Today is another day of my new reality: working from home . . . with my daughter at home . . . not going anywhere. My sewing table is now a temporary work station and my dog is now my coworker. My daughter’s spring break camp field trip to the trampoline park has been replaced with The Price is Right, and I haven’t put on real pants in days. Nearly everyone in my office is now working from home after Governor Reynolds’ emergency proclamation. My husband is also now working at home.
I am scared, but I am lucky
I freely admit that I am scared. Less scared of catching the virus and more scared of the unknown. I like structure, I like planning, and I like to be in control. I’ve never been a germaphobe, but the hands that are typing these words are raw and cracked from frequent washing. I have no idea how to be a teacher.
I also freely admit that I am lucky.
I work in an office where management truly cares about their staff. My family is healthy. We have plenty of food and a normal supply of toilet paper and medicine on hand. We have health insurance. We have a comfortable and safe home. I have several amazing support networks of friends, and I have access to technology that keeps me in touch with them. My family and I are going to be okay.
But not everyone is going to be okay during this pandemic.
I need to remember how lucky I am, because not everyone is. Those who live paycheck to paycheck can’t stock up on food and medicine. Not everyone can work from home, and so they either have to risk exposing themselves and others to the virus, or they have to go without pay. Those who still have to work, who have children, now have to find emergency childcare or they have to go without pay.
Not everyone has a safe home to stay in — for some, staying home is more dangerous than the threat of the virus ever will be. Others are living with or are caring for those with health conditions and compromised immune systems. Some people live alone, and as time wears on, I imagine the loneliness of isolation will weigh heavily on them.
I am going to allow myself to feel all the emotions — sadness, frustration, disappointment, fear, anxiety . . . But I am not going to lose myself to them. This is going to be hard, but it’s going to be much harder for others’ in our community.
Let’s commit ourselves to helping each other.
Local and National COVID-19 Community Resources
The Iowa Department of Public Health: The IDPH website offers up-to-date information, as well as guidance for businesses, schools, healthcare, long-term care, general public, and travelers.
The Center for Disease Control: The CDC website has a dedicated summary of the virus, including symptoms, risk assessment, and preventative measures.
The American Psychological Association: The APA has a great list of resources.
New England Center for Anxiety: Lots of great resources and information on COVID-19 and coping through difficult times, including help for kids.
Domestic Violence Help
Domestic Violence Intervention Program: 800-373-1043
National Domestic Violence Hotline: In the U.S., call 1-800-799-SAFE (7233)
The Iowa City Community School District: FAQ page
United Way of Johnson & Washington Counties: Local support information and disaster relief fund.
City of North Liberty: COVID-19 Service and Program Changes
City of Iowa City: Coronavirus Information and Resources
Iowa City Public Library: Still offering numerous digital services
City of Coralville: Coronavirus Information and Resources
Coralville Public Library: Many services are still available while the building is closed.
Food Pantries/Food Services
North Liberty Community Pantry: Currently offering pre-bagged groceries.