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Thread: This is not a pity party. We're all in this together.

  1. #1
    Member Onka's Avatar
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    This is not a pity party. We're all in this together.

    Comrades I'm wondering if everyone would share with me and everyone else how Covid-19 is affecting you. YOU!
    This is not a pity party but I share the following in the essence of sharing in it's ugly beauty.
    My partner has MS and has a lung infection. She's on two different antibiotics and on the instruction of her GP is in social isolation.
    I'm designated driver in our household as my partner is no longer safe on the road so I have been designated supermarket shopper and pharmacy visitor most days recently.
    I have dodgy lungs that are usually managed with a high steroidal inhaler as both preventer and reliever daily and the standard Prednisolone treatment when things go south.
    The past two weeks haven't been brilliant as the Prednisolone treatment is not working but have been brilliant as I get to live, REALLY REALLY live in this moment of tremendous unity across the world.
    It's a privilege to have the technology to experience this non-discriminating world event.
    My GP won't let me visit her clinic at the moment because our region has now been declared a Covid-19 hot spot. Yesterday on her orders I started a course of two different ridiculously expensive and strong antibiotics. Yay!
    Unfortunately, today my health is worse according to my GP in our daily phone contact and she has stated that I need to be in hospital.
    Obviously this poses a couple of challenges. The first is that I am the designated driver in our home. Second is that I am carer of my partner. Third is that like so many others with disabilities we are socially isolated with few friends who are willing or able to accommodate our needs when it comes to socialising. Finally we have no familial support.
    This is not a pity party.
    I've explained this to my GP who still thinks that I need to be in hospital but appreciates our challenges. So here I am living WITH life as it is where it is. I will do what I can with what I can how I can when I can. And sit!
    I will ring my GP daily and enjoy every moment of this amazing time in history.
    I wish I could go outside but can't so I look forward to this coming evening where I will sit with my partner and enjoy the sounds of nature as they transform from bird calls and singing to the relative roar of frogs and insects. I will also rest, concentrate on breathing - yes I need to concentrate on breathing at the moment, and continue to draw strength from the simple words of the Heart Sutra and stories from around the world on how they (you) are having change thrust upon them by this great unifier.
    Gassho
    Onka Anna
    Sat today
    On Ka
    穏 火
    aka Anna Kissed.
    No Gods No Masters.
    Life is too serious to be taken seriously.

  2. #2
    It's quite the beautiful catastrophe, isn't it?

    Some folks here have heard me mention the mental health struggles of my two daughters, which have included self-harm and hospitalizations in the past 5-6 years. I fear that the stresses of this pandemic will set both of them back, although they have only had one complete emotional meltdown apiece so far.

    My poor 91 year old Dad is alone in his house in the epicenter of the outbreak just outside NYC. My sister dropped food off on his doorstep the other day and said he looked pitiful in the window as they talked on the phone. Similarly my mother-in-law is quarantined in her senior care facility, and has dementia which makes it difficult for her to understand why nobody visits.

    My brother and his wife and child in Florida are very worried because his wife's sister just visited two weeks ago from New York and now she has the coronavirus.

    However, I mostly go from gratitude to gratitude over the days. I am grateful for food, shelter, and family. Grateful to still have the ability to help others, via my profession, in the midst of their own trials. So grateful for healthcare providers who are really on the front lines right now. Grateful to be given the opportunity to face a new challenge, because that means that I am alive another day. And grateful for my Treeleaf family, whose importance to me just can't be overstated.

    Please take care of yourself and your partner, Onka!

    Gassho,
    Jakuden
    SatToday/LAH
    清 道 寂田
    SEIDO JAKUDEN
    I am a novice priest. Any resemblance my posts may have to actual teachings about the Dharma, living or dead, is purely coincidental (and just my attempt to be helpful).

  3. #3
    Onka,

    You inspire me. You say that I speak your thoughts .... you do the same for me.

    I get it. I can't even explain why -- the frustrations, the challenges (and you have a doctor who understands!), the lack of viable options, the isolation .....

    When I got an admission from my rheumy last time that if/when I reached the point where any kind of work was impossible, she would help with disability, legal and financial issues and dealing with the feds -- I was thankful that at least I got her cooperation on that. And -- as you said, this isn't about pity. It's just our reality -- nothing is easy. And the meds, everything we need to do daily just to keep ourselves functioning -- itself is a full-time job, let alone actually doing anything!

    Nothing is easy to explain what it's like to live this way. And no -- it's not complaining, it's just telling it how it is!

    My daughter's eating problems are worsening again. I won't get into the story on this, but I can't get her (or me) help at this time, because the entire focus of the US is on COVID. Anything not COVID-related is mostly on hold, or shut down (I tried calling about unrelated health services .... still waiting, indefinitely). My city is shut down, indefinitely. My husband's new, insane work hours are "indefinite" -- with now three confirmed cases from his plant, and more people out on quarantine for exposure.

    Also -- my elderly aunts need things. They don't use the internet or smartphones. Stores and pharmacies are offering delivery/pickup services -- only thru apps on smartphones! So this relies on me, who doesn't have energy most days, and I have to plan my driving (extreme fatigue), so add "taking care of my aunts' basic needs" to the list of COVID problems because -- their health issues; no smartphones; my health issues; lack of access overall; COVID shutdown. I have to sort this in the next day or so ......

    I'm on order from my doc for x-rays, a required eye exam, and more labs for another suspected AI disease (like I need any more??) -- all of it has to wait until?? To be honest, already having a compromised immune system, I don't want to go anywhere. I can't risk it. My city has nearly 900 (maybe over that now) confirmed cases. And, as you are the designated "everything" -- my husband is gone all the time (he has to, not his fault), and I am (always have been) THE primary and only one here for our kids, everything we have. And I'm having a difficult time holding myself together physically (long story, no details, but my rheumy is tracking it).

    Current challenge is we're trying to make sure the shortages of Plaquenil (hydroxychloroquine) don't impact autoimmune patients due to the massive run for COVID-19 patients. My rheumy took care of me earlier this month on this (for now), but this is a serious problem because it is a life-sustaining medicine for people who have certain autoimmune diseases, and it is NOT a cure for COVID.

    So, i don't need to be hospitalized (take care of yourself) ..... although I have been using my inhaler every day again (asthma is a btch). We're a mess, aren't we? I have to laugh at it all, really ..... I laugh at myself a lot, to be honest, the mess I am I never thought I would end up this way, but life is absurd.

