning. Have a very pleasant weekend!

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    • You’re so right, Peter! Calmness counts, because stress and panic actually weaken our immune systems and make it much more likely that we’ll get sick. The news media here is also thriving on the worst case scenarios and stirring up the panic, which is dangerously irresponsible, and why I don’t watch more than I have to. Now is the time for courage, not fear, and encouragement, not tearing each other down. Thanks, Peter! I hope you have a wonderful week too!

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  7. It’s lovely to hear how other people are finding it all and coping. I only got back a week ago from a month overseas, so it’s been a real whirlwind of a week, taking in everything that’s going on here, getting back to work and then being told we have to work from home (I’ve never done that before). It’s all been very unsettling, but I have also found it heartwarming to see the acts of kindness that have been happening everywhere. I nipped to the shops yesterday and people were smiling at each other and saying morning – I don’t recall that ever happening here before!! Little things that like give me hope and make me feel better when it all gets a bit overwhelming. I think trying to take the small pleasures whenever you can is going to be so important. All the very best to you and your family and have a lovely weekend!

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    • It seems that emergency situations bring out the best, and sometimes the worst, in people……but most often the best. For everyone hoarding toilet paper, there are three who are checking on their neighbors and sharing what they have with those who need it. And that gives me hope for humanity! I hope you have adjusted to this crazy new normal by now, and that when this settles you are able to travel again!

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      • That does seem to be very true, I am heartened to see those acts of kindness. It does make me feel there is hope in the these tough times! Thank you, I can’t wait to get out there again but there are more important things to concentrate on for now. All the best to you and yours, I am hoping that the blogging world and the connections on here will help us all keep sane in these uncertain times!

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    • That sounds like a very wise and fun way to continue your book club, Anabel! I agree, it is so important not to isolate ourselves socially during these times. There are lots of safe ways to stay in touch, and we need to make sure we’re doing just that. Stay well!

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  8. I’m feeling exactly the same way, Ann. The messages of hope and people helping one another are what we need to stay focused on. The media can be so hateful. Like yourself, I’m getting things done and making great progress on my next book. I’m able to work from home, which has been a blessing. As for Facebook, I’m doing a great deal of social distancing. The kindness among the Word Press community is more soothing. Stay well and enjoy the weekend!

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    • The media is far too hateful, and doing more than its share to add to the panic and worry. And since it’s a scientific fact that stress takes a huge toll on our immune systems, that’s a very destructive thing to do. Keeping our spirits up is an important part of fighting this virus, which is why I’m so glad that so many people are choosing to find ways to do that for themselves and to support others. That’s what we need right now, and I’m so happy to see the way the blogging community is doing just that! I hope you and yours stay well!

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  9. Hi Ann. Haven’t checked in for a while, but now we are in a bit of a slower time eh?! Guess What? I’m in the middle of a dental implant procedure too. Oh boy! Fun stuff 🙄. Hope you are well. Just wanted to say hi! Elbow bumps!

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    • Good to hear from you, Jodi! I didn’t know you were having an implant as well. I’m at the stage where I have the steel post in my mouth, but they haven’t covered it with the new crown (or whatever they call it) yet. Hopefully they can get that done sooner rather than later, but they were planning to open back up April 6, and tomorrow our area is going to a “shelter at home” restriction for thirty days, so who knows? Elbow bumps to you too!! Stay healthy!

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        • What’s a flipper? I had stitches after my extraction, and then a membrane in there to hold it all in place for an additional two weeks. But the truth is, that was the worst of it, by far! I didn’t feel a thing when the put the metal part of the implant in, and had no bleeding, no stitches, etc. I just have to chew on the other side of my mouth. So, unless your version was very different from mine, you have already done the hard part!!

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          • It is one of my front teeth!!!😩. Injured as a child when I was in a bike accident and broke my jaw. I got a blister on my gum recently and asked dentist to check at cleaning and it spiraled to implant for infection and calcified canal that could not be root canaled. So much of the jaw deteriorated so I had to have bone grafting. Will take four months before I can get implant in so I have a “flipper” which is basically a false tooth on a retainer kind of appliance in the top of my mouth. It was/ is really quite traumatic losing a front tooth! 🥺. Feel like a hillbilly. So thankful for the flipper. Nobody would know that I don’t tell, but of course I tell everyone. Lol.

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            • Oh, I’m so sorry! Sounds familiar, except mine is one of my back molars…. I had an infection that came back after the root canal, and I also had a partially calcified root. Dang, of all the things to have in common. LOL! But seriously, the worst is behind you.

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  10. “Be the change you wish to see in the world” – that’s my current philosophy. It sounds like yours, as well.

    Kindness and self care and focusing on the positive. Also, while I’ve not had to adjust much in the physical social distancing (introvert, here) I find I am reaching out by phone and email to others more often than usual.

    Be well, Ann.

