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It is ok to not be ok during these times.

Times are tough right now. The glimmer of hope of reopening has dimmed a little more, jobs and many businesses have shut down again, schools are going virtual only for the time being, cases are increasing instead of flattening, and virtual everything seems to be the new normal. I am often asked when will thing go back to normal and the truth is I am not sure. With so many unknowns especially for fields that deal with people socializing, connecting, and being together it is a very unclear picture of when /if/how any of our usual traditions may resume. I am happy to see things such as Drive In Movies pop up and some of the businesses that are allowed to move outdoors find new ways to survive. My heart hurts for the families impacted by COVID-19 in health and for those who have lost work and their businesses during this time. I also know that the pandemic is truly affecting everyone's mental health. People are more anxious, wanting a sense of normalcy, wanting to hear good news, wanting businesses to open back up, wanting jobs, and also depression numbers are soaring. People are by nature social beings so the idea of not being able to be social, to not be able to hug or interact in person with people is hard on all ages. I see the sadness with my kids who won't be able to see their friends at school, who want to hug their teachers or counselors and cannot. I feel it with my senior members that just want to be back in person and seeing their friends on a regular basis. I see it in my members who want to feel healthy again and get back into a health regime. I see it in the people who have had to move their weddings so many times and are now looking at virtual ceremonies. I see it in my own home, the stress of no longer having alone time, of less structure, working from home and not working, and the chaos in a house with two boys home all the time. It is ok to not be ok right now. You do not have to feel happy for the way life is right now, you can be bummed out, or you can feel a little lost. You are not alone though (even if you live on your own). I encourage you (even if you hate the phone or the computer) to reach out for help, to catch up, to check in, and just to talk about life. You may be surprised by how much a one sentence text message can lift your or someone else's spirit. It is a gift to know that you are missed, that you are thought of, and that you care. Please make sure to take care of yourselves during this time, it is easy to burn out with all the stress right now. I wish that you stay safe and as sane as possible during this time. The Center is continuing to look for ways that we can assist the public during this time.

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