    Keep being the amazing awesome-sauce person you are -- you inspire me to keep going also

    Deep Bows,
    meian st lh
    Not all who wander are lost. (Tolkien)
    Underestimating a warrior, serves the warrior's advantage.
    迷安 - Mei An - Wandering At Rest

  4. #4
    Member Onka's Avatar
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    Meian and Jukuden
    I thank you both for sharing intimate details of your life. Sharing openly is an act of bravery, vulnerability and most importantly for me resistance.
    We are are actively refusing to allow the silencing of important voices. The voices you two warrior Women are highlighting are possibly the voices most ignored at this time, young people.
    Too often our young people are blamed, shamed and have their thoughts and feelings dismissed or at the least minimised.
    I can't overstate how thankful I am to you both for reminding us that our young, healthy, resilient and carefree are also not used to these kinds of events being thrust upon them.
    In some ways, despite definitely being more masterful of technology and its benefits than myself I wonder if our young folk are at greater risk of stresses at this time because the social element of their lives, both online and off has changed.
    Young folk are bombarded every minute of their lives with information both positive and negative. For the most part they can filter through and negotiate this stuff but what of the fear and change brought on by a pandemic? Are they as prepared emotionally for these additional challenges? I wonder.
    Thank you again Meian and Jakuden. I hope your sharing serves as a reminder that we need to check in with our younger folk to see how THEY are travellin'.
    Gassho
    Onka Anna
    On Ka
    穏 火
    aka Anna Kissed.
    No Gods No Masters.
    Life is too serious to be taken seriously.

  5. #5
    I have to offer deepest bows to the three of you (and countless others) for your day to day health challenges, family challenges that in ordinary times must be monumental, but in today's panicked world are mind bending. Thank you for sharing.
    My husband and I are fortunate, no compromised health (although being old might count as a pre-existing condition), and not many covid19 cases in our state (yet), and we are fully capable of doing everything we need to do to stay safe. Your messages make me realize how fortunate we are. And how important this time is to reevaluate priorities. I will sit for you and hold you all in my heart. And I do wish I could offer more.

    BOWS
    Anne

    ~lahst~
    Last edited by Cooperix; 03-31-2020 at 10:17 PM.

  6. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by Onka View Post
    Meian and Jukuden
    I thank you both for sharing intimate details of your life. Sharing openly is an act of bravery, vulnerability and most importantly for me resistance.
    We are are actively refusing to allow the silencing of important voices. The voices you two warrior Women are highlighting are possibly the voices most ignored at this time, young people.
    Too often our young people are blamed, shamed and have their thoughts and feelings dismissed or at the least minimised.
    I can't overstate how thankful I am to you both for reminding us that our young, healthy, resilient and carefree are also not used to these kinds of events being thrust upon them.
    In some ways, despite definitely being more masterful of technology and its benefits than myself I wonder if our young folk are at greater risk of stresses at this time because the social element of their lives, both online and off has changed.
    Young folk are bombarded every minute of their lives with information both positive and negative. For the most part they can filter through and negotiate this stuff but what of the fear and change brought on by a pandemic? Are they as prepared emotionally for these additional challenges? I wonder.
    Thank you again Meian and Jakuden. I hope your sharing serves as a reminder that we need to check in with our younger folk to see how THEY are travellin'.
    Gassho
    Onka Anna
    Yes I understand where the older folks are coming from when they scoff at the young people that they don't think have it so bad. But the rising anxiety, depression, self harm and suicide rates are not imaginary, our children are really suffering. I used to believe it when people told me that a stable home life with no divorce, addiction, etc. would assure that our kids would be happy and well-adjusted, but that wasn't the case here... and their friends who suffer from substance abuse, self harm, eating disorders and the like far outnumber the ones who don't, although the parents often try to hide it. Whatever is going on in the culture here is not good and I fear that this additional stress is going to make it worse. I hope I am wrong.

    Gassho
    Jakuden
    SatToday/LAH
    Last edited by Jakuden; 04-01-2020 at 03:02 PM.
    清 道 寂田
    SEIDO JAKUDEN
    I am a novice priest. Any resemblance my posts may have to actual teachings about the Dharma, living or dead, is purely coincidental (and just my attempt to be helpful).

  7. #7
    Member Onka's Avatar
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    Rural Queensland, Australia
    No additional comment can add anything of value to your sharing Meian and Jakuden.
    Deep bows.

    I still encourage others to share how Covid19 is impacting their lives.
    Yes we're all in this together but our individual experiences and challenges are just that, individual. The interconnectedness of life becomes less opaque when we see that we all have more in common than not. Treeleaf is a revolutionary beacon that uses technology I'll never understand to unite us, everywhere.
    Gassho
    Onka Anna
    On Ka
    穏 火
    aka Anna Kissed.
    No Gods No Masters.
    Life is too serious to be taken seriously.

  8. #8
    On Feb 27th my movie group had a "last" visit here; four old ladies watching Nausicaa of the Valley of the Winds, drinking tea, and eating little snack bars from a bowl. We were among those few hereabouts who had some idea what was coming down (from Seattle) and said somber goodbyes. A week later, all buttoned up on the homestead, I called for a head count on our fb group and the other three responded. They are 62 and like sisters; graduated high school together. I'm the oldest at 70. "I'm good" said the first two. "I have Covid" said the third. She and her partner have been struggling to breathe for three weeks now and may yet do hospital time. The next week I came down with a very mild fever, a light cough, a strange sense of sore bronchial tubes, fast shallow breathing, and some tachycardia. We had already brought out our 37 year old autistic son from his apartment in town -- he could not have managed -- and isolated from one another for the next week. I lived at the hut, Beloved lived in the front part of the farmhouse, B (the young man) took over the back part, and we put up vinyl barriers so he could at least chat with Beloved in the hallway. My symptoms appeared on the 14th day from presumed exposure, when I was already back in the house with the barriers down. We wipe down everything, soap our hands, maintain our distance -- I have my own "kitchen" in the kitchen, for example, and cook on top of the woodstove. But it's hopeless. We've seen the guidance change, and change again -- big as this tumbledown old place is, we cannot avoid one another's air. Yet neither has symptoms, and it's been a long time. Fingers crossed.

    I'm pretty okay but still have the wet cough. It reminds me of my two month long recovery from pertussis back in the 90s. Wetness low down in the lungs. Does not take away much of my strength, i'm plowing and sheeting the re-opened lower garden (we prefer no-dig but don't have enough materials) for potatoes and winter squash, just in case -- installing a dryer, stacking wood, and so on.

    The second of my friends has always had lung trouble along with the whole list of things from asthma to rheumatoid arthritis -- brilliant chemist who lost her job because the boss couldn't stand to look at her any more --and has been having procedures done to be able to take in more oxygen. Fourth and last one had been scheduled, but her lungs started filling with fluid unexpectedly, and she went to the big hospital upstate where they did the procedure but she ended up on a ventilator (and I think ECMO) for two weeks in the ICU. If they told her she has COVID she hasn't told us, maybe to spare the feelings of our first friend, our likely patient zero. Still in hospital, week three, was doing a little better but now they have swabbed her and she's in extreme isolation waiting for the results. Her mom, who is about 90, is taking care of her house and three cats and waiting for her to come home.

    Last friend, whom I knew for decades as a co-worker and was one of my greatest champions during my transition, began symptoms on day 18. (!!) Lost sense of smell, deep racking coughs, chills, loss of appetite, wet sore lungs, and like me no sinusitis. She's the only caretaker for her husband, who had a debilitating stroke, and who mustn't catch anything. So she suits up in FULL homemade PPE to go in his room and feed him and do all the things, rotating her gear on a seven day rotation, washing everything she can. Her cough has subsided. She was out getting supplies and came by to get a dozen eggs, which I cleaned thoroughly, bagged in a cleaned bag, and left in the sunshine for hours, out at the end of the woodshed on a cabinet on which we have written "Transfer Point." There are chairs out there and we here sit in chairs in the garage and visit from about thirty feet away.