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    • I love that quote…thanks for sharing it! I think it’s much more effective to model the behavior we would like to see than to simply tell others to be better. It’s a great personal philosophy. And I honestly do believe that taking care of our selves (physically and emotionally) and others is even more important than ever right now. Take care and thank you for the comment!

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    • Thanks Neil! I’ve been thinking about it, and I honestly believe that part of what is driving our fear is the way our normal lives have been changed so drastically, so quickly. And the changes just keep coming, so we can’t yet quite settle into a “new normal.” We have to take our emotional health very seriously at times like this, I think, and I know I appreciate every single message of comfort and hope that I find.

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  11. Great words of encouragement and hope, Ann. We all need a reminder to step back and appreciate the good we have in our lives and focus on that. Enjoy our loved ones and help those when we can. Like you, I check in on what’s going on but I have to stay away from the news cycles. They’re full of blame and worst case scenarios. Instead of giving hope, they’re perpetuating fear so I choose not to listen. Take care of yourself and enjoy that grandchild.

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    • The media is making this worse, no doubt about that. I sometimes wonder if they realize that the panic they’re causing is creating the very stress that we all know weakens our immune systems….not exactly a good thing to do when the enemy happens to be a virus! But luckily, we get to choose our own response to this pandemic, and so many of us are choosing to be responsible and to remember the importance of taking care of ourselves and each others during these difficult times. I honestly believe that is what will get us through the upcoming weeks. Thanks for the comment, George, and for your excellent post on the subject!

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  12. Your approach to this situation is exactly how I’ve been doing things, too. I keep writing my blog hoping to add some light to a dark world. And I refuse to get distracted by the news, so I limit my daily intake of it. I’ve tried reaching out to people in my real world with mixed results. Those who live in fear have become more consumed with it, while others seem receptive to connections and hope. Stay safe, be well.

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    • I’ve found that mixed reaction as well. Some people are truly terrified, and any words of hope or encouragement fall on deaf ears. But at least we tried, and who knows? As time drags on, maybe they’ll remember that you reached out and it will comfort them or they will reach out to you. Personally, I’m so very grateful for any encouragement, or words of sanity, reason and hope that I can get. And I want to do the same thing for others as often as I can. Thanks for being a part of the blogging community that is helping us all stay connected in a positive way!

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    • It’s worrisome, that’s for sure. At the moment, our vet it still open for necessary medical treatment and doing a “curbside drop off” of patients, and if that continues, then he’ll be able to get the injections. But the local government keeps adding new restrictions by the day, so I’m not sure if that will still be the case when he’s scheduled to start them or not. I hope it is! If not, then we’ll just do it when the restrictions are lifted. Thanks for your concern. I know he’s “just a dog” to some, but he’s our dog and we love him so.

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    • I hadn’t thought about that one, Alan! But it’s true, all of our blogs might have more readers now that more people have time to read out posts. Thanks for pointing out a “silver lining” on this rather dark and very large cloud. We all need hope right now!

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  13. Excellent choices, Ann. Like you, I allow only a small space in my brain for news and social media and I spend hours during the day ‘piddling’ in my little garden. Today I am learning about the benefits of raw vegan and the available wild edibles in Florida’s woods and fields. 😎 Like everything else in life we survive or we crumble. It’s a choice.

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    • It absolutely is, Larry! The abrupt change in our lives has caused a lot of stress and angst, but once we can wrap our minds around it, we can find ways to cope and to live our lives in a fairly healthy and happy way. And we can also reach out to assist and comfort those who are really struggling with either the emotional or financial impact that this virus and these restrictions have wrought. Together, we will get through this! PS: If you get a chance, go over to White Hair Grace’s blog (she left a comment above on this thread, you can just click on her name) and read the post before the most current one. It’s one of the best posts I’ve seen on this situation, ever.)

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    • Glad it could help, Kathy! And thank you so very much for being a part of my blogging community. I love reading about your perspective on things…we all need to hear honest voices of reason and compassion right now, and you are definitely one of those.

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  14. Such challenging times to maneuver. Like so many here, I am limiting myself on news & social media. It seriously is just not healthy or helpful to fill our brain with nothing but Coved-19.

    Be informed, ensure what you are sharing is reliable and follow the necessary actions to do our best in kicking this thing to the curb.

    Thanks Ann for your post & I wish you continued health my friend💕

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    • I know! I tune in just enough to find out the latest developments in the world (and not just the Corona virus, because there really are other things going on in the world too) and then I turn my attention to other things. One way to fight a virus, in addition to social distancing, is to keep our immune systems as strong as possible, and stress makes them weaker. So I think it actually is very important for us to find ways to stay calm and hopeful as make our way through the upcoming weeks. I hope you and yours stay healthy too, my friend!!

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  15. Ann, so many, many times I too wished for a long break and a slowdown. I wished for a respite from rush and the chance to do things at a leisurely pace. Many times too and in different ways, God told me help was coming.

    Gosh, I never expected it to be in the form of a virus!

