Wendy Kalman
There are many ways to see and understand

Staying home

A glimpse of our virtual first seder

Life in these times is certainly different. Virtual seders brought us closer to family, virtual happy hours bring us together with friends, virtual conference calls at work are becoming more social as we compare COVID-19 notes, virtual classes enable us to see our professor and classmates, streaming allows brings us into shul to virtually participate in Shabbat services, today’s television allows us to virtually join celebrities in their homes as well. What is not virtual is how we manage day to day with those in our own home. I in particular feel rather fortunate.

I read the news, follow the numbers, understand the combination of lack of widespread stay-in-place rules and practices plus lack of sufficient and widespread testing (especially of those in healthcare or food-related industry) plus the ability for people to remain asymptomatic and still carry plus a dearth of adequate hospital beds and supplies means that we are nowhere near through with this. It is imperative that we all just stay home.

Both my husband and I area able to work from home. His pre-COVID-19 travel has been curtailed and we are both enjoying that; we like being with each other all the time. Our kids are college age or better, and so those who are home are not needing constant supervision or our involvement in homeschooling or breaking up fights. We have a peaceful household. For all of this, I am grateful.

We also know that we are fortunate. Many are not. Economic stress is one piece, but there are also those who may feel trapped, who are even in danger, whether from abusive family members or just the accumulation of stresses on a daily basis and a fear of how to deal with them. I once put together a Facebook group which aims to provide tools for improving coping skills. Perhaps some will find the posts useful. Searching also turn up a number of resources from the CDC, the VA, the APA and more.

Lean on technology too. Reach out to those you care about and who care about you. Video chat instead of text. It is a wonderful way to better feel connected when we are all so far apart.

Wishing you all the ability to stay home and to stay safe.

About the Author
Born in Brooklyn and raised on Lawn Guyland, Wendy lived in Jerusalem for over a decade submerged in Israeli culture; she has been soaked in Southern life in metro Atlanta since returning to the U.S. in 2003. Recently remarried, this Ashkenazi mom and MIL to three Mizrahi sons and a DIL in their 20s splits her time between managing knowledge in corporate America, pursuing a dual masters in public administration and integrated global communications, relentlessly Facebooking, enjoying the arts and trying to bring a wider perspective to the topics she covers while blogging.
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