April 10, 2020

COVID-19 and Social Distancing

No school for at least three weeks, only 50% of work force is required to report, then things changed to only essential workers … WOW this is real! But those who know me, know I stay positive! So let’s look at the silver lining of COVID-19. Ok I think this could be cool?!! It’s kind of like time is standing still; no schedules, no appointments, and a pause on business meetings and personal to do’s. Truly time for me and what I want to do. This is truly a time to value what we all really need and have … Shelter, food, family, pets, and friends. This could be a blessing to stay home and social distance. That also means no events to attend. OK, I like this! Now we get to go with OUR OWN daily routine and flow for the next few weeks maybe even month(s). (I like to think outside of the government’s target date on which it comes to when we can be back to somewhat of what our lives used to be). Let me share how I processed COVID-19, social distancing and quarantining; as a wife, mother, small business owner and chemo patient.


There are people that I have to care for and guide during this time. Rae, my youngest who is a sophomore, and my oldest daughter, Dezaray, who lives on her own. But you really couldn’t tell based on the amount of time she spends here at our house, and my husband Ray. When my youngest (Rae) expressed to me her concerns about the corona virus and how it’s affecting her lifestyle as a student she said “Mom! No school for two weeks… I’m gonna be so bored oh my goodness! Mom, what about jr. prom? It’s not going to be canceled right? I need to get back into school for my Regents and AP exams, I need the classroom environment and one on one time with my teachers especially! Mom! I can still play sports right? That’s social distancing right? … well it could be, they can have a practice but also be 6 feet apart? Will I be able to practice softball and soccer?” Then it hits me … how do I keep my youngest daughter from not stressing out and my oldest to keep her butt at home, and reassure my husband that I’m taking all of the precautions on my end? As he has an essential job, he has his own worries about not having any PPE at his job, and not getting himself into a situation where he may have to self-quarantine due to him being in contact with a person who may have the corona virus. My family will drive themselves crazy if they don’t get out of their heads and back to a free-range atmosphere. How can I help them to go with the flow and stop over thinking so much? I am the captain of our ship (when it comes to caring for the family and being sure we all are safe). I am thankful that I have raised my family in the church and that we all have a great relationship with God. We’ve all seen his miracles and blessing on many many situations and challenges we’ve been through. But I still have to keep the water steady during the next few weeks here in Rochester NY. I have to guide our ship and keep it afloat during this new lifestyle. We all have to adapt and do so quickly!


I know that I have to be the one able to keep them on the path of “every little thing is gonna be all right.” But how do I get it into their heads? Having to be socially distant as well as hunker down at home. Due to the past five years of me having to go through this marathon of a recovery with my cancer journey. I think I have this in the bag! I started reflecting on what I did to keep my mind and thoughts positive through out my journey with no medication for stress or gasify, put all my faith at God’s feet. Now how do I get my family to truly not stress and put 100% of your faith within the Lord?

At first I looked at this time as an opportunity to organize my real estate firm. Such as creating new goals, as well as marketing and advertising strategies, and finish up all those business related tasks that I’ve pushed aside due to the always adding new priorities to the top of my daily tasks. Then I focused on my home let’s clean it … Like really clean it; organize and get rid of clutter and other items that we don’t use and put away certain items that are no longer in season at this time. That worked out great for the first week and a half but I kind of like my home to be a bit messy. Now don’t get me wrong I’m not a slob but I like a little mess. I guess I like to have a sense of … it’s ok to not be organized and orderly all the time. It gives me a sense of it’s fine to chill even when everything isn’t done. So yeah cleaning and dancing around the house was short lived and that didn’t go well for the girls. I now have Dezaray calling me talking about she is about to go here and over there with this person and I have Rae bugging about no damn junior prom and should she order a dress because she is going to stay positive and just keep planning for the prom as if all will be back to normal. Now my family has me bugging and all I can think to myself is Carmie, you’ve got to get your family out of their own heads so they can stop messing with mine! Keep busy that’s what I tell myself I’m gonna keep busy.



Then I get to thinking … this is a great time to just spend time! When I was first diagnosed with Multiple Myloma I prayed to God for more time, more time with my family. As I was getting more and more concerned about the mental well being of my family and not wanting their personal fears and thoughts to become more positive and look at things we can all be thankful for, God was like have them lean on me like you did and still do in your times of need as well as support. “Right! You right my G!” Time with my immediate family just the four of us. But with Dezaray it was such a challenge. She’s very social and likes to be out and about with her cousins and friends so having to reel her in and understand when I say stay your behind in the damn house I’m just trying to help her and also protect myself. I had to constantly explain to her no game night, wine or dinner. Just keep your ass at home, lol. She may be an adult but she’s still my baby. So we all have time, OK let’s make it MY time. I also started thinking what a blessing! Come on girls let’s go out! No mom you can’t you have to stay home! No I don’t have to stay home but I have to social distance. Let’s go!


And that’s what we did I took them on a journey of mother nature’s beauty. We chilled y’all!!! At several parks within the city of Rochester (Highland, Maplewood, Charlotte beach) we were all over the Genesee river way trail. From the Maplewood, to the U of R, to just gazing at that muddy Genesee river and it’s amazing beauty. We drove around in neighborhoods that, my kids looked at as ghetto. I showed them the art and beauty of those neighborhoods and the community members and now they’re looking forward to more of us just riding out and about the ROC. I haven’t drove around within the city with nothing to do other then just ride and waist gas in years… (Like my early thirties.) Now to have the time with my girls to do just that was the bomb!! I showed them how I fell in love with art. We seen amazing art murals in some places of the city that they felt didn’t seem to offer much of an inspiration and with each outing I seen the stress of COVID-19 dissolve. I see them enjoying the moment in this time! Asking me many questions on how did you know about this and that.


That sparked up many memorable cover stains about myself, my child hood, and the great things about many of the city’s neighborhoods. We also went driving around looking at these luxury homes and even giving me the “Ok. Mom you were right, this trail is cool, this neighborhood is dope! Wow the water is beautiful even if it is muddy and dirty!” I showed them how I see it as God and his beauty in all things! At this time of uncertainty going on in the world I realize that my community in my neighborhood has helped on so many levels to keep myself and my family positive. It helped to get my kids out of their heads and help to share the joys of our community. When we were reflecting we realized we all had smiles on our faces we weren’t complaining or we weren’t asking concerning questions about what if‘s of COVID-19. I shared with them many childhood stories and had moments to go places that I haven’t been in years. I really think they understand how our first home may not be one of those luxurious homes that we drove by, but our community has so much to offer. My daughters were so grateful for our time that day and for that I’m forever thankful! I also feel that they understand that when you are hunting for your first home, dream home, or apartment home, the community and location plays a great role too and not just the amazing kitchen, number of bedrooms, and baths… #theheartoftheroc !!

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