Notes from school nurse Kathy Gross

Notes from school nurse Kathy Gross

These are not normal times for anyone. The feelings you are feeling are not unique to you, because whether its loneliness, boredom, worry, confusion, anger, relief or “on break” we have all felt them.

Even though we are all isolated, you are not alone.

We have not seen a pandemic of this proportion in the United States since the Spanish Flu outbreak in 1918. The sheer impact on people’s physical and emotional health, work and educational life, and financial strain is unprecedented. There is no blueprint for the best way to navigate any of this.

However, two strategies to consider are resiliency and acceptance. Resilience, or the capacity to recover quickly from difficulties, is an essential part of surviving and even thriving during the COVID-19 pandemic. But resiliency takes work, because often we find it easier to get bogged down with feelings of sadness and disappointment.

Resiliency can be built by maintaining perspective, being responsive and not reactive to adverse situations and choosing instead to accept failure and learn from it.

Acceptance, or a willingness to tolerate or believe, is another key component to surviving our current life situation. Ways to work on acceptance are practicing honesty with yourself, owning your failures and successes equally and not letting fear or insecurities get in your way.

Embracing the notions of resilience and acceptance will be key as we return from home isolation to our “new normal” world.

Social distancing, shelter-in-place, PPE’s and e-learning, are new phrases that we hear daily on the news and social media in response to the COVID19 outbreak. This has become our new normal and will most likely remain for the foreseeable future.

History tells us that this pandemic will end, and we as a race will have learned a lot and will have to make adjustments to what we once considered normal.

What that looks like still needs to be explored, but might include things like wearing a mask while out in public, carrying and using hand sanitizer, learning the subtle art of not touching your face and limiting social gatherings to small numbers.

Our use of resiliency and acceptance will undoubtedly come into play and make this slow transition to our new normal a whole lot easier.