Putting the ‘X’ in Anxiety

By April 8, 2020 October 29th, 2022 Heather, Pandemic Thoughts

I wanted to take a walk. This wasn’t my first walk since you know, this. But it was my first walk in a few days of possibilities to do it again. I used my yard as my physical activity lately with sunny, spring days.

I just wanted a walk. Headspace. A good playlist as I Appreciate every clear, pain-free breath of fresh air. Or so I hoped.

Then it became a jog and short cut back. Just go home, I thought.

I’m a people pleaser, I get it. I’m the one that will go out of the way to ease someone else. That’s not the issue. I totally take the high road so they don’t have to. Some passerby’s are still okay, smile, etc – they’re thinning out though. Giving up like me.

I feel the vibe of the fellow walkers in my lane full of anxiety, I feel all the Delayed awkwardness at a daunting 3.5 mph clip of passing by each other. I feel uneasy because there’s nothing I can do but follow the rules so I walked down the center of side streets because someone else on each side of the sidewalks means I gotta brush through them quickly With six feet on both sides. Now, as a street walker I kept my music down cause you know, cars. Slow cars, sure but I’m now their problem.

And now all of a sudden, everybody wants to walk. We’re all home if We’re not at work or we work from home and have to get out. It is spring, after all.

Look, it’s not my fault our towns closed our trails and parks, or that we can all still end up at the grocery store, but it is my problem.

Are you secretly hoping you don’t see anyone you know in fear of keeping the distance because it creates a conundrum for other shoppers trying to get around our existing distancing circle of forcing good wishes for one another as you rush to check out? A mouthful, I know. But…you know?

It’s not your fault if you can relate to any of these social avoidance scenarios. I’ve got to say, poor middle American sized corporations are taking orders from the top and required To enforce new social rules into their current model of the opposite goal.

The result? Duct tape and Paper signs. Entrance clickers. Exit clickers.

We’ve got at least another month of this. Corporate has to think through ways to change current service experiences quickly while maintaining all rules. Find a way to be convenient, too, not just remembered for what you were able to keep in stock.
“Hey I hear Home Depot has hand sanitizer!”

You can create new ways to adapt to a better service experience during this that is great enough to continue forever.

There’s a lot of talented creators out there that are home who want to contribute to the economy solutions and all the working parts it takes to make the systematic engine run and rebound faster than it fell.

This is the chance for businesses to be the PR winners of the year by solving the compromises everyone can live with comfortably while conforming to temporary ‘Everyone is lava’ orders as a service to your country and those truly on the front lines trying to protect the majority. I have some ideas for a couple below this story.

That doesn’t mean they aren’t trying, that is not a criticism at all. I see their faces. They don’t want to be there either. They don’t want these new workdays. That’s a whole different topic, same story-worthy discussion. This is me introducing positive opportunity thinking vibes your way.

As we stand on our ‘X” and stare through the plexiglass sneeze shields we’re like a new human condition study as a divided nation in a time of national crisis. The workers, the do-ers, the movers and the makers of ground zeroes – who are serving daily amongst the public to protect civilian life are tired.

That’s just one crucial reason for us to respect the rules and comply as nicely and calmly as we can and not contribute to gatherers who took the new behavior rules and mocked them. I get it now. Heather conformed for my America.

So… I don’t want to go back to anywhere anymore. The vibes dull me and make me want to just be out of the way. I want to change that energy and discover ways I can create an impact during this time while safely following dem rules. I encourage you to, too.

I’m not afraid of getting Corona. I don’t have fear of contracting it because I follow the rules and have plenty to keep busy with projects I always said I would do when I am not busy.

I get uneasy around uneasy people and the eye dodging and lack of authentic commentary while we stand around staring from six foot “X”s.

I am spoiled though. I used to run wherever whenever at a last minute Because I remembered I wanted something.

That’s why I started to get slightly nervous of my behavioral thinking shift when I catch myself wanting more than one of something I needed. It’s because I know the pain it is to go through with the new process to get it, So I think I should buy two or three.
YIKES! Red Flag! Who is this voice in my brain right now?

I’m not a hoarder, but I caught myself thinking that way when frozen loaves of bread dough were back. Random, right? My kids love my pepperoni rolls and that’s what I use to make them. Since the TP kickoff began, I hadn’t seen the dough in stock. It was always an empty space in my freezer section. So I bought two. I wanted three.

