Sheltering in Place Blog

Living under the threat of Covid-19
Donkey in Paso Robles

Sheltering in Place Blog

For my own mental health and amusement, I’m going to turn this blog into a diary of the experience of sheltering in place.Love is greater than Fear

For the time being, my massage business is shuttered. The state organization that licenses massage therapists has sent all of us an email asking us to do so and reminding us that massage is not considering an essential business. Considering the dangers of transmission, I can understand the decision. But considering the benefits of massage and the stress everyone is under, I wish it wasn’t so.

Side note: Whenever I hear the term “time being”, I am reminded of the most wonderful book, A Tale for the Time Being. Looking for a great book to read? Check it out!

Both my husband and I are over 60. And he has immune issues. So I welcome the personal protection that is provided by not seeing clients. I saw this video yesterday and it was sobering, to say the least.

I am still doing craniosacral work for a few select clients (message me at 805-835-9798 if you would like to be considered for CST). But I’m also okay with not doing it and staying home, for now.

As the dawn comes up on the fourth day of sheltering in place, I have many thoughts:

I can see how important it will be to nurture and maintain our mental health. Staying in our homes, with little social contact, can be hard enough. Doing that with the added stress of either being sick or being afraid of getting sick, is even more difficult. If you happen to be doing that with a bunch of family members you don’t necessarily get along with, that is worrisome. Add to that the financial stress of no longer having income… well, that’s just a recipe for serious anxiety, which has physical effects on your body. So I’ll be investigating and sharing things that I discover are helpful for maintaining equanimity.

I can also see how important it will be to maintain physical health. This includes everything from physical exercise to hygiene. Check out what these seniors are doing in Japan.beeflower

The future. I’m sure I’m not the only one with disturbing thoughts about the future. What does it hold for us? Never has there been a more important time to learn how to live in the present moment.

In the last three days, my husband and I have spent a lot of time reading the news. We have cooked a few meals, listened to music, watched a taped concert on TV, seen multiple episodes of Family Guy, gardened, and slept. He’s really good at sleeping, but I’m finding it a bit more difficult. We took a lovely walk yesterday afternoon, and being out in nature really felt healing. There were bees and donkeys and trees and clouds… it was good. Unfortunately, I’m still getting over a foot injury, so walking (which is usually a great comfort for me) is a bit curtailed at the moment.

I’ve gone out to the grocery store twice. The first time, there was no toilet paper or paper towels or isopropyl alcohol or hand sanitizer… but pretty much everything else was there. The second time was yesterday. The line to check out was really long, as they are enforcing social distancing (which I appreciate). There was absolutely nothing in the paper aisle. Most lunch meat and other meat was gone, as were most cheeses. There was very little milk (my usual brand was gone). Eggs had just arrived, after being absent for two days. Potatoes for baking showed up just when I was looking for them, but weren’t yet put on the shelves. Much of the regular fruit was gone, though there was still organic fruit. And a lot of the frozen aisles were sparsely populated.

Everyone was friendly, though. And there was still plenty of wine!60650879169__05FB7FCD-5DCC-4D92-BB31-2775A031806A

Gas prices seem lower than usual, and filling up the car with gas was not an issue. I lived through the gas shortages of the 1970’s and there is none of that… yet.

We happen to have a box of sterile gloves, from a past project. I contacted a client who works at French Hospital and asked if she wanted to bring them to work. She jumped right on it and said they really need them. Apparently, the hospital is already rationing gloves and there is a true shortage of masks… and the health workers are NOT pleased about that.

So, needless to say, we’ll be donating those gloves.

Every few days, my mother (living in Florida) and my daughter (living in San Luis Obispo) and I plan to join up in a Zoom conference to see each other’s faces and catch up.¬†On our first call this weekend, everyone¬†was in good spirits. My mother is enjoying beautiful weather and lives comfortably, and I am grateful that she is not worried or upset by this. Of course, she escaped from Holland after the Nazis invaded, so perhaps (so far) this experiences pales beside that one. My daughter still has a job and is working from home, and I’m grateful for that. Both she and her husband were sick over the last two weeks, but both have recovered. Did they have Covid-19? We have no idea, as they have not been tested. But for safe keeping, for now, I’m keeping away from them.

It was dark when I started writing this… now the sun is about to rise. The days are cold and rain is on the way. We have heard that the coronavirus does not like hot and muggy weather, but we aren’t there yet here in Paso Robles. We have started doing something we heard about to try to avoid getting sick: twice a day, we stand over a boiling pot of water (with a little eucalyptus oil added in) and inhale the hot steam. We have been told this can kill whatever virus might have gotten into our nose or sinuses. It makes sense, it can’t hurt and we have lots of time on our hands, so we’re doing that daily.

What new routines have you started? What are you going through? Feel free to share in the comments… let’s keep the conversations going! I’ll be back with more thoughts soon!


Ellen Fields is a California girl with one foot in Yucatan, Mexico. She is a massage therapist with a software/web/marketing background, a writer, artist, photographer and eminently distractable. About the only time she concentrates on one thing is when she is giving you a great massage...