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  • Kristan Higgins

A little less irritation, a little more gratitude

Updated: May 6, 2022


It’s lonely to be social-distancing, to be unable to live like we’re all used to. We’ve put our house renovations on hold for the time being, feeling that tearing off the walls was ill-advised at the moment, and I’m glad we did. However, I was already moved in here at our Cape house before the pandemic, and now I find myself kind of stuck here, away from my family, who has told me to stay put. They’re all home, and they can’t be positive they’re not carriers yet, so I’ve been banished, as it were. I don’t even have my doggies with me, and now there’s a travel ban in my state, so I don’t see getting them any time soon.


So I’m lonely. I miss my kids. I miss McIrish. We Facetime at least once a day, usually twice, and I get glimpses of home and the pets. I’ve talked more on the phone in the past three weeks than I have in the entire year.

But really, how lucky we are, aren’t we? We have so many ways to be in touch: phone, email, social media, Facetime and Skype and Zoom. I send my family picture, they send pictures to me. As far as isolation goes, I’m very, very lucky.

A lot of us can get caught up in feeling blue, or sorry for ourselves or irritable with these restrictions. But when you think about what others are facing, it’s hard not to be grateful. On my Facebook page, I’ve been posting daily about the unsung heroes of the COVID-19 pandemic. We all know about the scientists, doctors and nurses who are fighting this virus with everything they’ve got, but there are others in the fight as well, folks we might not think of immediately. For example…

Veterinarians and vet techs and all who work to take care of our pets.

Farmers and farm workers who work endlessly, growing our food, keeping us in stock, getting up before dawn to care for the land and the animals so the rest of us can eat.

Lab techs. They handle all those samples, blood draws, sputum cultures and God knows what else, and I’m sure they’re under pressure to work extra fast and accurately.

Working parents who are now juggling work, child-rearing, care arrangements and everything else while still trying to make a living.

Stay-at-home parents. I absolutely loved being a stay-at-home mom. Best, most rewarding and hardest job I ever had. Can’t imagine how hard it is these days, not being able to go to the library or trying to keep the proper social distance at a park or playground.

Pharmacists and pharmacy workers. Whether they’re in the hospital or in a drugstore, they’re the ones doling out medicine to the sick, giving advice, calming down fears.

The cleaners at the hospitals, clinics and offices who decontaminate before, during and after the sick are treated. They protect the patients, doctors, nurses, paramedics, other medical professionals…and the rest of us in the herd.

The CNAs and other nursing assistants who do so much of the nitty-gritty work of healthcare, often at minimum wage, risking their own health and that of their families to care for the sickest among us.

Teachers! All of you who’ve had to scramble to get those lessons online, who are answering questions via your computer, putting in countless extra hours to keep educating our kids.

Truck drivers, warehouse workers and grocery store clerks who make sure our food gets to us. It would be the apocalypse without you, and we know it.

Thank you, everyone who has no choice but to work out in the world these days. We’ll stay home so you can do your jobs and be safer. God bless.


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