Introverts still have the advantage

advantage introverts

photo credit to Andrea Piacquadio on pexels.com

This article was posted way back in April when the COVID pandemic lockdowns were new to us, reposted today in frustration that most of it still applies…

Introverts have such an advantage in this COVID-19 turmoil and the isolation, quarantine, and social distancing guidelines it has spawned.  So much so that I find myself wishing I was more introverted.

I never realized before just how much of an extrovert I am.  Or perhaps it’s the strict rules we have been instructed to live by that I bristle at.  I never have been good at someone telling me what I can and cannot do, or when I can do them.  I am getting lots done, things I have been procrastinating about forever, but not on my own terms.

I am missing the social interaction we take for granted that enriches our daily lives.  Whether it’s chatting with neighbours, meeting friends for lunch or coffee, or stopping into our favourite stores.  I miss the actions and all of the people that make them so special.

I miss my grandchildren so much, and their parents too of course.  The sunny smiles, hugs, and laughter from the children and the amusing anecdotes their parents share with us are what makes my world go round, usually.  My world feels like it has turned upside down, with me holding my breath until it rights itself.

Compared to others, my life is relatively good.  My family is safe and healthy. My landscaping business may get a late start this season, but my freelance writing can fill in the extra time.  And, my own gardens may get some extra TLC.

This extrovert is just impatient for this nightmare to be over.  In the meantime, perhaps I should try channeling my inner introvert so I might enjoy the few things left we are allowed to do.

As an update, my gardening business did resume in May, although I lost several clients as they were either working from home and able to tackle their gardens themselves, or had to give up my services due to budget constraints. My own gardens did indeed benefit from the extra attention as suspected, although they generated more expenses than income. I was not able to pick up as many freelance writing projects as anticipated, again mostly due to clients’ reduced budgets.

Nine months later, memories of 2020 became a poem in a recent post. Many things remain the same or have evolved, been reinvented, or reinstated, but some have changed. Some in a positive way and others not so positive.

The judgement, finger-pointing, blaming, and ugliness has ramped up to an all-time high. Family get-togethers are still taboo, especially since our immediate family members total 12. As one son stated, “he can work with his brother, but cannot have Christmas dinner with him.” Where is the logic in that?

As for the positives, a hot summer meant more time in the lake at the cottage. Socially distanced from our neighbours, it was the place to be. Family members came to visit, but not all at once.

In July, when it seemed like we had “flattened the curve,” we were able to gather for at least one birthday celebration this year when our second grandson turned one…

Introverts still have the advantage

Sadly, it was only the second time these five cuties were able to see each other since March.

Also on the positive side, we (as a family of 12) have decided that since I have been assisting our 7-year-old granddaughter with her online school and allowing our almost 3-year-old granddaughter to visit weekly to give her mom a break after the birth of their new baby, (our 5th grandchild, a celebration in itself) that we would continue this support system by allowing the grandchildren to visit. This decision was made despite the fact that Ontario residents have recently been told not to permit anyone outside of their household into their homes. As a support system for my family members that are considered essential services, I feel it my duty to do whatever works for them, and I take great pleasure in the visits.

In fact, I believe my mental health and that of my precious grandchildren rely on these visits.

After all, I am still an extrovert. That will never change.

You are what you eat, I am living proof

I know this saying is old, but it has become increasingly clear to me recently.  Way back in 2011 I was diagnosed with an allergy to wheat.  Since then I have avoided anything that contained wheat.  It wasn’t easy, but I have grown accustomed to it.  So apparently has my body.

In December of 2018 my husband and I tried out the keto diet as one of our sons was doing it and we were on vacation with him and his family.  After a few weeks of experimenting with that, we altered the strict keto version to what I call a “modified keto.”  We consume lots of fats, but the good, omega 3 kind.  We don’t restrict vegetables or fruits, AKA the good carbs. We avoid processed foods that contain lots of sugar and preservatives, and consume lots of protein, but stick to the lean and non processed variety.

In March of this year, those good habits flew out the window with the arrival of COVID-19 isolation recommendations.  Feeling sorry for ourselves (missing our kids and grandkids) or bored, or both, we began the slippery slope to snacking and TV binging.

When Easter festivities were cancelled due to social distancing measures, I still cooked a big dinner and baked delicious goodies, but divvied (most of) it up and dropped off care packages and Easter baskets to our sons’ respective doorsteps for their families to enjoy.  Usually when I bake for family gatherings I include one or two gluten free varieties.  Not this year, unfortunately for me.  Instead I snacked on the wheat laden goodies, limiting myself to half a cookie per day to avoid the stomach problems associated with my wheat allergy.

Shortly after Easter the goodies were gone from our home, but the bumps on my scalp, one of the pre-wheat allergy diagnosis symptoms, were back.   As was the bloating, fatigue and general lethargy, not to mention a few extra pounds. All the things I had worked so hard to eliminate!

If that doesn’t prove “you are what you eat” I don’t know what does.

Photo by Trang Doan, via Pexels

 

 

 

Advantage Introverts!

Introverts have such an advantage in this COVID-19 turmoil and the isolation, quarantine and social distancing guidelines it has spawned.  So much so that I find myself wishing I was more introverted.

I never realized before just how much of an extrovert I am.  Or perhaps it’s the strict rules we have been instructed to live by that I bristle at.  I never have been good at someone telling me what I can and cannot do, or when I can do them.  I am getting lots done, things I have been procrastinating about forever, but not on my own terms.