    Daughter is a county health worker. They took her off her job with drug prevention and put her on a team taking calls with no safe distancing. She's a union shop steward and took matters in hand; the entire team is now in their homes taking the calls there and meeting on Zoom. She's taken in three of her besties and has two renters in a studio apt. who were passing through but are stuck here for now, so six people, a dog and two cats in a tiny house that was originally 2 br/1 bath. I don't know how she does it, but she's got that kind of personality that makes major or colonel pretty fast.

    Beloved's mom, 91, is on lockdown in a care center in Southern California. So far she's been safe. _()_ They talk on the phone every night.

    My oldest, 51, lives in Atlanta, wife, two kids. Comfortably holed up, working from home, one of the granddaughters is at Georgia Tech; they have been slow to give in but I think spring term will be Zoomed. My opposite number, the other mother-in-law, is 94 (!!!) and living alone in the country, so daughter-in-law goes regularly to supply and check on her.

    Next oldest is in the Portland area, five in the house, they are doing good, all working from home except the grandchild, 20, who is a security guard but the work is staring at little TV monitors all night, social distancing is built in.

    Do I have Covid? Don't know. Only one of all of us has been swabbed, patient 0, and results aren't back yet.

    So, I personally don't have much of a beautiful horror story to tell, but all around me amazing things are happening. I have sat with the Florence Zen Group (subgroup of Bird Haven Zendo), led by Eishin Miller, on Zoom; what a wonderful experience. Thought it was going to be a sit, had not read the fine print, it was a three hour zazenkai and book discussion. Seven new friends that I feel I've known all my life; Treeleaf all over again on a small scale.

    So far as I know I still get my head shaved at 1 pm PDT Saturday the 11th of April. But now it will be in Treeleaf mode, with Kenshin on one computer and me on another, with people from around the world in attendance. Wow, these times.

    Here is a little photo journal I'm keeping of the goings-on at Stony Run Farm and elsewhere in the family.

    https://photos.app.goo.gl/TKMjLDtRK8TXZRo98

    Please treasure yourselves.

    gassho
    doyu sat/lah today
    Last edited by Shōnin Risa Bear; 04-02-2020 at 07:27 PM. Reason: more data
    I'm a visiting unsui from Bird Haven Zendo. Take what I say with a box of salt. Mmm!

  9. #9
    Thank you all for sharing!
    I definitely agree that it feels more connected when we can relate in this way.

    I'm sorry about the difficulties we're all facing during this time.
    For my part: I am furloughed from work and the kids are out of school, but we are very lucky to have our health thus far.

    Sending much metta!

    Gassho,
    Chris

  10. #10
    Metta for all of you and the challenges you deal with.

    We are isolated on the side of mountain where there are few neighbors and much distance Our State took assertive actions early and the number of cases still low.

    Our frustration is thinking of our family. Our daughter’s husband died a few days ago from other health issues but she lives a 1000 miles away and we can not go there to hug her and help. Our son and grandson live 600 miles away in he opposite direction and we worry for them. We know if any become sick we can do nothing.

    I worry for my wife who is 73 and has immune system issues. When I leave the mountain to go for food (which I did yesterday after two weeks of staying home) I worry that I may bring the virus home to my wife.

    And yet with all this we accept each day and cherish it. Spring has arrived and we live in a beautiful place where nature gives us much to embrace.

    Be well

    Doshin
    St
    Last edited by Doshin; 04-01-2020 at 11:26 AM.

  11. #11
    Peace to all.

    Doshin, l will light some incense here for your daughter's husband and all who loved him.

    And for all who find just going shopping or to the doctors a danger these days, who should be caring for other health issues, who have family members they cannot comfort or care for fully or who are distant, Those needing to isolate even in the same house, those who have symptoms but cannot be sure, those who should be in hospital but cannot.

    Yes, no pity ... but only my respect for your strength in times of struggles. You are warriors for the good.

    Nine Bows, J

    SatTodayLah
    ALL OF LIFE IS OUR TEMPLE

  12. #12
    Thank you everyone for sharing. Solidarity and metta to you all.

    We have it relatively east so far. My wife is 7.5 months pregnant, has just been furloughed from work and hasn't left the house for some time. Fortunately we have a garden. I go out and do the shopping and runs to the pharmacy and am becoming obsessive with hand washing, my hands look like I have scales now.

    We're concerned about the birth and don't know if I will be allowed to attend. It was a difficult birth last time and my wife was worried anyway and now faces the prospect of doing it alone.

    It also looks like I will be put on furlough from work soon, but we'll survive, it's not like we can go anywhere and spend the money. I'm kind of looking forward to being at home with nothing to do.

    We're also worried about my wife's parents. They only live 5 minutes away but either aren't taking this whole thing seriously or don't seem to be able to understand the severity of the situation. I guess that's what happens when you read papers written by people who think this is all exaggerated and no worse than flu.

    Gassho,

    Heiso

    StLah

  13. #13
    For babies who will build a bright world.

    Gassho, J

    STLah
    ALL OF LIFE IS OUR TEMPLE

  14. #14
    Deeply moving doesn't really describe these accounts. Love and peace to all.

    Gassho,
    Jakuden
    SatToday/LAH
    清 道 寂田
    SEIDO JAKUDEN
    I am a novice priest. Any resemblance my posts may have to actual teachings about the Dharma, living or dead, is purely coincidental (and just my attempt to be helpful).

  15. #15
    Thank you all for sharing your stories. My wife has issues with her lungs and is on steroids so we are doing our very best to not go out. We have enough food/supplies for a couple of weeks. I go run in the BLM where I don't see another soul. I had to give up running in the park because people are - well - not good about social distancing. Most are great but it just takes one or two idiots and I just don't want to take the chance.

    Much Metta to all of you.

    Gassho, Shinshi

    SaT-LaH
    空道 心志 Kudo Shinshi
    I am just a priest-in-training, any resemblance between what I post and actual teachings is purely coincidental.

  16. #16
    Still staying home. Wife has questionable immune system so I don't want to go out and bring something back. Getting food on line and delivered to the house. Supermarket delivery people are doing a great job under difficult circumstances. Lots of delays and postponed deliveries, many things not available. An old friend's daughter went out and was getting some supplies when she heard we were looking for a few things. She went out of her way and twice made deliveries to us. I'm trying to keep in touch to make sure all my people are doing OK

    Its a weird feeling not being able to find simple foods like onions and beans. Getting all excited because we got crackers delivered. I'm not complaining because I know for too many people getting food is a permanent problem. Its just strange worrying about getting food in my house.

    Also, when my friend's daughter dropped off supplies, it was the first time I have ever been on the receiving end of any kind of help for a senior citizen. It just feels really foreign. But I am glad to help her do her bodhisattva thing.

    One of the news sites had a map where all the virus cases are in the US. There was a little black dot for each case. The map looked like somebody dropped an ink bottle on my house. My little state is swarming with numbers. The virus is literally zooming down the turnpike from New York and headed straight to my town .


