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The Lookout | April 13, 2021

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Stocken Speaks: Facing new ‘normal’

Stocken Speaks: Facing new ‘normal’
  • On March 19, 2020

By Shauna Stocken
Editor in Chief

In times of crisis we are told to be helpers. Being a helper will supposedly elevate feelings of helplessness as we face the new “normal.”

I don’t feel very helpful, though. I panic purchased groceries and toilet paper last week.

I don’t know what makes sense anymore. How I should feel, or how I can help on the daily?

Each day, time is spent helping my daughter learn her school work, and engaging in YouTube yoga videos.

I also find it important to let myself feel whatever way I feel that day. Angry, tired, confused, worried …

I’m glued to my phone with a 30 percent increase to my screen time.

I search the web, comment on strangers’ posts, and always wind up overwhelmed by the coronavirus news.

I take a deep breath and remember there is no “right way” to feel. I haven’t pushed myself to write my book because I haven’t felt like it.

If I want to skip laundry and read a book or play with my dog, I do. If I want to nap, I do. When I felt like eating peas out of the can, my cat and I did.

When I break down at night thinking about all the changes, my fiancé holds me as I cry.

I won’t walk in my Ferris State University commencement or attend my grandma’s funeral … if there even is one.  I’ve stopped planning my June wedding.

I need to let go of my control issues, listen to the science and find comfort in my home and family. 

Again, because it bears repeating, there is no right way to feel. But, there is a right way to act toward one another.

The coronavirus, or COVID-19, is not a “China Virus.” It is a war between the healthcare system and a virus. It is a war that doesn’t discriminate based on race, but is effecting all of mankind.

What will the aftermath be? Will countries, communities and families grow closer?

I take another deep breath and remind myself yet again, I don’t have all the answers.

To my fiancé, daughter, cat, dog and the four fish, I am their answer as they are mine. Perhaps supporting my family and taking quarantine seriously is the best way to help the world; the world within my home.