Well…I didn’t see that coming.

It’s 5am, I can’t sleep. Yesterday I found out our state is cancelling all elective surgeries in preparation for the coronavirus to surge and overwhelm our hospitals. I work for several small surgery centers that are closing and I have found myself, like many others, suddenly unemployed. For the month of April I will have very minimal or no work opportunities. I understand the decision. We are facing a crisis that is unlike any other I’ve seen in my lifetime. Saving any and all medical supplies at this time is imperative for the battle we are potentially facing due to this devastating virus.

I get it, I really do, but I’m terrified.

I shouldn’t be. We are in a much better position financially than most I know. We have increased our savings account balance by 40% since I started this blog and I couldn’t be more grateful for how and when I decided to pursue financial independence. Like many others, the pursuit of early retirement has been shot to hell. My plan was to use some of our savings to start paying down our mortgage. Now it is going to be used to fund our actual emergency of temporary job loss. 

I’m not complaining. It’s what the money is there for. Dave Ramsey wasn’t wrong when he said you should have 3-6 months of income saved. It’s just that nobody thinks it’s ever really that necessary. At least I didn’t. You never truly believe something like this is going to happen to you. Healthcare has always been a safe career choice for job security. I never thought I would see a day where I didn’t have an income. 

If I sound terrible for talking about money right now, when people are dying, it’s simply because I don’t want to talk about people dying. I’ve seen videos from Italy that are terrifying and I prefer to push the images to the back of my mind, grateful for my forced quarantine, and realizing had I not become an independent contractor I would literally be on the front lines of this epidemic. 

While many providers are living in a hospital to avoid bringing this virus home to their loved ones, I’ve been given the ability to stay home with mine. It’s a weird feeling to be terrified of losing your income and yet grateful for it at the same time.

I do believe this is temporary. Hopefully, in a couple of months we will have beaten this virus to a bloody pulp and taken our lives back. Things can return to, what I’m praying, will be a new normal for America. It’s my hope for all of us that people will change in ways that improve our world.

This pandemic is highlighting a society gone wrong…grocery shelves full of vegetables and empty of ice cream…mothers making facebook posts about going crazy on day 3 of a quarantine because they are having to actually be mothers…profiting from hoarding and reselling of hand sanitizer…food and toilet paper hoarding.  

A friend of mine asked me recently what was causing me the most stress about this whole situation? My answer, I am fearful for the health of my family but I’m also afraid of supply chains breaking down causing the worst to come out in people as they try to meet their own survival needs. I’m thankful I haven’t heard of these events happening in Italy or China, two countries being ravaged by the coronavirus, and it gives me hope that things aren’t as bad as the media are making them sound. When you read headlines that imply of food shortages, political unrest, and death it’s impossible to feel positive that this will end well. 

Our home, and maybe yours too, needs a return to a time we’ve long forgotten…family dinners, quiet time to read and reflect, sewing, cooking at home, growing your own food and preserving your harvest. Letting ourselves get bored for a change instead of immediately reaching for an electronic device. Learning a new skill instead of watching a new video.

I realized I was on my phone last night when my daughter needed me. I’m aware of my thoughts becoming so distracting I’m not listening when my husband speaks to me. I find I have to reread paragraphs repeatedly because I get lost in thought. The two most important people in my life often get what’s left of me after I freely, embarrassingly, give my time and attention to other people and things that don’t matter. 

Maybe you’re realizing these things too. Maybe you don’t really need all the things that you have and you’re making plans to give to those in need, spend less, improve your health and mental well being, and maybe repair a broken relationship or two. 

Maybe you’re realizing that so many things just aren’t worth giving a shit about. The most important things are the loved ones you’re currently quarantined with, the ones who deserve the best of you. It’s interesting how a crisis can cause you to appreciate life differently and create growth in unexpected ways. I’m unemployed, terrified, and yet grateful.

Let us all pray we can come out of this with cleaner hearts, not just cleaner hands.

Stay healthy,

Mrs. CRNA


7 thoughts on “Well…I didn’t see that coming.

  1. “ grocery shelves full of vegetables and empty of ice cream” That was exactly what I noticed yesterday and shared with my mom during a phone call. Amazing. And that’s part of why so many within our population are predisposed to dying from this epidemic.

    All of what you’ve said is exactly what I’ve been thinking – and I’m sure more of us agree.

    I wish you the best with your situation and hope work resumes soon for you and everyone else.

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      1. I hope so! We’re frustrated at work with this situation as well. We all want our old normal back. Maybe this epidemic will serve as a wakeup call to America in more ways than one, but I don’t know. Hope you’re back to work soon!!

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  2. I too understand leaving toxic work situations to see a brighter and more clear future. I am also an independent CRNA in Atlanta. The reality of feeling so distracted at home after giving 110% at work all day is exactly where I have been for a long time now. Hoping this hiatus will open my eyes to what’s in front of me.

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    1. I was thinking the same thing. I am hoping this time home, giving 110% to my family can help me be less distracted. I’m trying to help myself focus on my family and home by attempting to stay off of social media and news sites but am finding it so easy to just hop on twitter…then suddenly it’s 20 min later.
      Stay healthy and I hope there’s lots of work for the both of us when this is over,

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  3. I agree with the profiteering part but may I gently suggest that these things are perhaps not the indicstors of our society with messed up priorities: “grocery shelves full of vegetables and empty of ice cream…mothers making facebook posts about going crazy on day 3 of a quarantine because they are having to actually be mothers…”
    I can’t speak to what other people are buying because I can’t have ice cream but in stressful times like this, I would be getting both if my health allowed for it! And parenting during a quarantine and pandemic is, for some, spectacularly harder for many reasons.

    I just mention this because, well, there are common generalizations made at a glance that I’ve been on the receiving end of, about the food choices and about my challenges in parenting, that don’t see the full picture. Also, a store may be constantly restocking the vegetables and not the ice cream 😉 That would make sense to me, I know our store is primarily restocking what they sell the most of and consider essential.

    We are financially ok right now so we are doing what we can to help others and I’m worried as heck for the folks in my circles who are fighting this on the front lines. May more of the best in others come out than the worst does, may quarantine help flatten the curve enough than more of us come out the other side of this thing than is projected.

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    1. I hear what you are saying and yes, I agree, stores could be restocking vegetables…I just didn’t see many of them in the grocery carts I passed. And yes, parenting during a quarantine IS hard…but maybe there are some sweet moments that these moms could post about instead of commenting “is it wine time yet” and making posts about how their kids are making them nuts.
      As a full time working mom, I am treasuring this time with my kid. When this is over I will go back to work and I will never have this time with my child again. So even in the moments when it’s really hard, I’m not rushing to Facebook to make a post about it….probably another indicator or our messed up priorities.
      I appreciate your comment and I certainly meant no offense, just my observations. I hope you and yours stay healthy during this trying time.

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