[Special] Update from PSP Headquarters: It's going to be OK!

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Hey All,

Thought I would pop in and give an update on life here at the PSP headquarters. I had a lot of time to think on my whirlwind drive to Ann Arbor, Michigan to pick up my daughter. I wanted to give some ramblings about the state of the world according to me.

1. Holy Cow there were lots of trucks on the road!  I found it really reassuring that there were lots of people delivering supplies. It lessened my feelings that all the store shelves will be emptied forever. 

2. The break from the media was super useful at clearing my head. Not being bombarded with all the media was like removing a huge heavy backpack.  I’ve gone on a media diet that contains just essential news, fun videos that make me smile, and connections to people who are adding positively to the situation.

3. Stay connected. Zoom just may be what will get us through the next few weeks.We’ve had some great remote meetings, and it’s just nice to hear other voices and experiences.  Eighty-two Dads played online poker on Tuesday. The PSP Crafting group Zoomed last night and it was fun to look at people’s projects (waiting on the wet felting geode project) and do something together. We’re rolling out baby group meetups today. If you want to be connected, write and we’ll make something happen. Phone a friend and stay connected. 

4.Everyone has a different way of dealing with things and we need to keep that in mind and open our hearts to be more compassionate than we ever have.I’ve decided that the whole toilet paper mayhem is really about control-- people needing to feel like they have some sense of power over the situation. Other people need to lash out occasionally to let off some of their tension. (Don’t worry, I’m not taking it personally when it’s directed at me.)  When I finally got in the rental car to pick up my daughter 620 miles away I had a brief, hard cry, and then I was much better.  

5. People are losing work hand over fist. Think about folks like your nannies workers, house cleaners, and dog walkers. I’m also assuming that other folks such as nail salons, hairdressers, personal trainers, tutors, music teachers, massage therapists (who am I forgetting?) are hurting. Some services can be done remotely, others can’t.  If you can, spot them extra cash, maybe buy a gift certificate for future use or just give them an out of the blue tip. If there’s a virtual tip jar, give if you can. I’m figuring out how best to keep PSP members on board (and thanks for the suggestions and for those of you who want to support a fellow PSP member, stay tuned)—but know that if your finances are tight that you’ll always be welcome on PSP! Some of the local businesses have put out a letter about trying to stay afloathere.

6. Many of us are in dogpaddle mode, not swim mode, with schoolwork for their kids.  I was on a Zoom with two teachers yesterday… they are working as fast as they can to get remote learning up and running for next week.  You do not have to become a homeschool teacher overnight, finding the best, age appropriate, math curriculum so that your child doesn’t fall behind.  Screen time until next week for sanity’s (and productivity’s) sake will not turn your kids brains into mush. 

7. This is a time to bond. Cooking together, playing games, co-viewing movies, taking walks together (yes, even in the rain) will help your family grow closer. It’s also important to each other distance, even in the hard to do close quarters.  Longer showers, baths, sleeping in later, one more episode of ____ (Daniel Tiger, Stranger Things, Care Bears) can go a long way toward being closer from a distance.

8. We’ve got to do our best to keep everyone safe. Only going out to stores when you absolutely need to, keeping safe distance from other people, avoid playgrounds, stay home if you’re sick, and keeping your hands washed will do a lot to help the spread of COVID-19.   I know there are essential people who have to work and their nannies are part of that mix. Remind your nannies to not congregate with others, keep playdates out of apartment hallways, and take extra precautions traveling throughout the city.

9. I’ve got to remember to move. Sitting in a car for 2 days and being holed up in one room isn’t fun or conducive to staying in shape.  A dance party and yoga is definitely in order today to keep my body active. There are lots of videos on YouTube you can access (some great ones for meditation as well) if money’s tight.

10. I’m finding the few things that I need to feel sane.  For some reason having honeycrisp apples in the house makes me feel like I’ll be able to get through anything. Someone I talked to yesterday ordered lots of her favorite tea so she could hunker down and feel sane. If you can find those few things that can help make you feel comfortable, make that happen. Someone posted this great resource for dealing with the anxiety.  

11. We all just need to breathe.We will get through this. It will get better. There are reports out of China that things are stabilizing (whew!), stores are opening, and that the number of cases is dropping. I’m holding on to this news tightly, knowing that while we may be in for some rough roads in the short term, things long term are promising!

12. Keep our local restaurants running.  Restaurants are hurting, so do your best to keep them coming. Some restaurants are delivering cocktails too (though be careful here). Delivery folks can use an extra big tip too.  I know NYC is working to help out small businesses, but we can do help in small ways too.

13. If you can, donate to our important not-for-profit organizations. Someone mentioned that we all may get a check from the government. If you know that you are still getting paid take some of that money and donate it to the organizations most hard hit. As someone on the list said, “spread the wealth, not the virus.”

14. PSP is continually trying to find the BEST ways to help. We’ve posted lots ofresources on the website, posted reminders about talking to your nanny, and are setting up Zoom Rooms to keep us all connected. We’re working on scavenger hunts, meditation sessions, pediatrician webinars, massage classes, and more.  If there are things that we can do, let us know!

15. I feel hopeful. Today is the first day of spring and while it’s rainy, that rain is helping make the flowers grow.  The number of people doing wonderful things to keep people connected (seeMutualAidNYC for example), fed, healthy, highlights the goodness in people. Our medical professionals are super-heroes. There are Quarantunes, people giving their music, dance, and expertise to the world right now. There’s a 6:30 Rooftop singalong (songslisthere) we should all join in on.

It may suck for a while, but then it will be okay. Looking forward to the time we can get together and have a PSP picnic in the park.  It will happen. And I’ll be there with my giant bubbles!

bubbles

 

Susan Fox 

Park Slope Parents