    Gassho
    STlah
    James
    Last edited by Shoki; 04-02-2020 at 05:44 PM.

  17. #17
    Shoki;

    Be well and stay safe. We're all in this boat together. My last grocery delivery took six days and was missing seven articles. Yesterday I tried two major stores and found no delivery and no pick up notices. shoganai, ne!!

    gassho, Shokai
    stlah
    仁道 生開 - Jindo Shokai "Open to life in a benevolent way"
    May we all grow together in our knowledge of the Dharma

  18. #18
    Member Onka's Avatar
    Join Date
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    Rural Queensland, Australia
    For those of us with respiratory challenges particularly Asthma here's a really good piece on Asthma, medication, immune system and how they may intersect with Covid-19 if exposed.
    https://www.abc.net.au/news/health/2...ction/12117680

    In other news an Ambulance has been called on the direction of my GP and I'm off to hospital.
    Be well comrades.
    Gassho
    Onka Anna
    Sat today.
    On Ka
    穏 火
    aka Anna Kissed.
    No Gods No Masters.
    Life is too serious to be taken seriously.

  19. #19
    Quote Originally Posted by Onka View Post
    For those of us with respiratory challenges particularly Asthma here's a really good piece on Asthma, medication, immune system and how they may intersect with Covid-19 if exposed.
    https://www.abc.net.au/news/health/2...ction/12117680

    In other news an Ambulance has been called on the direction of my GP and I'm off to hospital.
    Be well comrades.
    Gassho
    Onka Anna
    Sat today.
    We are off to the hospital with you, comrade.

    Gassho, J

    STLah
    ALL OF LIFE IS OUR TEMPLE

  20. #20
    Hey,

    My housemate in my Co-op tested negative for it . My suburb is a hot zone in Chicago. My aunt who was like a mother is stuck in a rehabilitation center ,locked in her room. My parents just had their first case in their rural Florida county.

    Despite all this I've been partaking in Upaya's Spring Session honoring Women ancestors . It's my first Sesshin and it may not be the point of Zazen to be so centered but the Sesshin has centered me .

    We were encouraged on this Sesshin to pick a women ancestor and I chose Sinha because my life even now puts me in front of various groups of people where despite my ambilavance end up teaching .

    I'm experiencing Zazen during this time as I have never have before.Experiencing it as the "Joyful Ease " despite the dragons of anxiety and fear when this first happened. I contribute it to practice.

    So this time is mixed but I leave you with this Koan I read yesterday from Zen Echoes :

    "A single eyelash in your eye- flowers of emptiness;
    A single sound in your ear- poison-smeared drum.
    If you busy yourself with worries, you will never understand
    How beneath the gavel,the bitter is seperated from the sweet" - Chan Master Baochi

    ST, Gassho

  21. #21
    Quote Originally Posted by Onka View Post
    ...
    In other news an Ambulance has been called on the direction of my GP and I'm off to hospital.
    Be well comrades.
    Gassho
    Onka Anna
    Sat today.
    We're all with you in that hospital.
    Metta.
    Gassho,
    Kotei sat/lah today.
    Last edited by Kotei; 04-07-2020 at 08:18 AM.
    古庭 KoTei / Ralf

  22. #22
    Metta to you, Onka, as part of our Treeleaf community, and metta to all those in hospital as part of our human community

    Gassho
    Gukan / Libby
    ST

  23. #23
    Quote Originally Posted by Onka View Post
    For those of us with respiratory challenges particularly Asthma here's a really good piece on Asthma, medication, immune system and how they may intersect with Covid-19 if exposed.
    https://www.abc.net.au/news/health/2...ction/12117680

    In other news an Ambulance has been called on the direction of my GP and I'm off to hospital.
    Be well comrades.
    Gassho
    Onka Anna
    Sat today.
    Be well, and keep us posted.

    Gassho Kyotai

    Sent from my SM-G950W using Tapatalk
    I am a student at Treeleaf. Please take what I say with a grain of salt. Gassho

  24. #24
    Treeleaf Unsui Shugen's Avatar
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    Redding California USA
    Going to be one crowded hospital room Onka with all of us sitting with you and taking turns holding your hand!

    Be well,

    Shugen

    Sattoday/LAH
    Meido Shugen
    明道 修眼

  25. #25
    Sitting with you, Onka, and all the hospital patients. Please keep in touch as best you can (and much gratitude for all of the modern technology that keeps us connected across the land, sea and sky).

    My youngest daughter (14) has myalgia and a sore throat that she is struggling to swallow with but her doctor doesn't think it is Covid-19. There are not enough testing kits to check, though.

    Her clinical psychologist mother started working on Covid wards last week.

    Gassho
    Kokuu
    -sattoday/lah-
    ------------------------------------
    Feel free to message me if you wish to talk about issues around practicing with physical limitations. This is something I have been sitting with for a fair while and am happy to help with suggestions or just offer a listening ear.

  26. #26
    Onka,

    Be well. I await more snake pictures!

    Doshin
    St

  27. #27
    Member Onka's Avatar
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    Rural Queensland, Australia
    Covid-19 Cribs edition

