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How our regions are approaching COVID-19 re-entry

As we’ve discussed the past two weeks, our regions are considering re-entry and while our emotions reflect the general uncertainty that has pervaded this season, loosening of COVID-era restrictions are proceeding. Today, we’re sharing how we’re coping, as we usually do, and providing an update on how our regions are handling the pressure to resume “normalcy.”

Ellen: Here in Northern Indiana our health department has issued an ordinance stating that every customer must wear a mask when entering a business, and that all employees must have them on as well. Although I have not been out personally, several family members are reporting that many are not doing so. With more people congregating so freely, I fear another spike in cases which will land us all back in lockdown. On an emotional level, I am much happier and at peace when the weather allows me to venture into my backyard. Having my hands in dirt and tending to my garden is a great stress-relief and deeply satisfying ritual right now.

Rose: Indiana began opening on Monday but not Indianapolis/Marion County where I live. Cases and deaths are still high here. People are starting not to comply with orders anyway. This is compounded by police managing to kill three young people in 8 hours this week, two as police-action shootings and one driving and hitting/killing a pregnant pedestrian. This gave rise to protests. I live only 2.5 miles from the county line so it would be easy for me to go out, but I have not. Continuing on as I have been.

Laura: Here in Utah, amidst a loosening of restrictions on gatherings (from 10 to 20), we are seeing a new peak of cases. It makes me incredibly nervous and fear for my mother, who is a nurse now being trained to work in the ICU for the expected coming wave of new cases. When I had to make my weekly grocery shopping trip this weekend, stores were crowded like a normal Saturday afternoon and almost no one was wearing a mask except for store employees. Personally, even though the semester is over, proofs for my book and daily training on research with indigenous peoples for the next three weeks has made me feel very overworked. Further, it looks like I won’t have my normal income for June-August, which is adding another layer of stress. Right now, I’m just trying to push through and take things one day at a time. I have a general level of anxiety that is always present right now, but focusing on mindfulness and daily Torah readings are providing the space for reflection and stillness that I need.

Monetta: In St Lucia the partial openings continue. So far they have opened hardware, home good stores and fabric stores. Starting Friday grocery stores will be allowed to sell alcohol again. We had one more case of covid this week, and rumors are rampant that it is linked to people entering the island illegally on fishing boats. Also there was an arrest of 2 women with over 300 lbs of marijuana in their car, and this has somehow let to riots outside the police station. I am still processing what this all means. I am so ready for things to go back to normal. This week I worked on completing my mask order. I very much enjoy my little factory working with my mom and cousin in law. I was feeling really hopeful during our second day of sewing on Tuesday when the smell of smoke filled the house, and I got an asthma attack. We never figured out where the smoke was coming from, and it was very scary. I almost had to go to the emergency room, and two days later when I hadn’t recovered, and I had to video conference with my doctor for some medications.

Ciara: Like many other places Barbados has started to slowly open up again. Certain businesses opened and alcohol is back on sale. The beaches are open from 6am-9am every day to permit people to exercise and take a sea bath. The reason it is so early is so as to avoid people drinking alcohol and congregating together in groups. I feel extremely grateful for being allowed back in the ocean again, and Mother nature was on our side this week, as she provided plenty of waves in that small window we were allowed in. We still have new cases, but thankfully not developing rapidly. I started back to work last week, as an Optometrist I work in close proximity to my patients. We are wearing masks and sanitising. Our patients have generally been cooperative. I hope it is sufficient.

How is your region approaching re-entry and loosening restrictions? How are you coping?

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