Hmm life in quarantine. I’m one of the lucky ones, I guess. Roof over mine and my family’s head, a steady household income, pantry and bellies full of food, access to some of the fastest internet in the country and multiple devices to use it with for entertainment, education and communication. We haven’t had it that bad, all things considered.
My kids have special needs: they both have ADHD and learning differences, one is on the Autism Spectrum, with the other not far behind in a diagnosis. Both with a general anxiety disorder. As well as their mom. Yes, I am/have all of these things as well. So staying home has been a challenge for all of us, an excercise in managing emotions, frustations and fears.
Challenging, yes, but somewhat manageable. We are lucky to have access to great health benefits, afforded by my partner’s workplace, and the province/country that I live in. Access to roads and pharmacies, for medical emergencies, groceries or walks along the beach. With our access to the internet and devices we have access to school, tutors, doctors and therapists. Our special needs, mental and physical have been taken care of as well as they could be under these circumstances. We live in a country that has both the political and economic power to help those left vulnerable to COVID-19.
And yet, there is always room for improvement. The homeless or those living in poverty, those struggling with addictions or an immuno-compromised system, or seniors and indigenous communities. The disabled community. These marginized groups have been left with not much else other than perhaps a slight increase to benefits (depending on province/territory) or offered no benefits at all.
During this stressful, anxious time, my stomach problems have gotten worse. My IBS has flared up almost daily, and a problem that I thought was either gone or treated, has resurfaced: GERD. Which means that I now cannot eat my usual go-to comfort foods/bevvies. No more chai teas or lattes, no more chocolate nor cider. No more hearty curries or pizza. I am on a bland and FODMAP-free diet. Basically, herbal tea with ginger and turmeric, egg whites, gluten-free breads, celery and peanuts, white rice and roasted (plain chicken) and salad greens. So yum, right?
And yet, I have access to medical professionals and medicine to treat symptoms. I am able to purchase whole foods that, while yes they are very, very bland, are providing me with sustanance. I am able to go on walks, watch comedies, read a good book or listen to a podcast and even practice home yoga to de-stress. I am lucky. My family is lucky.
As we prepare to open our homes to more families, we are able to use the outdoor space that comes with the home we live in. An outdoor space to relax and enjoy the beautiful garden and sunshine. A place to play. A space to make and eat food with friends we have not seen in a while.
I am grateful. Yes, despite my physical and mental ailments, I am grateful to live in a country where my spouse has been able to retain his job and work from home. Where we can afford the little luxuries to make this stressful time a little bit less stressful. It hasn’t been perfect, but then again, what parts of life are ever perfect? We have our health, our home and — despite the daily bickering that would have you believe otherwise — the love we have for each other is still just as strong as ever.