Showing posts with label pandemic. Show all posts
Showing posts with label pandemic. Show all posts

Wednesday, November 30, 2022

The pandemic turned the Golden Oldies years into the Golden Lonelies!

The pandemic turned the Golden Oldies years into the Golden Lonelies! The article on Spectrum news about seniors being hit by loneliness because of the pandemic hit me hard. For me, it was moving into a new state 4 months before the pandemic shut everything down. The new state was hard enough for an extrovert like me. I was planning on solving that problem by getting a part-time job since I was close to retirement age. Most of the friends I made over the years were with coworkers. The pandemic killed that idea. My husband and I are both high-risk, so, I decided to just wait it out and take early retirement.

Three years later, I haven't made any new friends. I thank God we have friends living not too far away that we've had for decades and our daughter is up here too, or I'd go completely insane. (Confession, I'm close enough to it now.)

During all this, I realized that some of the people I called "friends" turned out to be not interested in anything more than what politically motivated them. They refused to wear a mask or understand what COVID was doing to people. They refused to get vaccinated. Why? Because their political leaders were saying it was all a hoax. 

They were supposed to be "Christian" but apparently, anything that Jesus preached they should do, didn't matter anymore. Lying and hating was Okie Dokie with them. They turned against people they pretended to care about, leaving people like me, not just dealing with the pandemic, but dealing with the loss of trust in everyone.

I still wear a mask shopping because when too many people were not wearing them when there was a mask mandate, now I wonder what kind of germs they're running around with and not bothering to even cover their sneeze or mouth when they cough. Plus, I went for a checkup yesterday and they are still under mask mandates. 

I think all of this, caused me to see people in a way I don't like. I mean, not everyone is evil, selfish, despicable, or reprehensible, but there are a lot more than I ever thought there were. 

Now that my therapist got me passed grieving for the loss of my friend to COVID, we're working on getting me to want to be around people again. That will be great because it turns out, there are a lot more seniors like me not out there but are wanting to be. 

The thing that cracked me up a bit about the article was the woman they interviewed said she filled up her days with reading. I filled them up with writing books. If you have PTSD, there are lessons in this article for you too because part of PTSD is isolation. It's easy to lose trust in others when you have it and hard to gain it back but if you don't try, it will never come back to you. Your therapist can help with that. Last night we went out for dinner and I got to hug some people again!

Aging in Upstate: Film addresses isolation and loneliness in New York before pandemic hit

By Mark Goshgarian
Nov. 28, 2022

JAMESTOWN, N.Y. — "Reading. I did read," said Louise Wiggers, 77, of Findley Lake in Chautauqua County.
That's how she dealt with the isolation she felt during the pandemic. She even missed out on seeing her twin grandchildren in person for a year and a half.

"It was very difficult. And they changed a lot during that time, absolutely, they did. Yeah, it was hard. it was very, very difficult," said Louise.

Isolated, but not lonely, she lives with her husband of 55 years, Kent.

"So, we weren't seeing anyone, really. Even our neighbors because of our age and our being at risk," said Louise.

The two spent hours watching their favorite TV shows and movies on BritBox, not knowing day to day just how long they would have to stay cooped up.

"It was frustrating. And you know, I think I would say I was a little bit angry about all of that, too," said Louise.

Chautauqua County Office for the Aging recently hosted a screening at the Robert H. Jackson Center in Jamestown of the documentary "All the Lonely People," which chronicles a cross-section of adults sharing their experiences living in isolation.
read more here

Thursday, April 23, 2020

There is a passage out of darkness with PTSD and pandemic

Every dark passage

Wounded Times
Kathie Costos
April 23, 2020
I have come into the world as a light, so that no one who believes in me should stay in darkness. John 12:46
Take comfort in knowing that every dark passage ends in light, otherwise it would be called a dead end instead of a passage. There is a way to get to the other side of whatever darkness surrounds you, but you will not reach it if you remain standing still.
You, Lord, keep my lamp burning; my God turns my darkness into light. Psalm 18:28
Take comfort in knowing that this crisis will not last forever. As with all things, this time will pass and the stress will go away. Even though some of the memories may linger, you have the power over what you do with those dark memories, so you can make room to treasure the good ones.

