Making History, leaving a legacy, saving society
By Vice President Louise Sundin
START a scrapbook or a diary or a keepsake box of remembrances of what you are doing, thinking, worrying about, ways you are surviving, ways to be careful, recipes you tried or created, a funny facemask, articles from papers or magazines, trinkets that became meaningful, new social activities or events, old things that became new again like drive-ins, anything that has become important to you since March 2020.
Do you know that October is Journal Month? Journaling doesn’t have to be long each day, just something. Journal to de-stress; journal to record memories. You will too easily forget what you were thinking and feeling – the anxiety. Fifty years from now, your grandchildren will need something to tell them what you went through in the Great Pandemic of 2020. Day by day you can tell your story of how you’ve overcome what you are going through now, and it will become part of someone else’s survival guide. Why not start today?
It is hard to believe but no one, absolutely NO ONE wrote about the 1918 pandemic. We have no record, either personal or official of what happened, what people thought, how our grandparents survived, how society adjusted. There is no historical record to give us guidance or highlight their mistakes. Was it just dumb luck our family members lived? A century later, we must record the scourge that is COVID-19. What did it tell us about who we are?
Here's hoping you take the time to read the funnies in the paper every morning. There’s more wisdom there than in the other sections. Here is a thought to live by from the ages through the comic strip “Pickles”, an older couple like us. From their couch, the wife says:“I love this quote by Goethe . . . “One ought, every day at least, to hear a little song, read a good poem, see a fine picture, and, if it were possible, to speak a few reasonable words.”’ “Isn’t that a beautiful thought?” she asks. May it become words to live by and brighten your day.
Quell the Pandemic Doldrums with a dozen helpful reminders:
The pandemic doldrums are no fun. Our thanks to a retired Minneapolis school psychologist for reminding us that socially distanced doesn't have to mean alone:
* Shop at locally owned small businesses at off-peak hours . . . wearing your union facemask, of course.
* Buy gift cards online now and use them later at businesses you are currently avoiding such as indoor restaurants.
* Donate to local food banks and other distributions of helpful household items.
* Physical distancing doesn't prevent social interaction; it just changes it. Have you been back to the Sonic Drive-in for a burger and a malt? Just like the old days, you dine from the safety of your own car. The whole experience brings back memories.
* Keep in touch with family, friends, colleagues, and neighbors through phone, email, Skype/Facetime, Zoom and social media.
* Keep in touch through the United States Post Office; you can't e-mail cookies but you can mail them!
* Check on your neighbors, especially older (than we are) and otherwise vulnerable people. A phone call is all it takes . . . or some of those cookies.
And, a few suggestions for physical health from a retired school nurse:
* Experts say the effect of social isolation can increase inflammation in your body and it appears to increase with age. If the weather's nice, consider a socially distanced walk in the park or just around the block.
* Take up a mind-body activity like meditation or your own hands-on hobby like gardening, painting or quilting to cut stress making you 20 % less likely to get a respiratory infection.
* B & B breakfast (Bran with Berries) is full of fiber that feeds the good bacteria in your gut. And when those little buggers are happy, they help keep your immune system ready when needed.
* Keep some healthy snacks in the house. For the 27 times each day you walk to the kitchen and open the fridge, reach for a piece of fruit or veggie or health drink instead of chips and sweets.
* To avoid difficulty falling asleep, turn off your phone, tablet and computer three hours before bedtime. Zap the zoom early.