Life’s Going to Change

I’m a young woman with lung disease and a thyroid autoimmune disease.
I was born three months early.
A ventilator helped my under-developed lungs breathe for the first six weeks of my life.
I was on oxygen for the first 2 1/2 years of my life.
I’ve been on oxygen a couple of times since.
I take an inhaler twice a day every day and a rescue inhaler as needed.
I was breathing the wrong way my entire life up until recently.

I know what it’s like to have scarred lungs.
I don’t want your lungs to feel like my lungs.
I don’t want my lungs to feel any more abnormal than they already are.

This virus isn’t a hoax or some made up scam.
You can’t test for this virus by holding your breath for ten seconds.
You can have this virus, not know it,
and pass it to those who are more vulnerable and at risk.
Despite what the White House is saying, currently not everyone is able to be tested.

Life’s going to change.
We’ve already seen it changing with schools closing,
sports seasons ending,
and restrictions on large gatherings.
The likelihood of this continuing is high
with confirmed cases continuing to rise every single day.

Countries around the world have shut down,
forcing people to stay home
to help reduce the spread of this disease.
I wouldn’t be surprised if this happens in America
in the upcoming days or weeks in some way,
even if it’s decided by individual states.

Here’s my message to you – don’t be stupid.

I don’t care what you believe in or what political party you’re in, wake up.
This shouldn’t be about politics or religious beliefs, this is a public health issue
This disease doesn’t care who you voted for or what god you do or do not believe in.

If you want to work out, work out at home.
Go on a walk if it’s nice outside.
Find an exercise or yoga video on YouTube and follow along.
There are apps and websites for guided meditations that can calm anxiety.

If you have to go to work
and your employer doesn’t have a work at home option,
keep your distance as best you can
and wash your hands as often as possible.

Health care workers,
thank you for treating those who are sick
and doing the best you can during this stressful time.
Store employees,
thank you for dealing with panicked shoppers
as calmly as you can.

Stop voluntarily going out into crowds.
Stop going to concerts, nightclubs, and bars.
Stop attending church services and religious ceremonies.
Cancel or reschedule your travel plans.

Use your better judgment.
You’re not resilient or undefeated by a disease humans have no immunity to.

Yes, most people who get it will recover.
Some will may make a full recovery,
others will have scarred lungs for the rest of their lives.
And some people who get it will unfortunately die.
This isn’t the flu or common cold,
it’s something we’ve never seen or experienced before.

This isn’t a time to be selfish or stubborn.
This isn’t a time to resist change.
The normal you’re used to will fade if we want this disease to stop spreading.
The best thing you can do for yourself is to accept the change before it happens and change your routines before it’s possibly forced upon you.

I don’t say these things to scold you or frighten you.
I say these things because you need to be aware.
Aware that some media outlets will downplay the seriousness of this situation.
Aware that misinformation will only harm you.
Aware that choosing to continue to live life as normal isn’t a smart choice.
Aware that choosing to live in your bubble is dangerous for everyone.
Aware that panic buying isn’t helpful.
Aware that everyone needs everything you need
and you don’t need everything at one time.

As a global community, we need to look past our differences.
We need to distance ourselves from each other for our safety.
It’s better to be prepared and aware than ignorant and resisting change.
This change isn’t forever, it’s just for a while.
When this is all over, we will know better and we will do better.

If you’re feeling sick, stay home, call your doctor.
If you’re sick and if you can get tested, get tested.
If you have underlying health issues, stay home.
If you’re healthy, please stay home or limit where you go.
Wash your hands as much as possible.
Use hand sanitizer when you’re unable to wash your hands.
Try to break the habit of touching your face.
Use Clorox Wipes to wipe down surfaces and technology.
Stay hydrated, drink a lot of water.

I know this blog post is heavy.
What we’re going through is heavy.
I do hope I’m wrong and this isn’t going to be bad as they’re predicting.
Again, my goal for this post isn’t to rain on your parade,
it’s to make you aware that it’s raining
and that it’s best to stay inside as much as possible for the time being.

I’ll provide more links down below to stories and facts.
I will also share some of my favorite things
that bring me comfort during uncertain times.
If you have anything you use for self-care, comment below.
I want all of us to be safe and informed.
We’re all doing the best we can.

Links Referenced in Post
How to Breathe Correctly / Calm Anxiety
No, Holding Your Breath is Not a ‘Simple Self-Check’ for Coronavirus
Testing in the US
Everything You Need to Know About Coronavirus Testing
Limiting Social Events in the US

Key Facts
Higher Risk
If You’re Sick
Reducing Stigma
Tracker of Every Reported Coronavirus Case in the U.S
Tracker of Every Report Coronavirus Case around the world.

Stay up to date on the Coronavirus.

A state-by-state breakdown of US coronavirus cases

Articles & Stories
The Extraordinary Decisions Facing Italian Doctors
How canceled events and self-quarantines save lives, in one chart
The best thing everyday Americans can do to fight coronavirus? #StayHome, save lives
How Coronavirus Hijacks Your Cells
America Isn’t Testing for the Most Alarming Coronavirus Cases
After Trump promised ‘anybody’ can get coronavirus testing, patients and doctors still complain of roadblocks
‘Shut It Down’: Colorado Woman In Italy Issues Stark Warning On Coronavirus
Social Distancing: This is Not a Snow Day
Cancel Everything
A coronavirus cautionary tale from Italy: Don’t do what we did
From an Italian to the rest of the world: you have no idea about what’s coming.
A newborn baby in London has become the youngest person in the world to test positive for the coronavirus
This Is How You Live When the World Falls Apart
Please Just Stay Home!

