• Dr. Vin

April Rain



I take the tack out of the calendar I have pinned up next to my computer, to flip the page to the new month of May. I pause and skim at April 2020, which is ending.

It seems like we got on a more regular schedule this month, as we tucked into the new normal of sheltering at home. I have art days and writing days and grocery delivery days. I feel grateful that technology allows me to stay in contact with others. On Tuesday, I was in a zoom meeting with a colleague I am supervising, as I consult on his work as a psychotherapist with his clients. Since quarantine, most therapists no longer see clients live in their offices. He is now doing zoom sessions with his patients. This week, we both watched a recorded Zoom session of him and his client. We are able to pause the tape and make comments. I’m pleased with how efficient and productive this is. I call it Double Zoom! Technology allows me to facetime my young grandsons, who live five states away and every Saturday night my youngest brother hosts a family zoom party, each with its own theme. Two weeks ago, we shared memories of our Spanish heritage, last week we talked about our Irish heritage. The laughter and the love warms my heart.

I feel waves of fear at the rising death toll and waves of anger at government misinformation or slowness of response. I feel annoyed at those in denial, willing to defy safety norms and put everyone at further risk. I worry about people trying to get their stimulus checks, or collecting unemployment, or getting enough food. I am concerned about the mental health of our nation. Yesterday, I read that domestic violence is on the rise in the USA. It can be hard to return to a calm state from a charged state when living in close quarters, if you have nowhere to go to “cool down”. It is also hard when you have no place to go to escape abuse. Although mental health helplines are busy, please keep calling if you need help. Help is out there. I learned that if I watch the news too late in the day, I can’t sleep as well. I listen to a guided meditation before bed every night to better relax and fade into a pastel dreamy universe. Every morning, I am brought back to the reality that we are in a world under the thumb of a vicious crisis. I read this week that the number of positive cases passed the one million mark and that the virus may last for many more months. The best we can do is to do our small part.

Compassion means asking, “How Can I Help?”. Help is turning toward any action, from grabbing chalk and drawing hearts on your neighborhood sidewalk, to delivering masks or groceries, or contributing to a worthy cause. For instance, yesterday my niece interviewed her boss, Cyndi Lauper, for #TrueColorsDay. They were advocating for the need of shelter, especially during this time of Covid-19, for the homeless LGBTQ youth population in the USA. It was a 4 minute pitch. Cyndi talked about having been homeless herself at one point in her life. I feel so proud of my niece, who is devoted to this cause. Many shared the video. The tab to donate was a one click operation. Within a few hours the interview had reached 1.8 million views.

So the roller coaster goes down, the horror of one million cases, and the roller coaster soars back toward the sun, almost two million views for a good cause. It rained a lot in April. The ground was thirsty and responded in gorgeous blossoms with all of the colors of the rainbow. April also shed tears of sorrow and compassion for all the world's suffering, both physical and mental. Step aside, now April, make room for May. I promise to take it one May day at a time.

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