    Comrades
    It's no secret that my lungs haven't been playing nice over the past month. I have also made mention of my resistance to date in going to hospital because I didn't want to use up precious public health care resources.
    To date steroid based inhalers, a course of two different kinds of antibiotics, and two courses of oral steroids failed to make a significant improvement.
    Yesterday, while I was still resistant the decision was taken out of my hands and my GP insisted that an Ambulance be called and I be taken to hospital.
    The professionalism of the Acute Care Paramedic who looked after me in the back of the Ambulance and the Ambulance Paramedic crew was second to none.
    The Covid-19 protocols they followed were well drilled and reassuring to me in that should I indeed have the virus there would be little chance of transmission.
    Obviously at this point I was a compliant patient but still felt awful for being what I believed to a burden on our magnificent health system but my Acute Care Paramedic Dave was excellent at making me feel at ease. He must have noticed my political tattoos because we spent the journey to hospital discussing politics, particularly the politics of responding to a global pandemic and what each of us hoped our so-called leaders would learn from this experience.
    We talked different country's responses, what worked, what could be done better and I learnt that the presentation symptoms of Covid-19 are extremely dynamic. This it was suggested lent itself to front line workers having to adjust how anyone presenting with respiratory issues was approached on a daily basis as relevant data became available.
    Not ideal.
    Upon arrival at hospital I was impressed at the system in place for anyone at all arriving by Ambulance. The regular waiting area for Ambulance patients is normally an exercise in patient trolley dodgems but yesterday was an exercise in disciplined sectioned off areas and patients waiting in Ambulances until the administration area was clear of others.
    There was a little bit of indecision at administration as to where I should be taken as I was essentially an Asthma patient but did have a very slight fever. Should I go to the new Fever Clinic or to the Emergency Department?
    I went to neither. Instead I was placed in a small room where mental health patients are placed when they exhibit self harming behaviour. Two uncomfortable, weird but tamper proof chairs with no sharp edges. They were also incredibly heavy and awkward to move. Perfect for their purpose.
    This small room had another adjacent to it that was the 'clean room' where Dr's, Nurses and Porters got into full PPE before entering my room.
    The hallway outside of these two rooms was blocked off by barriers with signs identifying these two rooms as a Covid-19 quarantine area.
    On the opposite side of the hallway I had my own bathroom that again was designed to prevent those intent on self harm the ability to do so.
    I have a new respect for design after this experience.
    The Doctors and Nurses who attended to me were fabulous and were as concerned for my partner at home as they were for me.
    I had a cannula placed in my right arm and at various times blood was taken. I also had blood taken from my left hand. I learnt that a Nebuliser, the standard way that Doctors use to get Ventolin into the system fast via vaporised liquid Ventolin and Oxygen is not able to be used at this time because the vapour produced is a super effective way for Covid-19 to be spread far and wide. So I was given the joy of Ventolin Burst Therapy via an inhaler with a spacer. Dose and inhale, then four breaths through the spacer. Repeat this twelve times non-stop and you're left shaking like crazy, dizzy and exhausted with sore lungs. Your heart rate goes through the roof.
    I had another type of inhaler to use regularly too but the Ventolin Burst Therapy of twelve puffs every three hours was the thing that knocked me on my arse.
    I was given more oral steroids and my dosage overall increased again from what I was taking at home. I was swabbed for both Covid-19 and other respiratory viruses and had an ECG. I had a chest x-ray which showed no infection in my lungs so had a contrast CT scan of my lungs to see if there were any visible clots.
    I've had contrast CT's before but for those that haven't they inject a contrast fluid via a high speed drip system during a CT scan to hopefully identify easier areas of concern. The feeling is so weird. One minute you're jolting horizontally in and out of this massive machine with a hole in it on a bed then they warn you via speaker that they're going to introduce the contrast. The whoosh, your whole body warms up really fast and you get a metallic taste in your mouth. Then it's over, back onto the wheelchair and get taken back to my room.
    More bloods taken, more Ventolin Burst Therapy, discussions around admission or whether I'll go home and more waiting for various test results.
    Plenty of time for Shikantaza, reading Realising Genjokoan (how perfect that I started reading chapter 8 yesterday) and lots and lots of small room Kinhin where I chose to recite "I take refuge in the Buddha, the Dharma, and the Sangha" perhaps thousands of times. Shikantaza in particular was an interesting experience, particularly when combined with a system flooded with Ventolin. As I lay on my self harm proof chairs doing Zazen the fluorescent lights became portals to a limitless sky and the walls of the small room I was quarantined in seemed to fall away along with any kind of anxiety I was feeling. I felt every tiny bit of fight my respiratory system was fighting and was at peace with life as life was right there, right then. It wasn't rainbows and unicorns or any kind of beautiful experience but rather comfort in acceptance of that moment. Drugs eh... LOL!
    Nine hours later with strict instructions on self isolation I was sent home. I think this decision was made as much because we live fairly isolated anyway as it was about availability of beds.
    I am to maintain a regime of Ventolin Burst Therapy every three hours, have increased the dose of my oral steroid and still take the steroid inhaler. My respiratory system is definitely not great at the moment, in fact I'm not very well at all. I have instructions to call for an Ambulance straight away if things deteriorate, I can't stop shaking or my heart starts feeling weird. I am to have further tests on my heart as well but man, is it great to be home. In a few days I should hear whether or not I have Covid-19 or not but as I've stated all along, my exposure to the virus would've been next to impossible.
    I just hope my respiratory issues which seem to be getting more severe and more regular can get sorted or at least a management plan organised that will prove to be stabilising.
    Finally, yes I have taken a vow of non-violence but I will fight anyone who dares criticise the commitment to providing the best health outcomes in so-called Australia or anywhere for that matter of frontline medical workers and scientists.
    Deep bows to my Sangha, I felt your presence in my heart. I am thankful for everything this Sangha, it's members, Unsui, Priests and Jundo Roshi bring to my life. I'm also thankful to the Dharma and all teachers and ancestors that have come before. This Path has brought so much peace to my life that it feels effortless to Serve.
    Now to try to get hold of medications that I need to keep going on this regime. Stocks are low to non-existent at the moment.
    Gassho
    Onka Anna

    Edit: Yesterday and last night I had a brief 9 hour insight into Covid-19 isolation. Today and for the foreseeable future I sit for those forcibly isolated from loved ones, touch, personal interaction and facial expressions in environments that are foreign to most, deliberately and correctly so very clinical, sterile and rather intimidating.
    I felt this and I was only in hospital for 9 hours. Metta for all in the world at this time. Onka
    Last edited by Onka; 04-08-2020 at 01:06 AM. Reason: Added reflection
    On Ka
    穏 火
    aka Anna Kissed.
    No Gods No Masters.
    Life is too serious to be taken seriously.

  28. #28
    Deep Bows, Onka ..... continuing to sit for you and holding you and your partner in my heart.

    Meian st lh

    Sent from my SM-G975U using Tapatalk
    Not all who wander are lost. (Tolkien)
    Underestimating a warrior, serves the warrior's advantage.
    迷安 - Mei An - Wandering At Rest

  29. #29
    It is lovely for all of us to come back home with you, Onka. Somehow, we all fit in the contrast CT machine with you too.

    Gassho, Jundo

    STLah
    ALL OF LIFE IS OUR TEMPLE

  30. #30
    清 道 寂田
    SEIDO JAKUDEN
    I am a novice priest. Any resemblance my posts may have to actual teachings about the Dharma, living or dead, is purely coincidental (and just my attempt to be helpful).

  31. #31
    Much metta to you, Onka, and your partner. May you be healthy and well soon. Be well and take care!
    Gassho,
    Mateus
    Sat/LAH

  32. #32
    Member Onka's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2019
    Location
    Rural Queensland, Australia
    Thanks everyone for your thoughts and well wishes. My GP in has, in the brutally honest way she can explained to me that although I'm not in hospital the large dosages of meds I'm on are "life preserving" and that I'm very unwell.
    That shook me a bit as she's very much the type that will tell you to toughen up if she thinks you can do better.
    Once again, this is not a pity party, we're all in this together.
    I share in order to encourage others to share how their life is being impacted. I don't think there'd be too many people on this magnificent rock we call Earth who aren't starting to experience some changes due to Covid-19.
    So please continue to share. How are your friends and loved ones being affected? Information and misinformation is rife, we're seeing the best in each other and seeing the worst in each other. Even if not affected physically by Covid-19, emotionally and psychologically we've all been affected.
    Beyond being super Zenny online what's your real life looking like? Me, I'm just happy to be around my partner and our critters. Every breath a gift I cherish, senses heightened and internal organs sore I'm genuinely loving this challenge.
    Gassho
    Onka Anna
    On Ka
    穏 火
    aka Anna Kissed.
    No Gods No Masters.
    Life is too serious to be taken seriously.

  33. #33
    Thank you for keeping us posted, Onka. Please take great care, each breath. We are sitting with you.

