“I have something important to say,” I said to my husband. He got a worried look on his face with this preface to an announcement. We had been talking about COVID-19 so he may have thought I had a fever.
“What’s that?” he asked, cautiously.
“I love you,” I said, thinking that we just didn’t say it enough.
“I have something important to say too,” he said. I smiled in anticipation of words of love. “You snore.” He then proceeded to tell me he had spent several hours in the living room watching TV and eventually catching some ZZZs.
Life has certainly changed over the past few weeks. We Americans are used to going where we want and socializing often. Now to stem COVID-19, we are spending more alone time than ever.
The first indication that things were getting serious in my world was the cancellation of the Alzheimer’s Impact Movement (AIM) in DC. My mom and my husband had both tried to talk me out of going to DC and were thankful the decision had been taken out of my hands. I spent a day cancelling hotel rooms and plane tickets.
To stop the spread of COVID-19, we as a nation and as individuals are taking extreme action. People have been placed in quarantine, and what is considered a large group has shrunk from over 1,000 to 50. It’s not easy or inexpensive to shut down venues, concerts, schools, after school activities, professional sporting events, and to hang out the CLOSED sign on restaurants, small businesses, and physical therapy clinics.
Today, our pastor announced our church would be closed for deep cleaning and they have postponed other activities. The next Sedalia Business Women’s meeting has beens cancelled, and other upcoming meetings will probably be cancelled too.
Personally, I’ve been in a funk and can’t seem to get motivated to do much of anything. Lack of sleep and not going and doing as usual, has zapped my enthusiasm.
I have something important to say: Although the AIM Forum has been cancelled, advocacy work must go on.
· Approximately 5.8 million Americans have Alzheimer’s disease. Presently, there is no cure or effective treatment for Alzheimer’s. This is why research funding is so important!
· In 2019, unpaid caregivers provided 18.6 billion hours of care for people with Alzheimer’s, at a value of $244 billion.
· Two-thirds of Americans with Alzheimer’s are women
· Two-thirds of dementia caregivers are women. Thirty percent are older than 65. Only 10% are caregivers for their spouse while over half provide care for a parent or in-law.
I have some upcoming telephone conferences, and possibly video conferences. I dread video because that means I should fix my hair and put on makeup. That’s been optional for a while. The only place I’ve been lately was to practice music at my brother’s house. We’ve decided to have more jam sessions while we wait for the nursing homes to open their doors to volunteers.
I just need to keep reminding myself that there’s still work to be done and, eventually, life will get back to normal.
When my husband left home the day of our conversation, I asked him, “Don’t you have anything important to say?”
“I love you,” he promptly replied.
“I love you,” I said, “but you snore too!”
Copyright © March 2020 by L.S. Fisher