Photo Credit Newsdio

If it weren’t for the milk limit of 3 and fresh bread/buns, I think I have our house of at-home teen sons attending school in their rooms covered in one-trip out a week but I want to get to less than that. And I plan on clicking anywhere I can If I need something, staying out of everyone’s way.
It’s just this uneasy feeling I can’t shake of being on high alert to be me whenever safely possible, get some laughs out of people standing in the same weird predicament Six feet away on their ‘X’ and get the heck out as fast as possible.

Many people I don’t even try to approach. they don’t look approachable. Like, don’t talk to me with a ten foot pole buddy.

Whoa. It feels so lost to me. I’m no longer spoiled now and am being forced to become a planner and list maker. Corona be damned!

Sadly, what we need is the partiers, gatherers and hoopsters to understand that right now, they are the hecklers in the theater. They’re the ones who didn’t shut off their cell phone at the wedding. The crying babies in church.

Knock it off so we can maintain some type of freedom that keeps us sane. No wonder alcohol is an essential and up 55%. Self medicating is on high. That’s where my stock should have gone.

You gotta admit – here’s a real pandemic with favorable odds despite its venom. If you love your country, your service workers, your medical and city protection services and military – all you have to do is stay home unless you work or have planned trips.

It’s the chicken or the egg. If you comply as the teacher says, you stay in class. You keep jerking around whilst people are getting angrier, more isolated, more resentful – especially those dealing with it directly for longer hours than ever – you end up getting whooped in the cloak room by Miss Dean. That’s how it worked in my third grade anyway. Just ask David Miller.
Don’t be David Miller.

It’s not cute anymore. Shhhhh.

If you start complaining about the economy or where your check is, please remember, No matter what the situation, no one will be evicted or foreclosed. We are promised that utilities, cell phones, and the internet cannot be turned off. You do not have to sacrifice bread for Hulu.

I’ve seen communities coming together to do amazing things to get free and reduced lunch families’ food supplies which is awesome. Those of us who can pay their bills should, as a thank you for doing their part to maintain home security and access to communication.

We can do this! Until then, remember that we can still smile, make eye contact and not be weird. We all are trying to follow rules. No one wants to hurt anyone else.

This is new for everyone. Just because you’ve become an early adopter of the homemade fabric face filter system and think every human is out to infect you, that doesn’t mean you can’t smile with your eyes at me.
I see nurses do it all the time. It’s possible.

Thanks for reading,


I need real. Following rules doesn’t mean we can’t have some fun along with it.

Ideas to explore. Are they plausible?

Grocery stores with a click and pick up service

You still have employees filling click orders with open shopping simultaneously.

What if you offer click list discounts/expansion and limit open shopping hours. Employees could then use the aisles for click fulfillment during closed times.

What if they figured out a weekly click and pick up for regularly scheduled pickups? Additions or edits to it need a 24-hour advance from your app.

What if you dug up the old Scwhan man trucks and started delivering your list?

If these ideas worked, they could stay long after the virus is gone.

Home Improvement Stores

What if the loading bays and lumber entrances at the bigger home project stores, could have a click and pick up system? They already have shipping from site to store and it could be something they use in the future.

What if all paint colors were online and you could order gallons and pick up there? What about landscaping and plants?

What if you offered virtual shopping for repair and construction people who aren’t sure which fitting or tool or part they needed? It could be like a facetime experience where they go to the aisle and walk through the options?

Open spaces and activities

What if parks and trails offered a signup genius or calendi type system where only so many people can schedule bike, walk, dog walk time?

What if stores or other places considered this? You could use your appointment confirmation to validate entrance approval, like Costco does with your membership app or airlines do with eTickets.

Keeping criminals, stalkers and domestic violators away

What if you took the pet fence concept and made off-limit places the boundaries? For example, if a restraining order is in place, the victim keeps a small sensor in their home and has a travel fob for when they leave the home. The person ordered to stay away must wear a discreet plastic ankle band with a ringer alert if they come within so many feet of the sensor.

Dispatchers could have the monitor system on both ends running like hospitals do for floors of patient call lights. If they come within the distance, they call it in with coordinates for police. If the victim shuts off or disconnects the sensor because they’re also mentally abused, the dispatch is alerted. If either system malfunctions, they’re alerted right away to get it replaced.

General sensor fobs can be created for schools and children’s parks as safety beacons and all predator anklets sync to them.

Talk about peace of mind in a time of isolation, as well as in the future.

It wouldn’t have to be up to you to be the watchdog.

Maybe these ideas aren’t viable. As we consume and criticize I have to use my mind for ideas because what’s the alternative?

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