My dad is extremely anxious about the Corona Virus scare …
and the state of emergency. He calls me several times a day asking what he should do. What can I tell him? — Worried Too
Barbara: Mama, are you taking care of yourself? Are you being cautious? Washing your hands, not going out with friends?
Dearie: You’re talking about the virus. I’m listening carefully to everything on the radio and TV. I’m doing my best. But still going to a few of my discussion groups – we’re small, it shouldn’t be a problem.
Barbara: You know, I’ve begun wondering how long this will last and will it get worse. I began getting seriously worried today.
Dearie: Oh, sweetie, I’m sorry you’re feeling so worried. What can I do for you?
Barbara: This feels so good, mama – you’re taking care of me now!
Dearie: I always did!
Barbara: I wash my hands every time I’ve been outside – they’re as red as lobsters – and have cancelled all of my meetings. Most of my friends are working from home now. Do you ever remember anything quite like this?
Dearie: I can’t say I remember anything exactly like this – not a health scare, but certainly there were stressful times. Seeing soldiers go off to war was difficult and scary. And there was a fair amount of violence and anger during the civil rights movement in the 60s. I was uncomfortable and maybe a little frightened.
Barbara: Will this virus thing stop?
Dearie: Yes, it will, but it will take time.
Barbara: What would you do if you got sick with this virus?
Dearie: We’d do the best in getting me well. It just is what it is. You know, it’s not the first time I’ve gotten sick. Am I scaring you?
Barbara: No, not really, maybe a little. Mama, do you ever think about the end of your life?
Dearie: Yes, of course I do, but I’m not ready to die. I hope you know that. Even though I have to make some adjustments because I am getting older and I can’t do everything I used to, there is still a lot I am curious about.
Barbara: Mama, you are the voice of reason and wisdom. I feel a little, better — calmer. Thank you!
Dearie: I’ve never stopped taking care of you. Love you lots.