Reader’s Commentary - On life in the time of COVID-19:
“Like everyone else, our family’s been affected by this terrible virus.
“What I miss most is being able to see my children/grandchildren/family members, and friends.
“We’re seniors. Thankfully, we don't have serious conditions, are able to drive, so can shop for necessities.
“I always buy several non-perishable needs on sale so no need to panic-buy nor hoard.
“Being of Italian descent, we make our own tomato sauce, homemade sausage, and conserve our garden produce by jarring or freezing.
“My only difficulty is finding enough hand sanitizer and antibacterial wipes.
“What’s changed for us? Not too much. I normally washed all plastic packaging brought into the house. I now do this with the antibacterial wipes and then wash my hands.
“Our next-door neighbours are in their 80s, and several widows in their 90s live nearby. Since none of their children live close, we pick up items for them when we go out.
“I’m a homebody. But my husband is stir-crazy after five days inside.
“Yesterday we went out to buy something needed. Since my kids all live very close to us, and the store too, I phoned them to come to the door so we could just see them.
“We normally babysit the youngest grandchild and drive the others to/from school or the school bus, seeing them every day.
“My two sisters are in long-term care homes, no visitors allowed. One can’t feed herself. I worry that the nurses' aides and the PSWs won't be able to handle all the residents' needs.
“My sister-in-law has just finished chemotherapy so not allowed visitors because of this virus. She’s lonely.
“I miss not being able to invite my children, my brothers and sisters or friends for dinner. My traditional "Southern Italian" meal of pork and cabbage won’t be held this year.
“I guess we’ve adapted well.
“My one piece of advice to anyone right now, is to help each other as much as you can. Share food. Helping ease someone else’s burden will be appreciated forever.”
FEEDBACK Regarding the woman who’d been married for 40 years and was frustrated by her perfectionist husband who takes forever to complete one job at a time.
Reader – “Though she’d put up with it for years, perhaps this woman was reaching out to really say, their marriage is at a life stage where change to their living circumstances needs to be addressed.
“Maybe she wants to move from a house that no longer suits their needs and is too much upkeep.
“Maybe more timely attention to the house is warranted so they can plan for their future rather than wait for a health catastrophe to make the decision for them.
“Even long-married couples need more than the strength of their relationship to face change.
“Perhaps she’s worked around his single-minded behaviour for years but this is now a life-altering decision that affects them both.
“What’s worked for me is this: When the time is up for completing a job, I simply say that I need it done and if you can't do it, then I’ll hire somebody who can.
“If nothing else, it opens the door to a meaningful conversation.”
Ellie - I hear your own experience informing you and being passed on.
You’re making a guess here as to whether this is about a life-changing time for this couple.
However, her husband’s slow, persistent fixation on every project, has bothered her for years.
FEEDBACK Regarding the husband caught between his wife and mother (March 24):
Reader – “My parents brought my father's mother into our home when she developed memory loss. She stayed for three years before her health-required move to long-term care.
“My mother was trapped: raising a teenager, an autistic younger child, my aunts, and being a housewife/ spouse.
“My grandmother couldn't remember where anything of hers was. She'd complain that we kids were into her stuff. Not so.
“My parents should’ve soon seen that it wasn’t possible to care for my grandmother.
“In this case, it’s not that the wife has a problem but that his mother is unmanageable. He needs to recognize that his mother's memory issues are driving his wife to distraction.
“How this South-Asian extended family solves these dilemmas is beyond my power to solve. However, his wife is his wife, the mother of their children, and she’s being driven beyond distraction.”
Tip of the day:
Responding to what’s needed in crises and helping others, keep individuals/families and communities strong.