It has been 93 days since I went out for breakfast. That might not seem like a big deal, but I used to go out for breakfast twice a week. I used to meet up with friends & family, work three part-time jobs and attend church. Then COVID-19 hit and my world was altered. My safe zone became my 1680 square foot home and my neighborhood. I made trips to the grocery store when necessary – masked and using hand sanitizer when I reached my car. Venturing out of my safe zone brought up anxieties I didn’t realize were present. The first time I left the county, I felt like I was sneaking out of town.
As Lancaster County transitioned to yellow and began opening up, I thought my anxieties would subside. I have found, however, a different kind of anxiety. More stores are opening…but more people are out and about. And I’m noticing that many people have given up the notion of wearing masks. (That’s a whole other topic for discussion as to why they don’t wear them!) And then there are those that wear the masks, but improperly. (I nicely told the employee at UPS that the only thing his mask was protecting was his chin!)
Finding that balance between safety and paranoia is a slippery slope sometimes! I am constantly reminded that the one thing I have control over is me. So, I choose more carefully the times I run errands. I tend to walk through stores with my hands in my pockets and walk down empty aisles when I can. I’m more polite with other shoppers, stepping out of their way so they can pass. I create my own buffer and then breathe a sigh of relief when I return to my own safe zone.
As we navigate through this new normal, my hope is that we can be kind to one another. We don’t know what anxieties others may be dealing with…and we have no control over someone else. The best we can hope for is finding some balance in our everyday lives.