    In my situation, I’ve few worries – so it’s easier for me to obey the Stay Home order and to enjoy this time. Yet, it isn’t so for many others, such as even for you – with your dental issues and Finn’s condition. I wish there was some way you could settle both and get on with the healing.

    But our ways are never God’s. We’ve always known that and right now we’re learning it in a deeper way. If we resist and cling to plans and to what-should -have-been’s, we risk stressing and agitating ourselves.

    You’re doing it right, Ann, by choosing to make the best out of it. It’s especially wonderful how you’re gifting yourself to others in their hour of need.

    If we could all do this, we’d not just come out of this, but we’d emerge stronger and better persons.

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    • Thank you for a comment that illustrates just EXACTLY what I mean by being a voice of encouragement and hope! Yes, these are challenging times and no one likes to be reminded of just how easily and quickly our normal lives can be snatched away. But then we realize that change is actually a normal part of our lives and that we were rather foolish to look at our upcoming calendars and think, “here’s how my next few weeks will play out.” Maybe they will, maybe they won’t. But we can adjust to the change, trust that things will be alright in the end, and remember that we never walk this path alone.
      Thanks again for doing your part to help others….that kind of reaching out is what will get us through this!

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  16. Thanks for sharing what is helping you to move forward. It is so important for all of us to choose our thoughts and actions carefully. I relate this part of what you wrote, “I’ve found that each time I do something that helps someone else, I feel a little less stressed and worried, and a little bit more empowered.” I am fortunate to be safe in a house, with food and my basic needs covered. Therefore, I have been able to focus my energy on supporting others. I can’t make the virus go away but I can do my part to offer coaching, listening and tutoring for free for the time being. It does feel empowering to do this. I always appreciate your authentic sharing Ann.
    Take good care.

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    • Thanks, Ali! That’s what I’ve come to realize too. I can’t make this virus go away, and no government officials are asking my opinion of exactly how our society should respond to it, so why fret about it? Instead, focus on what I can control, which is how I react to this situation. And then make good choices that help me cope and that help others who are really hurting. The more we help others, the better off we’ll all be. And please keep your posts coming, Ali! They offer much-needed hope and encouragement to so many of us!

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  17. I agree, I am so tired of the people who are complaining about how our government is handling the crisis. The ones that complain the most should run for office and see how much they actually think they know!
    Fresh flowers are always on my shopping list but this week I have been enjoying a fresh cut orchid that has growing in a row of bushes.

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    • I am quickly becoming a huge fan of fresh flowers (especially since it will probably be a while before we’re able to buy flowers to plant in our yards.) And yes, everyone has an opinion about how we should handle this virus, but no one is actually an expert. Our elected leaders are doing the best they can, and I would hate to be the one making decisions for now. Because whatever is decided is going to have a down side. There is no way to cope with this that isn’t going to hurt a whole lot of people. Sometimes, life is hard….And the best response then is to be tolerant and kind, to ourselves and toward each other, too!

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  18. I just turned a job (that no longer exists) because I was anxious… Now I am not anxious but there is a pandemic. My husband is working from home but for how long. So far we are getting along…😁
    Keep well and safe, Ann. K x

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    • Yeah this is going to be a test for us all! But when I get stressed, I remind myself that my household still has an income, and many do not…and won’t for several more weeks at least. So that helps put it into perspective and helps me to be patient. I have a feeling this is going to be a test of many a marriage, though. LOL! I hope you stay safe and well too!

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    • I think it’s the only way to go, since the news sort of thrives on creating panic. (Which is so irresponsible, since it creates panic buying that means those who are most vulnerable can’t get the supplies they need, and also panic and stress is scientifically proven to weaken our immune systems…and we’re fighting a virus! So we need to keep our immune systems as strong as possible!) But mostly, I have found that helping others makes me feel better: less anxious, more in control, and more as if I can do something, no matter how small to help. I hope you and your loved ones stay safe and healthy!

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  19. In these uncertain and scary times, I know I can rely on you to help me keep it all in perspective, Ann. It is a good reminder that all of our normal daily tasks are secondary to preserving our health, and protecting the health of our families, friends, and neighbors. Right now, the world could really use a lot more charitable and compassionate people like you, especially ones that can articulate hope as well as you can. Thank you, and take good care!

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    • Thanks so much, Joe! I don’t think I’m all that articulate, but I just can’t live in a state of panic and fear. People have lived through hard times before, and we’ll live through them again. And the only constant in all of it is, the more compassionate we are towards one another, the better our lives will be. No matter what we’re facing, or for how long!

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  20. All good ways to cope, Ann, thanks. I no longer use Facebook and I only look at the news occasionally (mostly to keep track of what’s happening in my own country as stricter measures have just been brought it). I’d have bought the flowers, too. 🙂

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    • Thank you! I watch just enough to find to find out what I need to know, and then that’s it for the day. I don’t need to listen to endless speculation, blame and “worst case scenarios.” That just makes the situation worse, in my opinion!

      Like

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