    Since you asked, real life for me right now looks like a lot of time with my dog. Things have begun to feel relatively normal, since I quite enjoy being a homebody. I have been feeling a lot of gratitude for where I happen to be during this slice of my existence. Since I have stopped checking the news but once a day, my heart has really lightened.

    Be well,

    gassho
    Sat today, lah
    求道芸化 Kyudo Geika
    I am just a priest-in-training, please do not take anything I say as a teaching.

  34. #34
    I'm obsessed with seed potatoes, having sunk way too much moola into an order that never arrived, gutting the heart of the garden I had planned in my head.

    But, says another part of my head, there are plenty of winter squash seeds. Just adjust the recipes!

    Arhhh, says the first part. Where ARE they? on the floor of some post office hub between Salinas and here? Or ... being planted by some nefarious postal person even as we speak?

    No, no, says the second part [notice they haven't read Sandokai], consider the risks postal people are exposed to. The order may have fallen into the cracks because a person critical to the moment vanished into one of those big buildings with not enough ventilators. You can't always get what you want ... especially now.

    Okay, says the first part, I hear ya. Y'know, this reminds me of our dad's ashes.

    Eh?

    Yes, you must remember how he'd sent us home from Florida. "I'll never get this dying done if you don't stop owling at me like that!" and "I'll mail myself to you in a box; you put me where you're gonna put your momma." She had died the same year. So, I had her ashes ready to go up the mountain, and then ... his ... got lost in the mail. They'd brought him all the way to the house, we weren't in, he went back to the P.O. and then to the distribution center and they put him in the safe, then forgot where he was. What we went through to find him. And cried and cried.

    Well, they are both safe under the snow now; we did our part; and we go see them every year if we can. Look, in the morning we can look for that promised refund, and then try again somewhere. Maybe they'll have Yukon Golds.

    gassho
    doyu sat/lah today
    I'm a visiting unsui from Bird Haven Zendo. Take what I say with a box of salt. Mmm!

  35. #35
    Take care Onka.
    We are doing well here in Sardinia, I'm so grateful to be living on a relatively small, scarcely populated and largely self sufficient island. 30 days in lockdown now, with few of the privileges that I see in the UK and US; nevertheless we have become used to this way of life. I go by foot to the supermarket around the corner once, or twice a week, depending on how much I have to carry. My husband has a check up at the local hospital and a trip to his Dr once a month, and that's it.
    I'm an introvert and not very social so this hasn't been so difficult for me, but I'm acutely aware of the suffering of my fellow countrymen/women, who are a naturally outgoing, highly social and warmhearted people.
    I could really enjoy this period of quiet and peace under other circumstances, but being so aware of the terrible cost in life and suffering, to see it as enjoyable doesn't seem appropriate.
    I've nothing to complain about despite our restrictions, we are alive and right now that's a lot to be grateful for. Stay safe and stay home folks.
    Gassho
    Meitou
    Sattoday lah.
    命 Mei - life
    島 Tou - island

  36. #36
    Member Onka's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2019
    Location
    Rural Queensland, Australia
    Quote Originally Posted by Meitou View Post
    Take care Onka.
    We are doing well here in Sardinia, I'm so grateful to be living on a relatively small, scarcely populated and largely self sufficient island. 30 days in lockdown now, with few of the privileges that I see in the UK and US; nevertheless we have become used to this way of life. I go by foot to the supermarket around the corner once, or twice a week, depending on how much I have to carry. My husband has a check up at the local hospital and a trip to his Dr once a month, and that's it.
    I'm an introvert and not very social so this hasn't been so difficult for me, but I'm acutely aware of the suffering of my fellow countrymen/women, who are a naturally outgoing, highly social and warmhearted people.
    I could really enjoy this period of quiet and peace under other circumstances, but being so aware of the terrible cost in life and suffering, to see it as enjoyable doesn't seem appropriate.
    I've nothing to complain about despite our restrictions, we are alive and right now that's a lot to be grateful for. Stay safe and stay home folks.
    Gassho
    Meitou
    Sattoday lah.
    In all sincerity Meitou there are few who possess the empathy and compassion that I feel in you.
    I'm sure it's perfectly appropriate to find enjoyment in times of hardship, in fact my signature alludes to the idea that I find it compulsory.
    Be kind to yourself comrade and enjoy the peace you've found.
    Gassho
    Onka Anna
    On Ka
    穏 火
    aka Anna Kissed.
    No Gods No Masters.
    Life is too serious to be taken seriously.

  37. #37
    Member Onka's Avatar
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    May 2019
    Location
    Rural Queensland, Australia
    Quote Originally Posted by Geika View Post
    Thank you for keeping us posted, Onka. Please take great care, each breath. We are sitting with you.

    Since you asked, real life for me right now looks like a lot of time with my dog. Things have begun to feel relatively normal, since I quite enjoy being a homebody. I have been feeling a lot of gratitude for where I happen to be during this slice of my existence. Since I have stopped checking the news but once a day, my heart has really lightened.

    Be well,

    gassho
    Sat today, lah
    Quality time with our non-human animal family members along with limiting bad news exposure sounds like a fabulous way to spend time in isolation. Getting home late last night and seeing our critters was the best feeling.
    Do you have any grooming tips for those of us with a little extra time on our hands?
    Gassho
    Onka Anna
    On Ka
    穏 火
    aka Anna Kissed.
    No Gods No Masters.
    Life is too serious to be taken seriously.

  38. #38
    Member Onka's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2019
    Location
    Rural Queensland, Australia
    Quote Originally Posted by Doyū View Post
    I'm obsessed with seed potatoes, having sunk way too much moola into an order that never arrived, gutting the heart of the garden I had planned in my head.

    But, says another part of my head, there are plenty of winter squash seeds. Just adjust the recipes!

    Arhhh, says the first part. Where ARE they? on the floor of some post office hub between Salinas and here? Or ... being planted by some nefarious postal person even as we speak?

    No, no, says the second part [notice they haven't read Sandokai], consider the risks postal people are exposed to. The order may have fallen into the cracks because a person critical to the moment vanished into one of those big buildings with not enough ventilators. You can't always get what you want ... especially now.

    Okay, says the first part, I hear ya. Y'know, this reminds me of our dad's ashes.

    Eh?

    Yes, you must remember how he'd sent us home from Florida. "I'll never get this dying done if you don't stop owling at me like that!" and "I'll mail myself to you in a box; you put me where you're gonna put your momma." She had died the same year. So, I had her ashes ready to go up the mountain, and then ... his ... got lost in the mail. They'd brought him all the way to the house, we weren't in, he went back to the P.O. and then to the distribution center and they put him in the safe, then forgot where he was. What we went through to find him. And cried and cried.

    Well, they are both safe under the snow now; we did our part; and we go see them every year if we can. Look, in the morning we can look for that promised refund, and then try again somewhere. Maybe they'll have Yukon Golds.

    gassho
    doyu sat/lah today
    *Invokes Seinfeld's character*
    Neumann!

    Gassho
    Onka Anna
    On Ka
    穏 火
    aka Anna Kissed.
    No Gods No Masters.
    Life is too serious to be taken seriously.

