Reprinted with permission from We Are #DementiaStrong
Hey, have you heard about that COVID-19 thingy? It’s EVERYWHERE in the world, well, almost everywhere. Antarctica is the only continent with no confirmed cases of #Covid19. The impacts of Covid19 are now being felt at the North Pole for planned aerial surveys and resupply flights have been canceled.
What does this have to do with Dementia Strong? NOTHING, nothing at all . . . or does it?
On any given day, those of us who are Living with a Dementia-Related Illness usually spend a lot of time inside. Sure, we go walking to get exercise, we go to the grocery stores with our loved ones, we go to #Starbucks, we may even take an occasional trip to the Grocery Store if we feel like it, as long as we dress in our Hazmat Suits. But there’s a huge difference between being inside because we feel more secure and less anxious and being “MADE” to stay inside for we don’t know who has or who hasn’t been exposed to someone with the virus.
We can no longer go to our favorite restaurant to have our favorite meal because you can no longer go inside. You can get it to go, but it’s just not the same when you realized you’re eating your favorite meal from a styrofoam container.
Visiting with your friends and family means using #ZOOM or #FaceTime or #Skype or #HouseParty or any other ways we can make video calls. Yes, it’s nice to be able to see their faces, hear them laugh, and find out what’s been going on with them, but the physicality is not there. You can send a virtual hug, but it doesn’t have the same effect when you can’t hug them. You can’t even visit them in a hospital unless you’re wearing a mask and gloves. It’s the little things that are missed the most, especially when we are ordered to follow the rules.
I know I mentioned earlier about going to the grocery. Maureen and I still go about once a week and yes, we follow the arrows on the floor at Publix telling us which way to go, and yes we wear our masks, and yes we bring our wipes and wipe down the baskets, even though we see the employees wiping them down before we do, and yes we follow Social Distancing, but yet, when we get back into the car, we start wiping everywhere. Talk about anxiousness setting in.
Maureen tells me “you know, you don’t have to go. I can do this by myself.” I realize she can but when it’s the only time during that particular day that I can get out of the house, I jump at the chance. I then started to wonder, does she say that because she may want to get out of the house by herself? We are together 24/7. Surprisingly, no one has been harmed during our “Corona Vacation”!
I must say, whether it’s been a day, 6 months or 10+years you have shared your life with someone, when you spend 24/7 with that person(s) for weeks and weeks, you learn A LOT about them. Some things you just don’t want to know. You can become closer and then distant, all in a 5 minute period.
Throw Dementia into the mix, well, that brings it to a whole different level.
I’m not trying to single “US” out but, the law should have stated, “practice social distancing and treat everyone like they have a Dementia-Related Illness” then they would have surely stayed away from one another.
No, I’m not looking for pity, it’s just a fact. Friends don’t usually call unless they are Dementia Friends or are related to Dementia Friends in one way or another.
They don’t visit, because, you know, they may catch it, even though we are NOT CONTAGIOUS!
They’re afraid to speak to us for . . .
- we may not understand what they are saying, or
- we may not be able to respond to the questions they ask, or . . .
Anyways . . . continue your #SocialDistancing, wipe down anything BEFORE you touch it and then wipe your hands AFTER you touch it, wear a MASK, and just be kind to EVERYONE. It’s a very unusual time for ALL OF US so just remember, although you’re wearing a mask out in public, your eyes can still show that you’re smiling!
Y’all Take Care,
Until Next Time . . . PEACE!
As Joan stated, I do use humor in my blog posts (not all but some) but it is NEVER used to make fun of anyone. I have found that humor will sometimes make things easier to understand and accept. That is what I do in my personal life as well as in my Professional life.
I know people look at things in different manners and that is OK with me. I just wanted to reach out to you to let you know this was not meant to be rude. I welcome you to look at my previous blog posts where humor is nowhere to be found, just information to help.
Thank you, Brian, for sharing your journey with us. Love you, man!
What a great share. Brian LeBlanc….to know him is to love him. Thanks for all you do to inspire the rest of us and help keep us focused elsewhere other than on ourselves and our own challenges. 🙂
This is not funny at all.
Fran. Please know that this is not meant to be funny. We believed it was worth sharing as it is the perspective of someone living with dementia in the midst of the covid crisis and listening to the voice of elders is very important as we go through these challenging times. Yes, Brian uses humor as he faces challenges in life, whether that be covid-19 or dementia. Finding humor in life, even in the most difficult of situations, is a mechanism many use to cope.