Take comfort in knowing that you are not alone if you are dealing with PTSD on top of this pandemic. There are about 8 million other Americans with PTSD. In other words, 8 million other survivors learning how to live the rest of their lives after surviving whatever caused them to be hit by PTSD.

Being afraid to admit you are afraid leaves you stuck in the darkness. No one will know you need comforting, so they will not try to ease your fears. Human nature has most people programmed to respond to the needs of others. We see that today as more and more people are stepping up to, not just help save lives, but to help those who are on the front lines in need of help too!

The path of the righteous is like the morning sun, shining ever brighter till the full light of day. Proverbs 4:18

Some will use a crisis for their own sake, but there are more trying to alleviate the burdens others carry. Right now, that is something that you can do just by being able to reach out for help, receive it and then, reach back out again to help others.
Heal the sick, raise the dead, cleanse those who have leprosy, drive out demons. Freely you have received; freely give. Matthew 10:8

You can change your life and help others find the light at the end of the passage. Imagine what their life will be like when you help them see they are not stuck in a dead end.

Thursday, April 16, 2020

1918, when the so-called Spanish flu ravaged the planet and lessons not learned

'We Haven't Learned From History': 'Radio Influenza' Is A Warning From 1918

By Neda Ulaby
April 16, 2020
The last great pandemic struck the world more than 100 years ago. But voices from that time can still be heard in Radio Influenza, a haunting work of audio art available online.
A nurse works in the influenza ward of the Walter Reed hospital in Washington, D.C., in November 1918. Artist Jordan Baseman evokes the era in Radio Influenza, a work of audio art commissioned to mark the centenary of the pandemic. Harris & Ewing / Library of Congress via AP

The voices are not real. They're computerized. They sound tinny and faraway as they read fragments of newspaper stories from 1918, when the so-called Spanish flu ravaged the planet. Still, these fleeting dispatches from the past are uncannily relevant.

"A man with a cold can easily throw it twelve feet by a sneeze," cautions an entry from Oct. 2, 1918. "Therefore, he must be kept at a distance. Sneezing and coughing unscreened by a handkerchief should be regarded as an assault. The sick animal who creeps away by himself until he has recovered shows an example that man would do well to follow."

Radio Influenza was created by Jordan Baseman, an American artist who works in London. He didn't want the project to sentimentalize or romanticize the past. "I wanted it to sound like a broadcast from a dystopian future," he explains. "So what we hear are artificial voices that I've manipulated to sound ... kind of real?"

Baseman started Radio Influenza two years ago to coincide with the 100th anniversary of the flu pandemic that killed more than 50 million people worldwide. There's an audio entry for each day of that year. Not all entries are taken verbatim from newspapers.

Some are cobbled together, with a certain amount of what Baseman calls "intervention." (This is art, after all, not journalism.)
read it here

Wednesday, April 8, 2020

The world now knows what trauma is and you can help them heal if you have PTSD

Advice getting through another crisis

PTSD Patrol
Kathie Costos
April 8, 2020

"So now go do the best things in life
Take a bite of this world while you can
Make the most of the rest of your life"
Disturbed - Hold on to Memories
I am going to start this the way I usually end a video...with what you are empowered to do. "...go do the best things in life...make the most of the rest of your life."

Right now the world is living through global pandemic trauma. Life as they knew it ended. As of yesterday "There are at least 387,547 cases of coronavirus in the United States and at least 12,291 people have died, according to Johns Hopkins University's tally of cases." according to a CNN running update. That means at least that many have experienced the trauma of fighting for their lives. Even more have experienced the trauma of it coming into their families and the fear of it happening to those who have thus far escaped it.

While some people take a callous attitude to take advantage of the trauma, many more are going out to make sure others stay alive, even if it means they are subjecting themselves to more trauma.