News Podcasts
The Daily
Up First
Coronavirus: Fact vs Fiction

My Self-Care
Calm App
Mindfulness & Meditation Playlist on Spotify
Late Night Jazz Playlist on Spotify
What I’m Reading
James Baldwin: The Artist’s Struggle for Integrity
The Paris Review Podcast
The Paris Review Crossword
The New York Times Daily Mini Crossword
Peppermint Tea
Yogi Green Tea Kombucha
Facial Spray With Aloe, Herbs and Rosewater
Peanut Butter-Chocolate No-Bake Cookies
American Girl (Tom Petty) – Billie Lourd
Taylor Swift: NPR Music Tiny Desk Concert
Lizzo: NPR Music Tiny Desk Concert
Florence + the Machine: NPR Music Tiny Desk Concert
Taylor Swift – Lover
Saxophone player playing John Lennon’s Imagine in Italy
Little Women Trailer
Little Women Screenplay
Frances Ha Scene David Bowie – Modern Love
73 Questions with Greta Gerwig
73 Questions with Lena Dunham
Patti Smith on Youth and Friendship
Patti Smith on Authors She Loves
Ours Poetica
Ashley C. Ford reads “Unwished For”
Rumi – The Guest House
David Wagoner – Lost
W. H. Auden – September 1, 1939
Gabriel Garcí­a Márquez, Love in the Time of Cholera
Wise Words from C.S. Lewis in 1948
Adrienne Rich’s Poems
Self-Portrait of a Panic Attack
Laziness Does Not Exist
Write Until You Bleed
Hello, 911? By Samantha Irby
Unbuttoned By David Sedaris
Meditation Is Not About Quieting the Mind
On Self-Respect by Joan Didion

More Self-Care!
Calming Meditation Music
Diaphragmatic breathing Meditation
5-Minute Meditation You Can Do Anywhere
Guided Meditation to Let Go of Stress and Anxiety
Guided Yoga
Serenity Prayer

My Health Story
My Body Has a Mind of Its Own


March, 17th, 2020 – Update Part Two

Cases surpass 5,000 in U.S. – NBC News
National Parks Are Finally Taking Coronavirus Seriously – Huffington Post

Articles & Stories
10 Days Later: What Italians Wish They Had Known – The Atlantic
The Diary of a Grand Princess Crew Member as the Coronavirus Spread on the Ship – The New Yorker

Podcast Episodes
It’s like a War – The Daily
Why People Distrust Experts And What We Can Do About It – NPR’s On Point

A Therapist’s Guide to Emotional Health in a Pandemic – The Atlantic
Gourmet Makes – YouTube
Lizzo’s IGTV “Because I Love You” – A meditation and mantra to promote healing during this global crisis.


March 19th, 2020 – Update Part Three

Herbal Animals
alexander graham bull with lavender, and lemon balm.
buddy bullfrog with lavender, orange, and linden flower.
camelia earhart with lavender, chamomile, and rose.
harry elephante with lavender, spearmint, and peppermint.
hoggy carmichael with chamomile, lavender, and orange.
isadora dolphin with chamomile, lavender, and lemon balm.
lena horne unicorn with lavender, lemon balm, and rose.
sydney greensheep with lavender and peppermint.
sylvester stallion with passion flower, orange, and peppermint.

10,000 Cases now in the US, BuzzFeed News – Twitter
Severe Outcomes Among Patients with Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) — United States, February 12–March 16, 2020 – CDC
Younger Adults Make Up Big Portion of Coronavirus Hospitalizations in U.S. – The New York Times
Do Not Travel Globally – U.S. Department of State

Articles & Stories
The Coronavirus Is Here to Stay, So What Happens Next? – New York Times
My Coronavirus Test: 5 Days, a Dozen Calls, Hours of Confusion – New York Times
‘I was pretty sure I was going to die’: coronavirus patient urges others to take it seriously – Fox 31 Denver
The Unending Anxiety of Coronavirus Content – New York Times
That ‘Miracle Cure’ You Saw on Facebook? It Won’t Stop the Coronavirus – The New York Times
No Age Group Is Immune to Coronavirus – The Cut

YouTube Videos
People Tell Us How Their Governments Around the World Are Responding to Coronavirus – Vice News
Air Travel During the Global Coronavirus Pandemic – The New Yorker
What can WE do? – iJustine

The first minute and twenty seconds of this video. – YouTube
10 Ways to Ease Your Coronavirus Anxiety – New York Times
Bright Minded with Miley Cyrus – Instagram
Pablo Neruda Poems – Poetry Foundation
Ashley C. Ford Radio, video one – YouTube
Dressing Up Is Making Me Feel Better – The Cut
5 riveting memoirs to read right now – i-D
Celeste Ng, Ann Patchett, Min Jin Lee and Others on the Books That Bring Them Comfort – The New York Times
Ten Free Ebooks from Haymarket Books
Lazy River by Zadie Smith – The New Yorker (Free Story)
My very responsible 65+ parents are social distancing and threw themselves their own St. Patrick’s Day parade – Twitter
China sent medical masks to Italy, & wrote on the boxes a quote of a Roman poem – Twitter
I’m not crying, you are. – Instagram
Look at All These Baby Goats – The Cut
Penguins in the Amazon?! – Twitter
the Shedd Aquarium is closed to humans, so they decided to just let the penguins walk around because sure why not – Twitter
“Oregon Zoo took the baby elephant around the zoo to visit the other animals.” – Twitter
Bodega Cats – Twitter

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