  39. #39
    Quote Originally Posted by Onka View Post
    Quality time with our non-human animal family members along with limiting bad news exposure sounds like a fabulous way to spend time in isolation. Getting home late last night and seeing our critters was the best feeling.
    Do you have any grooming tips for those of us with a little extra time on our hands?
    Gassho
    Onka Anna
    My tips would be to regularly and GENTLY brush your dog every few days if they have long or curly hair. Especially make sure your dog is brushed after they are dry if you give them a bath. Long and curly hair that is unbrushed can cause painful matting if they are not detangled after a bath. That is about the worst that can happen. If your pet has very long hair that covers the eyes or gets in the way, you might VERY CAREFULLY snip it out of their view, but ONLY if you feel steady and comfortable enough doing so. Also, please give them a check every few days for things like ticks and fleas. The last few appointments I did all had ticks, so the season is high. The easiest way to spot them is to run a dryer over your pet's fur to separate it to the skin. Give their nails a check as well, to see if everything looks alright. Please trim them if you feel comfortable doing so. Long nails can cause discomfort. If your pet has skin conditions that require regular grooming, if you do not have the proper medicated shampoos, perhaps give the vet a call and see if they have any advice.

    Gassho
    Sat today, lah
    求道芸化 Kyudo Geika
    I am just a priest-in-training, please do not take anything I say as a teaching.

  40. #40
    Hi Onka. Much metta to you.
    I'm living these days with a lot of anxiety and anger. I don't understand how governments can be so cruel to their own citizens and how some people can support such a government. As I said in other thread, the lockdown is over in my town and everyone here seems to have forgotten that we are in the middle of a pandemic. It is a tragedy waiting to happen. The town doesn’t have hospitals with intensive care, there are only two ventilators and 24 tests. The government is only testing people with difficulty to breath, so we can’t trust the official numbers in Brazil. But my wife and I are isolating ourselves. We go to the market once a week to by vegetables and other things that we can’t store. I spend the day studying, cooking, cleaning the house, sitting zazen and watching things on Youtube or Netflix.
    We both have cat allergies and asthma, and we also have three beautiful and playful cats, so we are always sneezing and coughing, which makes it difficult for us to know if we are with a respiratory virus (corona, influenza or rhinovirus) or if it is just our usual allergies. But their (the cats and our dog) presences are so helpful for our mind and we love them very much.
    I love to be at home, so the isolation is not affecting me so much, but my wife is very workaholic and she is suffering lot being away from the University. She volunteered to help with the pandemic in a hospital, but she was not called yet, and I think the government’s denial has a lot to do with it.
    What worries me the most is my family. My mother is diabetic and had a stroke last year. As she didn’t recover her left arm’s movement, she needs someone to take care of her 24/7. So, she is being taken care by two companions, one during the day, the other at night. But they have to use the public transportation to get there. And it exposes them to the virus.
    My grandmother and grandfather are isolated. And it has being hard for her, as she used to go out every day. But at least they are somewhat safe, as long as she doesn’t break her isolation. My grandaunt is very sick, her lungs barely work and she has to use oxygen all the time; so I’m very worried that she might be exposed to this virus.
    My brother and sister-in-law are both doctors. She is working in the frontline of the pandemic, receiving and treating covid-19 infected people. It worries me as there is not enough safeguard equipment in their city since last month. My mother-in-law is isolated, but my father-in-law is a strong supporter of Bolsonaro, so he doesn’t believe in the Covid-19 and is not taking any care at all.
    Be well, Onka and everyone!

    Gassho,
    Mateus
    Sat/LAH

  41. #41
    Onka,

    Jundo is right, we were all in that CT scanner with you. Your report is so wonderfully and vividly written it's hard not to be there. Thank you for sharing with such passion and compassion your journey. And blessings on you your partner and your critters.

    Here in New Mexico life goes on as usual for us. I am also by nature an introvert, have a wonderful studio so spend my time here. Which is what I always do. My husband, a data nerd, has been working out flow charts and tracking deaths here in the U.S. for what I'm not sure. But it seems to fascinate him. We shop once or twice a week, which is a fascinating errand with enforced social distancing, trying to find a roll of tp or eggs. Odd things being hoarded. People are scared and this seems to somehow soothe themselves with knowing if everything else fails they have those items. My gyms are closed so I take my 2 fine dogs to the foothills each morning for a predawn hike. A blessing this morning watching the pink super moon setting over the west mesa. I am very lucky.

    blessings on all in this Sangha, may you be well, may you be at ease, may you be healthy, may you happy.
    Gassho
    Anne

    ~lahst~

  42. #42
    So much to handle, Onka. May you be healthy, and at ease in all your ills... and so may we all.

    Not being able to respond the way we normally would, and just be there, are probably the most frustrating things about this for me. My mom fell and broke her hip two weeks ago. She isn't frail; she slipped while carrying a sofa, but could the timing have been any worse? She lives in Florida, far, far from me or any of my sisters, and the lockdowns were just starting. In the end, none of us went, but it was a last minute surrendering to trust in the healthcare system (don't get me started) and decide that Mom and all of us were best off by us staying home. No would be able to go into the hospital where she was taken and had surgery. A couple of days later she went to rehab, where again, no one could visit. And a scant week later, she is home, getting home health visits and PT and drinking her own coffee.

    I don't have more free time from of the lockdown, because I am a hospice nurse. Every day, more and more of the patients we are seeing are C-19 suspect or confirmed. It is still relatively few, but affects every interaction. It is exhausting, mentally, physically, and emotionally. And really, we are just getting started. We haven't warmed up yet. The news from New York and other places drains us, and we are still watching the first waves come in. I am on-call 57 hours per week, and I'm at my easel another 30-40 hours. My husband is working from home and our dog is helping. Sort of. I am grateful that we both have ongoing jobs. I don't think we would be socializing more, particularly, if things were usual, but not having the choice to feels limiting.

    One of the strongest and least-discussed effects of the pandemic that I am seeing--some of which is reflected here in this thread--is missed life events. I witness it most frequently as delayed or simply never-carried-out funerals. But I also am aware of a couple of cancelled weddings. There are missed birthday parties, non-attendance at births, anniversaries, graduations... all sorts of things that come and go and are just not happening. I was not able to go be with my mom when she was injured. Our patient's families are not able to travel to be with them when they are dying, or when they die. We are missing hugs, tears, affirmations, and celebrations.

    I think I'm still trying to figure out what my response is. I want to put in vegetable gardens. I have wanted to for years. On the one hand, I don't want to add to my chore list and time demands. On the other, victory garden! I am into the idea of growing my own and putting food by. Of course, my grandparents spent at least half of their waking time dedicated to that chore in order to feed themselves. And rabbits. And squirrels. And crows. And pesky pests. The reality of big projects is rarely anything like what we planned.

    Others are going through much worse than we are, and in my household, at least, we really aren't suffering at all. Metta to all, this Sangha and the greater sangha.

    Gassho,
    Nengei
    Sat. LAH.

  43. #43
    Thank you for all that you do for others, Nengei. Stay safe.

    Gassho
    Sat today, lah
    求道芸化 Kyudo Geika
    I am just a priest-in-training, please do not take anything I say as a teaching.