Aside from hurricanes and this pandemic, I survived life altering trauma 10 times. I know what it can do to lives, but the key is, only if we allow it to gain control.

This is from ABC News

Calls to US helpline jump 891%, as White House is warned of mental health crisis

Last month the “Disaster Distress Helpline” at the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) saw an 891% increase in call volume compared with March 2019, according to a spokesman for the agency, which is part of the Department of Health and Human Services.

In fact, this March – ending little more than a week ago – saw 338% more calls to the helpline than in the month before, when the deadly virus began to take hold inside the U.S. homeland, and government officials began taking more extreme measures to stop its spread.
There are 57.8 million Americans currently living with mental or substance use disorders, according to SAMHSA.
Two ways to look at the report are, it is terrible that many are in crisis, or, there are many more fighting for their lives and acknowledging they need help. Please take that as a sign it is OK to ask for help if you need it too.

But what else can we do against something we have no control over? Look at what we can control. We can control how we act and react.

We control what we do if we are healthy enough to help others.

We control if we act out of kindness and patience, or react with selfishness.

We control if we show that we are suffering too and are afraid to comfort someone else, or react with judgement unwilling to show we are not super-human.
read it here

Sunday, April 5, 2020

His Love redeemed all of us!

Honoring those who risk their lives on Palm Sunday

Wounded Times
Kathie Costos
April 12, 2020

For many Christians, today is Palm Sunday. (Sorry fellow Greeks but ours is next week.)

I spent most of the day thinking about Jesus and wondering what was going on in His mind when He was greeted by the crowd and palms laid down on His path. He knew His time on this earth was almost over and this day would be the turning point.
Matthew 21 New International Version (NIV)
Jesus Comes to Jerusalem as King
8 A very large crowd spread their cloaks on the road, while others cut branches from the trees and spread them on the road.

9 The crowds that went ahead of him and those that followed shouted,

“Hosanna to the Son of David!”

“Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord!”

“Hosanna in the highest heaven!”

10 When Jesus entered Jerusalem, the whole city was stirred and asked, “Who is this?”

11 The crowds answered, “This is Jesus, the prophet from Nazareth in Galilee.”

Jesus at the Temple
12 Jesus entered the temple courts and drove out all who were buying and selling there. He overturned the tables of the money changers and the benches of those selling doves.

13 “It is written,” he said to them, “‘My house will be called a house of prayer,’ but you are making it ‘a den of robbers.’”

14 The blind and the lame came to him at the temple, and he healed them.

15 But when the chief priests and the teachers of the law saw the wonderful things he did and the children shouting in the temple courts, “Hosanna to the Son of David,” they were indignant.

16 “Do you hear what these children are saying?” they asked him. “Yes,” replied Jesus, “have you never read,“‘From the lips of children and infants you, Lord, have called forth your praise’?”

Yet knowing what was going to happen to Him, He still reacted with love and compassion. He still did what He could to heal those who needed Him. Nothing about Him changed.

His Love redeemed all of us!

Today we see so much suffering all over the world. No country has been spared from the pandemic. We see greedy people try to make whatever money they can, much like the money changers confronted by Jesus.  We see hoards of people taking whatever they can, leaving many to leave with nothing they need. We see crowds of people who want to see an event, even though they can become infected with the virus, spread it out into their own homes and communities.

There is a greater infection among us, and that is when people decide what they want to do is all that should matter to the world. They are special in their own eyes. Everyone else suffering for what they do is someone else's problem. Yet these same people will be the first ones screaming for other people to take care of them.

Today we also see more people acting like Jesus, risking their own lives to save strangers. We see them show compassion and courage. We see people act out of pure love doing whatever they can to make someone else's life better.

Too many times we hear people say that there are no more miracles. We see them all around us everyday when some decide to do what they want for themselves, and others, with the same ability to be selfish, turn around and do selfless acts, no matter what price they may pay...even if it costs them their own life.