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Coping with COVID-19

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Insights and ideas on how to deal with the ‘new normal,’ living 6 feet apart and social distancing

By Christina Stock

Vision Editor

Recently, we started a new series showing how others are coping, adapting and living in the COVID-19 times. There might be stories that inspire, lighten the burden or just entertain.

Our area’s people are known for being tough, resilient and independent. They are the descendants of pioneers, and one day, their children’s children will look back with pride on how every family and person dealt with these challenging times. Here are their stories:

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Theresa Cruz

Cruz is employed by Kymera Independent Physicians as accounting assistant. “COVID-19 impacted my work by confining me to my office,” Cruz said. “I used to walk around our medical clinic visiting co-workers, stretching my legs and socializing. This has stopped. I’m trying to control my stress and anxiety by listening to relaxing music — instrumentals and Native American music — to calm my nerves and brain in my office.”

Asked if she receives any support or help, Cruz said, “The help I receive are encouraging words from friends via Facebook and Skyping with family. Nothing monetary, except for a stimulus credit card.”

Cruz said that she has adapted to the regulations. “In times of social distancing and shops only opening, my husband and I cope being cooped up by binge-watching various programs, making new recipes — even have begun KETO — and taking car rides — never getting out of the car,” she said. “I do have a daily routine. Instead of sleeping in, I get up at my regular time and make sure we eat three healthy meals, plus healthy snacks, too. Regarding hobbies, in the past, I used to paint rocks. I have begun again.”

Asked if her way of getting the news and to keep in touch with others has changed, Cruz said, “To keep in touch with the world, I review Facebook more often and Skype my granddaughter every weekend. I also text my close circle of friends more frequently. I try not to watch the news, it just makes me nervous.

“Now that businesses begin to reopen, I’m going to take it easy. I won’t feel comfortable returning to the movies, nor getting my nails done. I love the casinos, and even there I have great concerns. It’ll be a long while before my life returns to the new ‘normal.’ Sadly, I believe nothing will be the same,” Cruz said.

“There are a few items that will begin to make me feel somewhat safe: Everyone and I mean everyone should get tested and then follow the guidelines, depending on the result. Next, everyone should be wearing face masks. And finally, everyone be vaccinated when the vaccine is available. It’ll be a very long time before I feel 100% safe again, if ever,” Cruz said.

Patti Stacy

Asked how her work has changed, Stacy said on Facebook messenger, “I worked mostly from home. We have a small office, and no clientele, so my office was pretty safe already, but it is in a busy bank building, so we decided working from home was still best. I went to office almost every day to check mail, etc., then back home.”

Just as many others, Stacy received the federal stimulus check, but she says she received no other assistance. “My husband’s job was furloughed though, so he is receiving unemployment benefits right now,” she said.

For many, it is difficult to suddenly be together 24/7, not so for Stacy. “My husband and I get along famously, so we did well at home together. No issues. It was actually very nice,” she said. “I tried to keep the same routine as if I was going in to work, just a little more relaxed. Got dressed, hair, makeup, etc., sit down at the home desk and start working. Break for lunch and go check mail and run errands, then back home to work until quitting time,” she said.

While she has not worked on new skills, Stacy said that she is getting better keeping plants in her home and yard. She is watching some news she said, but also from Facebook and from her husband. As many are doing, she said she has been binge-watching new TV shows.

Asked what she is looking forward to, Stacy said, “I want to go out to eat again. I miss Peppers, Cattle Baron, etc., and just seeing people. I moved my office back to real office today.”

Asked what it would take for her to feel safe again, Stacy said, “That is a hard question. I just hope the research continues and some of the social changes stay in place — like washing hands a lot. I hope the politics of it does not outweigh the importance of the medical relief we need. I don’t want to see everyone wearing masks forever.

Would you like to share your routine or tips on how to cope with the restrictions? Email vision@rdrnews.com or call 575-622-7710, ext. 309. You can message us on our Facebook page as well.