By: Linda Nidiffer

All writers in Op Ed are here to inform and acknowledge issues of importance to our communities, however these writings represent the views  and opinions of the authors and not necessarily of The Advertiser. 

So, how are you coping? Are you feeling well? Are you sleeping enough? Are you eating enough for one? Are you taking your vitamins and necessary supplements?  Are you doing the exercise thing? Or are you like me? Feeling grumpier than usual, insomnia even worse, eating enough chocolate for three people while taking my vitamins so that I will have proper nutrition for the day. The only exercise I get is going from one chair to the other or the occasional foray upstairs for more yarn.  All of my coping skills were used up in the first month in the pandemonium.  Who am I kidding? I don’t have any coping skills for this kind of long term stressor. I think our military men and women may have the skills for this (did you remember to honor them last week?) but who else is prepared for this level of uncertainty?

How is your attention span?  Do you have one?  When left on my own my attention span for someone of my age and abilities is fairly normal. But in the last few months I have the attention span of a butterfly unless I am reading a really good book. Just writing this essay is a trial but I have outside distractors including two nosey cats that have to be kept abreast of all of my comings and goings. I have laundry to which to tend. Falling leaves to watch. . . see what I mean? I have a middle schoolers mind on a good day now, but am old enough to have the undercurrent of worry lurking around.

I think I know what the problem is though. I am trying to bring chaos back into some semblance of order and I can’t.  The day to day things are running fairly smoothly except for the minor shortages in the grocery store.  Did you ever think that we in the U.S. would experience shortages of staples like rice?  How random and bizarre is that? It was back on the shelf the next visit but spaghetti was missing!  How can you run an orderly life when you can’t even buy staples?

We were all bamboozled at the outset.  They called this mess a pandemic. What a load of baloney.  It is a world health crisis! The crisis has caused the pandemonium that they want to call the “New Normal” another load of baloney. The doctor and scientists need to call it what it is and tell it like it like it is. It is a world health crisis and they don’t know what they are doing; they are trying to figure it out as the whole world watches.  Masks necessary? Masks unnecessary? Lockdown? Go wide open? How would you like to be in their shoes? Usually they live lives quietly in their research labs.  The only pressure is self-imposed or from the “ivory tower” culture or corporation in which they work.  Now they are living in the pandemonium on top of the pandemonium and it is not the “New Normal.” Someday we will go back to the grocery store, the movie theater, and the mall and we will not be wearing masks and that will be the “Old Normal.”