Coping and Contributing in Place – 6/15/2020

Dynamic aging while sheltering in place means different things to different people. Here is how we are coping and contributing. What are you up to? Please share in our Comments section “what’s happening in your neck of the woods?”


In the initial two weeks of shelter in place I realized immediately the enforced solitude was giving every cell in my body a deep healing and I was nurtured each day in the silence and quietude of my condo. I welcomed this new space giving me a sense of wholeness. At the same time, I felt lonely for my family and friends.

Family Together
Joyce with family
Joyce with family

I began stopping by my son’s home a few times a week on daily walks. We talked with our masks on and distancing 6 feet – they on the front porch, me in the driveway. It felt awkward for the first times not to hug them and kiss when we met and when we left, or touch each other and see our faces. We use the Buddhist bow with hands folded and that silent honoring gives me a warm heart connection. It provides us with energy hugs and coherence of love we were missing and used to receive physically.

Violin concert in backyard
Violin concert in backyard

I started doing yoga on-line. My daughter initiated Zoom virtual chats. My son and wife had a violin concert in their backyard with masks and social distancing. The professional violinist,  Jordan Busa, a friend of my granddaughter, was offering “40-minute violin concerts in your backyard for $20!” We celebrated a Zoom Birthday Party for my great grandson’s 6th birthday with all the family. It was a great success and so much happiness and fun to be gathered together, we decided to continue weekly.

New Learning

I not only navigated sobering challenges and difficulties with my intimate relationships but also with my current studies in the Neo-shamanic energy healing on-line class. Before Covid-19, I was practicing energy healing in person. With “lock-down” in place, our teacher asked us to continue our learning using “distance” healing. What a stretch for me and what an immediate surprise to discover my skills were present just as in “hands on” energy work.

I see that this crisis on our planet is not only a threat to our existence but also an opportunity to heal our hearts and free our souls to birth a new earth. An earth of synergistic co-creation, honoring and serving the highest good for all life. That is my intention for each day I live.


Being an old and retired nurse, my first response to the pandemic was to make my own care plan. My goal is to build some immunity without risking my life until a vaccine is created.

Health Conscious

I bought Melatonin to take every night, as the young have higher melatonin levels which gives them more disease resistance. Nasal washes with my “netti pot” are part of my daily routine. Zinc and vitamins A, B and C  have been added as I heard them recommended from several sources. I procured iodine capsules in case I got any symptoms of the disease. Also, I heard intravenous vitamin C had good results and I located places in Ventura County with that resource. Fortunately, I have had no symptoms thus far.

Lora hiking
Lora hiking
Lora with her electric saw
Lora with her electric saw

A surprise to me is that the second thing I had to figure out is how to “see” other people safely. So armed with my face mask, latex gloves and an idea of what “six feet” looks like, I entered our present society for food and daily hiking. A safe way of having companionship is to hike in beautiful places where distance from others is possible. I have really enjoyed the beauty and passing greetings from others (six feet away) on a trail. It feels like we are socializing albeit at a safe distance. On the home front, I had the time to take down an old orange tree using my electric saw.

My biggest take from all this is to acknowledge what social animals we are and how lovely it is to receive a simple head nod or “good evening” or just a smile along life’s trail.


I am doing the exercise classes from the BEACH on Zoom most mornings. Breena and Tim are doing a wonderful job with the on-line teaching. And, I really miss being with my friends.

Shelah crocheting mask matesm
Shelah crocheting mask mates
Nurse modeling mask mate
Nurse modeling mask mate

Initially, making “mask mates” took up a lot of my time. An ER nurse friend at the local hospital delivered them to the personnel to make wearing their masks more comfortable.

Sometimes I experience depression and anxiety. Watching daytime TV while I crochet or sew on buttons for the mask mates helps distract me. I am really amazed how well done and informative children’s programs are on PBS.

Delayed Surgery

I try to go for a walk every day but my wonky hip keeps me from going very far. Hip replacement surgery is scheduled for late August (postponed from June). Meantime, the pain can be severe and debilitating. Who knew hip replacements are considered “elective” surgery?

Despite sheltering in place, I have made a few new friends. And I cook food to share when the mood strikes me – usually when I am hungry!

Shelah masked
Shelah masked
Mask mates
Mask mates

Gratitude is constantly present for having food and friends and a great place to live. My

orchids on my deck are blooming – something I have never been able to do before. The spectacular trees and spring flowers I see on my neighborhood walks provide constant enjoyment.

Making Masks for Navajo Nation

More recently, a friend and I have been sewing masks for Navajo Nation in Arizona as part of our church project at Unitarian Universalist Ventura.


Joan and Willis masked
Joan and Willis masked

For me, coping has been staying home for the most part. One day a week we combine all our errands including grocery

Lora's Birthday Gift to Joan
Lora’s Birthday Gift to Joan

shopping into one day while respecting the guidelines of wearing masks and maintaining a six-foot social distancing. Cooking at home helps with eating mindfully. Exercising daily on-line and/or hiking here on the Ranch optimizes our health. Daily meditation helps with centering. And, lots of daily hugs with hubby, Willis, adds quality to life.  All with GRATITUDE.


My contributions include teaching a series of on-line exercise classes,  continuing to staff (currently by Zoom) a live year-long coach training in Sacramento, seeing friends and family (on Zoom), and coaching. This is a challenging time in the world – more so for some than others. Clients seek coaching on what’s getting in the way of  coping and contributing? What are they noticing about dealing emotionally with a world, and their lives, in change? What are their choices in showing up as comforting and kind and loving? And, looking at what are the opportunities for growth and learning? If you are interested in a complimentary introductory coaching call, please contact me.




  1. I can relate to Shelah on the “elective surgery” issue. I was once again diagnosed with lung cancer, need a biopsy done and placement of small piece of gold metal on the cancer lesion for targeted radiation. My Oncologists said it needed to be done immediately almost a month ago now as it is a fast moving cancer. Well, with Covid cases, cancer surgeries and treatments are all “elective surgery” and considered “routine” procedures. As the patient, I don’t think cancer is routine nor elective. I am usually very active all the time with working with my Therapy Dog, kayaking, etc. Joan knows me very well, but this has struck me to the ground. The range of emotions is wide spread from one side to another and then being stuck at home isn’t normal, but necessary. I think we all do what we can to the best of our abilities.

    1. Ruth, Thank you for sharing the challenges you are facing at this time. My heart goes out to you. And to Shelah, and to others who are facing similar situations.

  2. You guys are all awesome! I’m still working, just from home now. We’re more active than ever since there is no need to put on work clothes and DRIVE someplace. We walk twice a day, do yoga, ride bikes – much more than we could have done while commuting to work. We also enjoy the greetings of others while on our (safely distanced) outings. I wish you continued good health and happiness!

    1. Thanks, Paula, for taking the time to reply and let us know how you and yours are doing. Stay well.

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