Ridgefield Staying Sane: What are folks doing to cope?
Let’s share stories
Staying sane? How? Share your story.
The Ridgefield Press is inviting Ridgefielders to share their stories, brief accounts of what they and their families are doing to stay safe and sane in the time of coronavirus. Send photos, too!
Stories should be emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org with “staying sane” in the subject line. Please give us your full name and Ridgefield address, as with a letter to the editor.
Have fun writing them! Thank you.
Making PPE supplies for health care colleagues
I work for the Trinity Health of New England health system as a nurse practitioner in an outpatient breast surgery office in Southbury. My hospital (St. Mary’s in Waterbury) put out a plea for those with access to 3D printers to help print parts for face shields.
I answered the plea because my son has a small 3D printer. Unfortunately, the part was too large for my son’s printer to print. I contacted the Ridgefield Library, Abbott Technical High School, and Western Connecticut State University to see if they could help. The printers at the Ridgefield Library and Abbott Tech are already being used for this purpose! WCSU loaned me a printer, however, and we have been printing the part at the rate of four per day. My husband, executive director of Connecticut Against Gun Violence, has become the 3D printer engineer. He troubleshoots the printer when there are issues, which is often!
In addition, members of my church (Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Danbury) asked how they could help with the shortage of Personal Protective Equipment. One member was in the textile industry and she donated fabric for cloth masks. We have about 10 women who have been sewing cloth masks. I deliver the cloth to their homes and then pick up the finished masks, wash them in hot water with bleach, dry them on the high heat setting, and then deliver them to the hospital. We have also provided masks to personnel who work at Regional Hospice in Danbury.
These supplies are helping to protect my health care colleagues. We are happy to be making a difference.
Dress up, face painting
My son Mason and I have been playing dress up and face painting to keep sane. It’s been difficult since I tore ligaments in my ankle last week, but we are managing. We even got to build a snowman when it snowed.
Years ago my oldest sister taught me a good lesson which comes in handy for me now. She was in the hospital, calling me late the night before having a quadruple open-heart bypass operation scheduled for 8 a.m. the next morning. I was making sympathetic noises, but she interrupted me: “No, no” she said. “I’m calling you to ask you a question: What is the difference between a Substitute Motion and an Amendment? I’m head of the American Curling Team and next month I have to run an international meeting.”
She knew I was experienced from running Ridgefield town meetings. I was stunned. Afterwards I realized she was dealing with her fear of present threats by concentrating her thoughts on what exact things she was going to do after the threat was resolved. I’ve often used that lesson, along with Deep Breathing*, to maintain some constructive calming. We all need that, don’t we now when a bad dream visits our waking hours.
*Deep breathing, aka belly breathing, works better than pharmaceutical medication to calm worries according to doctors.