  44. #44
    Member Onka's Avatar
    Join Date
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    Location
    Rural Queensland, Australia
    My Covid-19 swab results came back negative which was no surprise as I'd always said that my risk of exposure had been negligible.
    Now to find out what's going on with my ticker and why I need a shedload of steroids and 12 puffs of Ventolin every 3 hours in order to breathe. Sheesh... I hoped this isolation business was going to be more fun.
    Stay safe.
    Stay at home as much as possible.
    Stay positive.
    Laugh at yourself, others, and life itself. It really is absurd.
    Gassho
    Onka Anna
    On Ka
    穏 火
    aka Anna Kissed.
    No Gods No Masters.
    Life is too serious to be taken seriously.

  45. #45
    Happy to hear your test came back negative, Onka. /\

    As wild as things have been around me during this, I have actually been enjoying the change of pace - though I'm definitely not welcoming the despair this is causing for so many. I was sick for a while (along with two year old and wife to follow, my older daughter didn't get sick) with something but didn't get tested. I stayed home away from work the day I got sick, and the school (for my 8 year old) was shut down the next day, and later in the week the daycare shut down (that my 2 year old attended but I had already taken home with me).

    My boss for my M-F, 9-5 was not keen on the idea of me working from home (I do web design, writing, and social media marketing...) and I actually thought I was going to lose my job (firing for not showing up due to no childcare, wouldn't have qualified for unemployment). I ended up convincing him to let me try it and I've been getting more done here than I do at the office normally. The daycare also decided to change policy and NOT charge me for the weeks they are closed this time so I'm not losing that money now, and I'm not having to pay aftercare for my 8 year old either. That, combined with that I am still working my second part time job from home as usual I am actually saving a ton of money during this. I know I am very fortunate for this. It's been extremely financially benefiting not having to pay half my income to childcare just to go to work. I'm going to try to make this the "new normal", and honestly may look for a new job that will allow me to work this way in the future if my current boss insists on things going back to the way they were.

    I am enjoying being home with my family, having more freedom to move around, more sleep, and more relaxed scheduled. I am still working 50-60 hours per week but I now have zero commute time so it's much more pleasant.

    Typically, I would visit my parents and brother about 30 minutes away on our large family property - woodlands, large pond, rolling fields, etc. It was my weekly retreat from suburban life, and my only socializing time with anyone during the week. So, I haven't had any time away or socialization other than occasional phone calls. I definitely miss seeing them. All three of them are high risk individuals due to age and/or underlying conditions/weakened immune systems. As well, my remaining grandparent, my grandmother, is 89 years old and is also high risk. I'm hoping that everyone makes it through this and we all get to see each other again sometime. I don't really have anyone else other than my wife and kids. My mom is mostly working from home right now but my dad still has to report for work 5-6 days a week at a factory that isn't going to shut down. He gets a lot of exposure there so I'm hoping he is able to avoid the virus.

    I have been sitting zazen much more throughout the day when I find time. I've cut back on my news consumption after the initial couple of weeks, and am happier because of it. I just check to see what the new restrictions and laws are at the end of each day and I don't watch the state 5pm briefings anymore. I have been enjoying reading and playing Switch (Animal Crossing) in the evenings after I am done with work.

    We had two different tornadic storms yesterday in my county. One in the afternoon around 4pm and another at 12am overnight. The first storm missed us entirely, and the second storm only grazed us and did only mild damage to the house (cracked siding, etc). I was completely unaware how bad the first storm was and actually was taking a photograph of it behind the trees for my Instagram immediately after a walk around the neighborhood with my wife and two year old. it covered the ground totally white in it's wake with nickel sized hail about 5 miles away. We were again super fortunate!

    Wishing the best for everyone out there... /\

    Gassho
    Kendrick
    Sat
    “Life and death are of supreme importance. Time swiftly passes by and opportunity is lost. Each of us should strive to awaken. Awaken! Take heed, do not squander your life.” ― Dōgen

  46. #46
    It is good news about the covid-19 test, Onka. I hope you get better soon.
    We are all sitting with you.
    Gassho,
    Mateus
    Sat/LAH

  47. #47
    My friend who was in hospital (still is) the last three weeks also tested negative. Lungs seem to be a thing right now. Metta to all. _()_

    gassho
    doyu sat/lah today
    I'm a visiting unsui from Bird Haven Zendo. Take what I say with a box of salt. Mmm!

  48. #48
    Member Onka's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2019
    Location
    Rural Queensland, Australia
    This has turned into a magnificent and I believe very important thread for our Sangha.
    Laid bare have been many and varied accounts on how Covid-19 has affected our daily lives to date and the daily lives of those we care about.
    Aside from the elderly and vulnerable I still fear for the young folk out there both within our Treeleaf Sangha and in the great Sangha beyond.
    Sure, most of us haven't been directly affected by a global pandemic before but most of us have been exposed to stories through study or speaking with our elders about times of struggle.
    Have young people any kind of reference point from history that can guide them? Are we looking out for them as much as we could. Can we take them aside and ask them with sincerity how they're travellin'? Can we ask them if they're afraid? Do they feel powerless in a time when their whole lives to date has been fairly structured within the embrace of technology, capitalism and its necessary routine?
    Despite the carefree appearance given of young people they have enormous burdens and pressure heaped upon them in a digital world that is supposed to increase freedom and individual autonomy.
    Let's not forget and sit for those who appear robust but who may be a little fragile under the surface.
    Gassho
    Onka Anna
    On Ka
    穏 火
    aka Anna Kissed.
    No Gods No Masters.
    Life is too serious to be taken seriously.

  49. #49
    Quote Originally Posted by Onka View Post
    This has turned into a magnificent and I believe very important thread for our Sangha.
    Laid bare have been many and varied accounts on how Covid-19 has affected our daily lives to date and the daily lives of those we care about.
    Aside from the elderly and vulnerable I still fear for the young folk out there both within our Treeleaf Sangha and in the great Sangha beyond.
    Sure, most of us haven't been directly affected by a global pandemic before but most of us have been exposed to stories through study or speaking with our elders about times of struggle.
    Have young people any kind of reference point from history that can guide them? Are we looking out for them as much as we could. Can we take them aside and ask them with sincerity how they're travellin'? Can we ask them if they're afraid? Do they feel powerless in a time when their whole lives to date has been fairly structured within the embrace of technology, capitalism and its necessary routine?
    Despite the carefree appearance given of young people they have enormous burdens and pressure heaped upon them in a digital world that is supposed to increase freedom and individual autonomy.
    Let's not forget and sit for those who appear robust but who may be a little fragile under the surface.
    Gassho
    Onka Anna

    Mateus
    Sat/LAH

  50. #50
    I agree with you, Onka-san. One thing I am becoming aware of is how much fear and burden people carry, not wanting to let it show or realizing that others are also carrying these things. Important questions go unasked. Opportunities to help others are missed. People are so, so fragile, and their struggles go unseen.

    Gassho,
    Nengei
    Sat. LAH.
    Be gentle. Be compassionate. Be kind.

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