Coronavirus blog: Our new reality

SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- I thought life was already hectic with a full-time career and three kids but I had no idea it was about to get crazier when the novel coronavirus pandemic hit. We are all being impacted by this crisis and I have been hearing from everyone from family to friends to parents of kids that go to the same schools as mine to complete strangers when I have gone out for essential services. I felt a strong urge to start this blog because it has been therapeutic for me to put my feelings on paper. I wanted to give other people the opportunity to do the same in the hopes that it would help them. I would love to hear how you're feeling and coping so please feel free to share.

CORONAVIRUS BLOG: ABC7 Meteorologist Sandhya Patel opens up about navigating life during COVID-19 crisis

Acceptance

COVID-19 continues to spread like an out of control wildfire! India is now in a lockdown. I have visited the country and even spent a few years studying there and I can't imagine how much of an ordeal this will be to enforce! They are doing their part like other countries to slow the spread.

I heard the sobering statistic about the United States and Italy surpassing other countries with the most cases! We have to accept this and know that there is something we can do to flatten or bend the curve.

Now that I have had a few weeks to digest the grim news about the numbers locally and around the world, I have come to terms with it. We have to accept the fact that it has taken a toll on all of us, the economy, the elderly with compromised immune systems and life as we know it. It will never be the same but, we can learn from this experience on how to be better prepared to handle an emergency of this caliber if we have to ever face it again. I find comfort in knowing that the advances in science and technology have come so far and there will be a way to beat this beast!

Chaos Turns to Calm

We have settled into a routine at home. I have been trying to juggle many balls without letting them drop and I know you can relate!

Last night, it hit me, I was exhausted physically and mentally! I know that I'm not alone, many of you may be feeling the same. It was time for me to hit the sack and rest up so I can recharge and take on a new day, a new challenge, more news about this crisis. Life as we know it has been turned upside down but, we are tough human beings and can handle this. In due time, this will be a distant memory. We all need to slow down sometimes for our sanity and our well being.

I slept like a rock and longer than usual last night! I guess my body needed it. Listen to your body, sleep longer or take naps if necessary. I can't do that with my hours since I'm on a swing shift but, maybe you can. We have to remember the experts are telling us the best way to help keep your immune system strong is by getting sleep, eating well and exercising which I know is challenging right now. How many of you are nodding your heads?

I have been in close contact with my immediate family and last week, my sister asked us to take part in a fitness challenge. Initially, I told her I was in but after I thought about it, I realized there was no way I could fit this in along with everything else! It seemed to overwhelming and I backed out! I do want to make this point, I have not stopped exercising. It's just mainly indoors with occasional quick outdoor walks.

I know some people are getting cabin fever because of the this shelter-in-place/lockdown but, I'm a homebody and it hasn't bothered me that I have spent more time indoors than outdoors lately. I will say, I am a perfectionist but, that went out the door a few weeks ago when we were all adjusting to the changes that happened! I am the oldest of three kids and I have always liked order and been organized. That's how I function not in state of chaos! Well, I accepted that I will just have to temporarily adjust to a not so organized home and it's ok. Let the laundry pile up for a few days or leave the dishes if you can't get to them. Nothing will happen, it will get done eventually.

Working From Home

I am grateful to have a job when millions are without one. I feel for people who are now struggling to feed their kids or buy the necessities so I am glad the stimulus package will help some of them. I have made the most of working from home. I will admit, I had help from my wonderful husband and oldest daughter Alexandria. It never fails, when it rains.. it pours!

On my sixth day of work (last Saturday), I found out my tire pressure was running low in the morning, I had to get them checked out because I thought I had a flat. It wasn't but instead, a bent rim that was allowing the tire pressure to drop. I still had to get ready for work and go into the studio. I didn't have gas. I was supposed to go live from home for the 11pm broadcast and nothing was set up. I had only tested out my desktop Mac the day before to remotely operate the weather graphics. There were too many things to worry about and not enough time! While I left to take care of those essential needs, my husband and daughter got working. They played with the backdrop and the lighting and had it ready when I returned! Now how nice is that? I am the luckiest person in the world to have such a wonderful family! I went on the air for the 11pm news from home and it went smoothly!

Working from home has had its benefits and drawbacks. I must admit, I love being in my fuzzy socks and not commuting! However, there are more distractions than usual like kids playing downstairs and occasionally making noise, cars going by and I haven't even begun to tell you how many things I have to check with our amazing team at ABC7 prior to going live for the broadcast! Don't worry, I am still looking at all the same information and weather models that I always do at work in the studio. I still have a job to do which is bring you the forecast and keep you safe in case the weather turns bad. My commitment to doing my job as best as I possibly can will not change, it's the just location that has for now.

Virtual Learning or Distance Learning

Many of us are hearing from the schools that they have extended their closures until early May. Kids will be out much longer than we expected but, I think this was the best move to stop the spread. I don't get to see my husband and kids for dinner during the week so this turned out to be a blessing in disguise for me! The kids have a good handle on their homework and are doing what they can to learn and keep up with the academic plan. We are also trying to check up on them to see if they need any guidance.
I hit a snag this morning when I told the kids breakfast is done and now they need to start homework. Alexandria (Alex) and Nicholas went right to it. Ashley on the other hand, not so much. She told me, "I don't want to do homework today! I don't feel like it." Well, I didn't say this to her but, I didn't feel like helping her do it either because I have been doing it almost daily for a few weeks now and then working long days! We both hesitantly sat down after a few minutes to do the school work. I gave her an incentive and told her she can play on her laptop later if she does well and she did.

Find ways to give your kids the motivation they need to stay focused and continue to learn. No one said it was ever easy!

All of our kids are dealing with this differently. Alex has been talking more during our meals and sharing funny stories. Nicholas just wants mommy to come sit on his bed for a few minutes with him before he goes down and Ashley has been giving more hugs :) Hugs and kisses always cheer people up :)

I heard from one of the parents from school and she mentioned that she is trying to keep a positive environment at home since there is so much bad news surrounding this pandemic that she doesn't want it impacting her kids. I completely understand that but, we have allowed our kids to watch the latest figures on television. This is making history and will go down in the books for future generations to read about.

Community

I feel so fortunate to live in a community that has really come together in a time of need. We are seeing this play out in other cities here in the Bay Area as well. We have checked in with neighbors, friends and family and were touched by the fact that everyone offered to help each other. It is a kinder world and that makes me smile. I just wish that people would remain this way even when we're not dealing with a global crisis.

Our Future

I am trying to focus on the future and think positive. I am optimistic that just like China was able to get the upper hand on this out of control virus, we too will get to that point especially since many of us are taking measures to shelter in place and keep our safe distance. I know some people are still ignoring orders and gathering to play sports or going to the beach but, now that many parks are also closing, hopefully, this will change. We need to take this pandemic seriously. The virus has turned our worlds upside down and unless we all do what we can, this is going to continue.

I would love to hear from you so feel free to share your thoughts on my social media pages. Follow on Facebook and Twitter for the latest on weather in the Bay Area and so much more!

Go here for the latest news, information and videos about the coronavirus.

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