I would never make light of what we are facing today with the COVID-19 pandemic, but at times we need a little humor, right? My husband, Pat, and I have been having trouble figuring out what day it is. One morning we got into a debate; I said Wednesday, and he said Thursday. When we got out our iPhones, it turned out he was right, but I had lost a day, and it was unnerving. Seriously, I have worked in the senior healthcare industry for 20 years, and I know that the number one test for your mental capacity is orientation to time. There is an industry-wide test called the MMSE (Mini Mental Status Exam) used to monitor the memory status of an individual. The first question is, “ What is today’s date?” followed by, “What is the month, year, day, and season?” You get five points if you can answer all correctly. I’m afraid the shelter in-home policy has created some significant disorientation for me! I might lose some points during this season. I’m suddenly very sympathetic to those that have memory challenges!
What happens to our orientation when there are no events to mark our calendar? No Tuesday club meeting, no Thursday coffee klatch, no Friday night happy hour - just breakfast, lunch, dinner and the news. Who are we without a calendar full of appointments? I do believe that we have the opportunity to learn a lot about ourselves during these days of isolation. As a dyed-in-the-wool extrovert, I am, at times, stir-crazy. But I have been able to witness my own irritation and settle in and enjoy the quiet. I bet there are some introverts out there that are feeling the need for some social interaction too! For the time being, we can mark our days with a focus on kindness, caring, thoughtfulness, compassion and, yes, quiet. When asked what day it is, just say, “I know it ends with a Y!” During the pandemic, we all get a pass on orientation to time! Join the conversation on Facebook at Just Now Old Enough.