Everyone is affected by COVID-19, but the people that are really struggling more than others are the elderly, people with disabilities, mentally ill people, and children.
Autistic people live by a set of their own rules and a routine that they need to follow, in order to function. If they deviate from their everyday routine, they get really upset and sometimes meltdown. COVID-19 has taken a good amount of that away.
Some Autistic people go to social clubs, classes that pertain to their special interests, and some of them either work or go to school, and some do both. With COVID-19COVID-19, many of their activities have been canceled or shutdown. Many of them don’t want to be home, and would much rather be out having fun. Some don’t understand or comprehend that they cannot go out and enjoy life, and their behavior challenges become more profound than before COVID-19 started.
Some parents and guardians feel at a loss in regards to helping their loved one cope. They feel helpless and just don’t know what to do.
The best way to help them cope is to add activities to their routine that will keep them busy. In addition to my work as a social media specialist / professional blogger, I do arts/crafts, gaming, cooking/baking, and helping my family. I also watch a little bit of TV, too. I’ve been making Xmas gifts and will soon start making hot cocoa mix packages for everyone in my family. I might have to wait until after Xmas to give some of my hot cocoa out. I am also planning on baking 2 cherry pies on December 24. I will pull my cooking/baking essentials out this weekend.
I have made it a goal each month to learn at least 3 new recipes per month. This month, I learned 1, but I’m going to make sweet potato casserole in my crockpot, which I have never done in a crockpot. I’ve only made it in the oven, but my ham is going to take up the oven, so I’ll need to improvise. And the cherry pies will be the 3rd recipe this month.
It’s important to be goal oriented, even while spending such a long time at home. I do not believe that staying safe at home means being lazy with no motivation. On Xmas morning, I plan to cook pot roast in my crockpot and exchange gifts with my parents, and spend some time, playing video games, and after it records, Mum and I are going to watch the Christmas Special of “Call The Midwife”. I love that show!
With a part-time job, 5 animals, and a huge house, sitting idle all day isn’t an option. I sew, cook, play video games, and play with my pets when I am not working. I also help my parents, as well. Many of my special activities that I used to do, stopped before COVID-19 even started. But the hardest part of staying home, is being unable to see my grandparents, especially my 90 year-old grandfather. I am sad that I cannot see him, my grandfather, and my favorite aunt and uncle for Christmas. I am making gifts for everyone and will give them to my extended family at a later time when it is safe to get together to celebrate. I am making everyone hot cocoa mix, and will make that this weekend.
We only go out for essential needs, such as shopping and appointments. That includes taking my birds to the vet every 6 months. I spend alot of time with my 2 birds, especially my Amazon parrot who loves to cuddle. Nani has always kept me going when I am feeling down. Nani saved my life when I was 13, when I was badly bullied at school and just wanted to give up on everything. I knew I couldn’t do anything that would separate her and I permanently. Apparently, she cannot live without me either. I returned the favor in December of 2019 when I had to save her life when she got gravely ill and almost died.
I have been so lonely aside from talking and texting on my Moto Z4. If I didn’t have my Moto Z4, Chromebook, Nintendo Switch and my Playstations, I would be going nuts. I cannot imagine being stuck at home in a time that I did not have my electronics and my 2 sewing machines to keep me busy. I am the only child living at home, and that is hard. I remember fighting with my brother many times, and wishing I could be an only child. I think I regret wishing that I was an only child, because it gets very lonely here. At least I don’t have to share my stuff most of the time.
I talk on the phone alot, because I get so lonely and cannot physically see my friends. I am glad to have a job that I love, and can speak out about common social issues that arise with Autism and ADHD. It has really given me a voice. I play alot of video games to escape the emotional challenges of not only Autism and ADHD, but also PTSD as well. I have PTSD from severe bullying that went on for many years. I have done so much work on my island in Animal Crossing, which I named my island, “Moto Z4”, after my favorite Motorola phone.
I also enjoy playing Mario games and many other video games, too. We are in the process of having Fiber Optic internet installed so it’s been interesting watching the workers work on our street. I cannot wait to see if I can finally stream games on PS Now, on my Playstation 4, as a fast connection is required. We had slower internet for so long, so the fact that we are going to have faster internet is really exciting for us!
I have also spent a great amount of time, helping my mother train our young German Shepard (we have 2; an old one and a young one), Simba, and playing with him. He sure keeps us on our toes! I also have been sitting with our cat and letting him cuddle with me. I try to take time out of each day to throw the ball for Simba so he can exercise and have been trying to walk him a few times a week. But the weather decides if we can or cannot do so.
I feel bad for children who are not able to spend time with their friends, do holiday activities, and even go to school. Many children really enjoy these things and are unable to do so. They are so frustrated that some children have increased anxiety, depression and behavior challenges. It is not their fault they are so frustrated. They are tired of being stuck at home. Some people have lost their homes during the COVID-19 pandemic because their jobs shut down, as many businesses are closing, due to not enough revenue. Many children are going hungry because for some children, the only food they get is at school and without being able to go to school, many go hungry.
It isn’t easy for the elderly either. I have an elderly relative in a long-term care facility, and she is so isolated, that she is confused and disoriented. She says things that do not make sense and sometimes has odd behaviors. If she doesn’t get COVID-19, the isolation will kill her. She has been in the care home since the pandemic started and we have not been able to visit her. It is really difficult not being able to visit her. I write her letters and try to call her once a week, and she says it helps her alot when I do that. Please call and write to your elderly relatives. They need to hear from you. It really makes their day and helps them cope.
COVID-19’s stay at home order started in March, 2020. It has not been easy for anyone, especially the elderly, children and those with disabilities. Please call them and check on them. We need to be uplifting to each other and keep each other going. I saw a meme on Facebook that said, “We isolate now, so when we get together, no one is missing”. It is very true, but at the same time, difficult. Depression and anxiety is best treated if you can keep yourself busy, like I do. Please be kind and patient with one another. We are living in tough times, and holiday cheer is needed. I have a bunch a gifts for my parents, both store bought and handmade, that I am going to give them next week. I plan to blog about my Christmas when I come back to work after my Christmas break so everyone can hear what Christmas was like for me during COVID-19.
How are you and your loved ones coping? Please comment.