I am missing the social interaction we take for granted that enriches our daily lives.  Whether it’s chatting with neighbours, meeting friends for lunch or coffee, or stopping in to our favourite stores.  I miss the actions and all of the people that make them so special.

I miss my grandchildren so much, and their parents too of course.  The sunny smiles, hugs and laughter from the children and the amusing anecdotes their parents share with us is what makes my world go round, usually.  My world feels like it has turned upside down, we me holding my breathe until it rights itself.

Compared to others, my life is relatively good.  My family is safe and healthy. My landscaping business may get a late start this season, but my freelance writing can fill in the extra time.  And, my own gardens may get some extra TLC.

This extrovert is just impatient for this nightmare to be over.  In the meantime, perhaps I should try channeling my inner introvert so I might enjoy the few things left we are allowed to do.

 

Understanding Social Distancing, Isolation, Quarantine, Flattening the Curve and More

In light of the COVID-19 virus running rampant through the world, we must heed the advice of experts to separate fact and necessity from fiction and inconvenience.

Isolation vs Quarantine

This definition comes from CDC (Center for Disease Control):

Isolation separates sick people with a contagious disease from people who are not sick. Quarantine separates and restricts the movement of people who were exposed to a contagious disease to see if they become sick.

CDC

Simply put, isolation and quarantine are similar in their goal of limiting the spread of disease, but isolation is generally reserved for those already known to be sick (showing symptoms).

Social Distancing

Social distancing means reducing contact with others by staying away from large groups of people. The goal is to reduce the opportunity for spreading of a disease. This includes sporting events, parties, conferences, meetings, church, movie theatres, parades, festivals, and public transit. In other words, anywhere people congregate. Social distancing means maintaining at least 3 feet between yourself and anyone else, so no hugging, kissing, hand shaking etc. If that buffer cannot be maintained, don’t put yourself in that situation; it’s common sense really.

Flattening the Curve

Social distancing has also been referred to as “flattening the curve” meaning slowing the exponential (growing rapidly) phase of a disease. This is a statistical method plotting the number of cases against a time frame. As this picture shows, flattening the curve helps reduce the burden on our health care system.

Understanding Social Distancing, Isolation, Quarantine, Flattening the Curve and More

Epidemic, Endemic and Pandemic

An epidemic refers to a sudden outbreak of disease that attacks many people at the same time. This type of disease may spread through one or several communities. Chickenpox is a good example of an epidemic.

Endemic refers to a disease that exists permanently in a particular region or population. Malaria and Ebola are examples of endemic diseases.

A pandemic refers to an epidemic that has spread throughout several countries and continents around the world. Because most countries in the world now have positive cases of COV-19, it is referred to as a pandemic. SARS was also a pandemic.

Immunosuppressed, Immunocompromised or Immunodeficient

Immunosuppressed, immunocompromised and immunodeficient are used interchangeably, especially when referring to those most at risk from COVID-19. All three terms mean the immune system is weak, reducing its ability to fight infections and diseases. They refer to an immune system that is inefficient or cannot react properly. Suppressed, compromised or deficient immune systems can be the result of the deliberate use of drugs to treat cancer patients, or to prepare patients for organ or bone marrow transplants. HIV, lymphoma and autoimmune diseases also cause immune system suppression as can conditions such as diabetes, malnutrition, genetic disorders, old age and even pregnancy.

Understanding Social Distancing, Isolation, Quarantine, Flattening the Curve and More
picture credit to YouTube

Conclusions

  • If you are returning to Canada from other countries (including the USA) with no symptoms, you have been requested to quarantine yourself for 14 days to monitor your health (symptoms). This is to ensure you do not expose others to the COVID-19 virus you may have been exposed to. This means you must not go to grocery stores, banks, church or anywhere else other people will be.
  • If you have or begin to show symptoms of the COVID-19 virus (cough, fever, shortness of breath) upon or after your return to Canada, contact Public Health who will arrange for testing.
  • If you test as positive, or continue to show symptoms although tested as negative, you must isolate yourself from others, including those within your household. Use a separate bathroom and bedroom. Have others do the shopping, cooking, clean up, etc. If you live alone, contact a family member, neighbour or friend to leave provisions on your doorstep. Public Health will advise you when you are no longer contagious.
  • If you have been in close contact with someone who has tested positive, you are advised to quarantine yourself as above. If you begin to exhibit COVID-19 symptoms, call Public Health to arrange testing and begin self- isolation.
  • If you are immunosuppressed, you should practice social distancing and good judgement. Stay away from anyone with a cough or cold. There is still much the experts don’t know yet about COVID-19, so it is much better to be safe than sorry.
  • Even if none of the above apply to you, it has been recommended that those of us living in the Ottawa area work from home if possible and not go out to public places that are non-essential (shopping, visiting friends, etc) to limit exposure to other people. Health officials suspect there are as many as one thousand cases (not yet confirmed) in the Ottawa area.
  • You can, however, go outside, enjoy the fresh air and sunshine and boost your immune system at the same time! Walking, running, cross country skiing, etc.

If you are facing the crisis of COVID-19 in a country other than Canada, your country will have its own guidelines and recommendations, but I bet they are quite similar, as our common goal is to eradicate this pandemic. Please get the facts from your experts and act accordingly.

Credit to feature image (top of page) goes to Meme Creator