Back in January, as the world rang in the year 2020 our nation and world greeted this milestone for a new year and new decade especially one of hope and optimism. But it wouldn’t be long before we were all blindsided by the news of the so called “Coronavirus/COVID-19”.
Before long the news of this Coronavirus became what we all have come to known as a Global Pandemic. Hearing the news of this pandemic abruptly starting spreading all across our nation and abroad was like wildfire or greater alarm blaze that in the beginning no one would be able to contain…let alone knock down. Before long it was frightening for me and everyone else to comprehend how COVID-19 was abruptly making tens of thousands of people severely ill and die the worldover. For me personally, this pandemic has definitely been an eye-opener and more importantly a wake up call for us that we cannot take for granted of what life has to offer especially as the world advances further ahead into the 21st Century. For me, the results of the Coronavirus made me aware that there’s so much fragility as far as life is concerned.
As a youth, I recall my father sharing stories of the Spanish Flu along with later the Asian Flu along with the Hong Kong Flu. As I recall, the aftermath of that health crisis in what I thought was severe at the time was nothing by comparison to what it really is today in 2020 with the global pandemic of the Coronavirus/COVID-19. Having said that, despite all my successes in life that I attribute to good time management skills…this made me aware of more changes that I had to incorporate into my timely routine as far as ensuring optimum success along with caring for my elderly mother who is now almost 90 years old. Not the least of these steps includes good personal hygiene skills like continuously wishing our hands on a regular basis along with using facial coverings or as many simply refer to it as face masks. In addition, it made me mindful of the six-foot distancing policies as mandated at public places in the community. More importantly, the Coronavirus made me more aware of staying safe along with staying at home on a regular basis after watching the nightly news updates by the Governor and the Mayor.
Over the past several months, what I personally learned from this Coronavirus crisis was…not to panic buy at stores of all our toiletries along with that of our grocery essentials. But importantly purchasing things whenever we need it on those basis only. Though it all as the weeks went by it became vital for us to check in and look after folks who are very close to us.
In my case, this was looking after my elderly mom that lives with me and that I need to care for her needs at this time of crisis as she is nearing the end of her life of almost nine decades living on this earth. The fact that we’ve had to stay at home, it made me feel more at ease while being in the midst of this dreaded global pandemic. But the fact that mom is 90 years old with symptoms of (borderline) dementia…it certainly takes a lot of patience caring for her on a regular basis. My mother Mrs. Toyoko Wakimoto, a very traditional Japanese woman and daughter of a farmer worker along with decades of factory work as her past-occupation at times can be very demanding. Regardless, without taking things personally…I go about doing whatever I need to do in order to get by each and everyday. During this Coronavirus staying home has been a very rewarding and emotionally very therapeutic experience for me as a person.
But the downside of staying at home over the past three months during this Coronavirus/COVID-19 Crisis has been causing me to become lonely and rather stir-crazy with myself. I’m well aware that COVID-19 along with this self-isolation practice is important. But the downside to all this is the fact that we could become stir-crazy as well. To avoid these emotional negativities at times, I kept in touch with my friends along with (taking moderate risks) going out to the community if need be in order to take care of my few personal business whenever I need to do so.
In doing so, virtually I attend church whenever I need to and most of all I started volunteering at churches and also participated doing public food distributions to my fellow residents in my community. That has been a lot of fun and rewarding one as well. In the process I’ve been able to receive a lot of food for me and my mom. At the sametime with a huge stockpile of food…I’ve been able to distribute so much of that food to my friends and relatives down in Orange County as well.
Thus it makes me aware that we as individuals need to work to provide for ourselves along with our loved ones and friends near and dear to us. But at this time of COVID-19 and being retired now, working at these food pantries made me aware that (the term) providing has taken on a whole new meaning as far as providing groceries for my relatives and friends are indeed all about. In all, what I’ve experienced over the past several months is concerned my personal experience during this healthwide crisis has been an emotionally fulfilling one…in a sense that in all it’s been a very rewarding and emotionally therapeutic one for me. But more importantly, the experience with the Coronavirus/COVID-19; it’s all about taking care of myself along with others that are near and dear to me. In short,that’s what these vital coping skills are all about during these difficult times of this dreaded Coronavirus us all about. Therefore (in closing) I encourage everyone to be good to yourselves along with being good to one another by looking after each other at these times of this dreaded crisis that we’ve come to know as the Coronavirus. Together we will soon fight off the ravages of this Coronavirus. Let’s all take care of ourselves. We will overcome this health crisis soon.
Submitted by Steven M. Wakimoto, Los Angeles County – Pasadena.