Our New Normal
Can I help?
COVID concern levels vary greatly throughout the country – and even from city to city, neighborhood to neighborhood. Just this week, our local news reported that COVID is now the leading cause of death in Los Angeles County. I am not going to delve into the divisive perspectives of the situation we are in. These are truly unprecedented times, and we are all feeling it in different ways.
Many things are uncertain, but please know and be sure that I am here to help.
If you are feeling uneasy, want to vent your frustration, need a laugh, looking for someone to pray with, or just can’t get any toilet paper, please reach out – I will lend an ear, help you find a sunny side, say a prayer, do whatever I can locally, and/or find someone in your area to do what needs done. Yes, I will even find you some toilet paper!
My phone number is 805-667-8295, email is firstname.lastname@example.org if you need me.
A New Landscape
It has been about six weeks since our local orders were put in place – raise your hand if you thought we would still be under “Safer at Home”, “Stay Well at Home” or whatever your local “Shelter in Place” directives may be?
Traffic is low, gas prices are lower – but, there is nowhere to go. I know some parts of the country are slowly opening up – blooming, on this quiet landscape of Social Distancing. We can see the re-emergence of the activities we once took for granted. But, once orders are lifted in every community, what will the new landscape, this new normal, look like?
I am eager to go shopping for nothing in particular - “just browsing, thank you”. I want to see kids playing at the park. I long to sit on the beach (right now we can go, wearing a mask, and we must keep moving), and I am already planning my first BBQ. I like to entertain, but it is strange to be absolutely giddy at the prospect of sitting next to friends and family, right here in my own backyard.
The Struggle is Real
Here in Southern California, and many urban locations will likely be on ‘lockdown’ for at least a few more weeks. My heart goes out to our seniors. (both kinds, but especially our elders) Not only those in assisted living, but all who are isolated from their families and other support systems. My mom typically gets together with folks from her neighborhood two or three times per week. I’m afraid they are all going to start a Senior Protest and storm the clubhouse for a game of cards soon.
I try to make supply runs for Mom and a few of her neighbors at least once a week. I feel terrible that I show up in a mask, have to drop stuff on the porch, and can’t even hug my mom hello or good-bye. I take all the precautions I can think of, because I can’t imagine how I would feel if I were the cause of anyone becoming ill.
I feel for families with children, having to become teachers while still trying to work from home. I work with several small businesses, from gyms to machine shops and auto body repair to event rental providers - they are all experiencing different levels of angst. Some are completely shut down, while others are doing everything they can to keep going. Struggling to keep their employees and rent paid – as well as caring for their own families.
My heart breaks for our neighbors at the hospitals, and the brave first responders and healthcare workers that serve them. Regardless of the degree, we've all been impacted by this pandemic.
What We Can Do
Some of the charitable organizations I volunteer with are having to make significant adjustments to the way they are fund raising. I do a lot of work with our local Habitat (Habitat of Humanity of Ventura County) and we are talking about ways we can best serve the community and continue fundraising so we can help.
Typically, Giving Tuesday happens each November. However, with many nonprofits struggling to serve the people most affected by the COVID crisis, Giving Tuesday NOW will be taking place on May 5, 2020.
The need is greater than ever. If you can, please give to your favorite charity. If you do not have a charity that you are tied to, here is a link to donate to Habitat for Humanity of Ventura County. I assure you; the money is used very wisely.
I also received the request below from our local Habitat. Please review and take action if you feel as strongly as I do about serving our communities.
Today I have one action request from you all as well: The CARES Act included some measures to provide economic relief for families and businesses, but Congress needs to go further to support families struggling to afford life’s essentials and nonprofits like Habitat for Humanity that serve our communities. Please email your members of Congress to urge them to continue prioritizing the needs of low-income families and the organizations that work hard to serve them. It takes about 60 seconds to fill out, and Habitat International will automatically send a letter to your congressperson on your behalf.