As the second wave of COVID sweeps across the nations, states are slowly but surely reinstating measures that were in place in March and April. In Texas, for instance, companies reopened to office workers. Unfortunately, clusters of workers started testing positive for SARS-COV-2 and this has provoked a second series of partial lockdowns. At your workplace, perhaps you may have heard of plans (or may be involved in those plans) to re-institute state-mandated public health rules to ensure that the virus does not spread more than it has. And perhaps, the thought of going through a second wave of COVID is already emotionally draining for you. You are not alone if you feel this way. In today’s post, we will provide you with practical steps you can take to cope during this second wave of the pandemic.
Give yourself permission to be upset
If you are feeling upset, you have every right to feel that way. Nobody was prepared for the meetings on Zoom or having to battle pets and little children while trying to look professional on said call. You were not ready to be a full-time homeschooling parent. You definitely did not sign up to walk 6 feet away from people you would otherwise want to say hello to.
The pandemic has upended our lives. That kind of drastic change over a short time can be hard to cope with. And having to do all of it for a while longer may be upsetting for you. Give yourself permission to be upset.
Prepare your mind for prolonged periods of wearing masks, isolation and school closures
Now that you have given yourself permission to be angry at this situation, it is time to prepare your mind for what a second wave of precautions could mean. This second wave of COVID infections impacts us in the following ways:
- It is likely that schools will be closed for the rest of the year. Even if your school district had plans to reopen in the Fall of 2020, a second wave of infections could mean schools will remain closed for the rest of the year. Preparing your mind for this will allow you to start structuring what school days will look like for children in the Fall if you have any. It will also help you in arranging the appropriate childcare for them.
- Prolonged wearing of masks in public spaces. I think by now, we can all agree that wearing masks in public is just not fun. There have been viral videos of individuals protesting for their right not to wear masks at the grocery store for instance. However, if we will combat this virus together, it is going to be important to continue to wear masks and practice good hand hygiene. Yes, it feels restrictive but together we can do this.
- Prolonged isolation. If you have underlying health issues, you may realize that it will be smart for you to keep self-isolating to stay safe.
- Prolonged periods of working from home.
Hire help if you need it
If you have the financial means to, this is also a great time to hire help for tasks you need done. Staying at home means we have had to become full-time cooks, housekeepers, parents in addition to completing tasks for work.
This is overwhelming. If there are tasks around your home that can be done without risking your safety as far as COVID-19 is concerned, hire people to help you do those. It will free up your time to do more of what you find meaningful.
Find alternatives to your favorite activities
Restaurants may be closing down again where you live. Playgrounds and pools that were opened may be closing as well. And for most, summer vacation that involves extensive travel is canceled.
It is possible to find alternatives for each of these. We discussed how to reimagine your summer vacation in this post. And if you have missed one of your favorite dishes at one of your favorite restaurants, you can go on YouTube, find the recipe and enjoy that meal from the comfort of your home.
Be open to receiving professional help to help you cope
Your ability to cope through this season depends on your mental health. Thus, this is not the time to ignore it. If you need to speak with a mental health professional about your feelings in this season, please do. They provide a listening ear and will give you the resources you need to help you safely navigate this second wave of COVID.