Everywhere around the world, this is currently a very stressful time. Even if one doesn’t have the COVID-19 virus, or know someone with it, they are affected in some way. Specifically for me, as a college student, a few days ago we were told like many others that the rest of the semester is being done online.
Now, I am not one to complain about being home for a longer period of time, especially as a dairy farmer, but it does mess up a lot of things to do with the college. So no, I’m not a huge fan of what has had to happen, but nobody is. It would be very weird if they were. The way I see it, the shutting down of universities and colleges, and now high schools in some areas too, is similar to the events of Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets. In the book, kids at Hogwarts are being petrified by a Basilisk. Specifically those with non magical parents are the ones being petrified, but the professors were still going to close the school in order to keep all of the students safe. Safety is what is most important in this time. So when I hear people complaining about this whole situation, I sometimes have to resist the urge to yell at them. The only way that this virus is going to go away is through people being smart and I think when we look back on this years later we will be happy that in some ways we overreacted, and not underreacted. Though I still don’t understand the whole toilet paper shortage thing, but I’m not going to get into that now.
As a dairy farmer in a small town, it is pretty easy for me to self distance myself. In fact, as someone with a compromised immune system, I’m much more likely to get it out at my college then I am being home. And while I’m not too worried about myself getting it, I am very worried about members of my family getting it, especially since if they were, it would’ve probably come from me if I had gone back to college. As it is, things are a mess now and everyone is still trying to figure things out, but at least I know that I have a lot less of a risk of giving it to people that I love.
Now being in the barn is one of the only places over the last few days where I’ve had a break from hearing about the virus. But there has been extra stress for us over these last few days too. All of a sudden our one worker that we have that has been helping every day since December stopped showing up on certain days, and then told us randomly one day that they quit. A few days later they said they would come back, but then we completely lost contact with him, and he wouldn’t respond to our messages or anything. SO that being said, the barn has had it’s own stressors over the last few days since I’ve come home, since we really need help with my grandpa not being able to do as much with having hip problems, including having hip surgery last Monday. And then my dad has all of his heart and back problems can’t do as much either. So we were sort of left out to dry in a way that we really couldn’t be. But as of a few days ago we have gotten a new worker, and so far she has been amazing.
This last week has felt like three. But in this extremely stressful time for so many I have been trying to remind myself of the good things going on, not just the bad. Specific examples of that being our new batch of ducks that we got last weekend, and that my cow Jasmine had another beautiful girl calf a few days ago. While everything else is still a mess, I find focusing on things like this, along with really anything to do with my animals now that we have solved the main problem at the barn, has helped me a lot. I highly recommend finding at least two things each day to remind yourself to be happy during this time. It can even be something small, like the fact that spring starts soon and the weather is slowly getting warmer. Things like this serve as a reminder that while things are a mess, everything will be figured out in time. As Samwise Gamgee says in The Lord of the Rings, “There’s some good left in this world… And it’s worth fighting for.”
During stressful times, try to look on the bright side of things. I think you’ll find that things will start to look better when you do.