Column: 'This journey and new way of life is scary'

Deborah Rose

Deborah Rose

Deborah Rose / Hearst Connecticut Media

Life as we have known it has changed exponentially since the coronavirus began spreading across the globe.

Last month, leaders and businesses began implementing measures to slow the spread of the virus.

We found ourselves advised to stay at home and keep our distance from others.

Surprisingly, so far, the weeks are slipping by faster than I imagined they would.

Some friends and family have said they don’t know what day it is because the days blend into one another.

That’s understandable. The monotony of being in one place — the home — for work and family time 24 hours a day can mess with one’s concept of time.

And our routines are uprooted.

Last week went smoother with my kids and their distance learning.

Unfortunately, I was more lax about each day’s schedule.

I failed to get myself up in a timely fashion to get the kids going. It can be difficult to get motivated.

But to my surprise, each child had already looked into their assignments most mornings and at least twice, they had already started their work.

Sure, they needed some pushes to stay on track each day. And they needed guidance on certain lessons.

But the kids managed to get their work done. And I was happy. And so were they.

There’s no guarantee I’ll have another week like that. But I’ll take what I get.

This journey and new way of life — of only leaving the house for essentials (or ordering online), not seeing and interacting with loved ones and friends in person, of carrying protective accessories and supplies in the car and using them when I go out for essential items, of working solely from home and of guiding my kids through school lessons — is new and scary.

And there is no end in sight.

Anxiety and fear wears on a soul.

The number of people diagnosed with the virus continues to increase, as does the number of people who have died of it.

Last week a friend, who I have not had physical contact with for months, was diagnosed with it, taken to the hospital and is recovering.

Another friend lost his grandfather due to complications of the virus.

I am deeply concerned for my loved ones near and far, especially those who are older and those who are immune compromised.

I wonder how our lives will be different — certainly transformed — once this all settles.

So many thoughts. They can eat away at any mind.

But for me, in the midst of the chaos and uncertainty, flecks of calm and balance are beginning to break through.

Being forced to slow down — to not have to physically bounce from my day job to run errands, visit loved ones, coordinate kids’ after-school activities and be present on the home front — has already had an impact on me.

As strange, exhausting and challenging as it might be to have the kids home for school lessons while I’m working and keeping a home, I’m beginning to feel my level of stress shrink.

I’m in one place. And there’s more stillness, time and conscious focus on being present.

Being present is one of the best gifts we can bestow unto ourselves and our loved ones.

At such a time as this — when uncertainty, anxiety and fear are at the forefront of our lives — let us do our best to direct our attention to being present and acknowledging the positive blessings we can find every day around us.

Look around.

Communities across the state, including our own, are banding together and helping one another.

We cannot deny the weight of our new reality; we must be realistic and act accordingly by adhering to the measures put in place to slow the spread of the virus.

However, we must not allow ourselves to overthink things or get caught up in a web of despair.

Each day is a new chapter. And we are moving forward. Together.

Deborah Rose is a lifelong New Milford resident who has worked at The Spectrum since its inception in 1998. She can be reached by email at