COVID19 (Coronavirus) has definitely been a life experience worthy of the history books! For me, day to day life has changed so drastically, I could have never imagined a journey of this magnitude. If I had to list a few words that could describe this journey I would say trying, difficult, and even sometimes demanding; but I would also list rewarding, inspiring, motivating and enlightening.
Imagine in the blink of an eye, the same population you service is now the same population you have become a part of. For me, although only temporary, that has become my reality. Here at 2100, we service a very sensitive population who are arguably most susceptible to contracting the Coronavirus simply because of personal socio-economic status and access to resources. Working for this population means that I am just as susceptible to contracting or being a host carrier for the virus as they are. This realization forced me to have to evaluate and re-evaluate my own household dynamics as many of my loved ones are at higher risk of catching the virus. Out of fear of making my family Ill I sleep in my truck most nights. When the weather is harsh, or I am physically exhausted I sleep in a hotel to recharge and recoup and do my job efficiently and effectively. Up until a few days ago this was fact unbeknownst to my team but from the moment they found out they have been nothing but supportive.
The mental demand of having to deal with personal issues, additional mental strains brought on by the virus, and the normal mental fatigue of being a human services worker, all while coming to work and putting our best foot forward is a task that has definitely “separated the boys from the men”. The team I work with has shown up and shown out on the resilience aspect. Before COVID-19, we were already a close-knit unit. Individually we have all taken losses from this Coronavirus. But as a team, we have all found ways to uplift one another, be there for one another, and just to have compassion in general. Through the harsher realities of COVID-19, we have all lost so much but in exchange, we have gained extended family and guardian angels in one another.
Through isolations and personal losses, we have still managed to embody all of the unity needed to turn our tragedies to triumphs through COVID-19. Some of us have lost families and friends individually but together we stand up and continue to fight through COVID-19. For that, I am forever grateful.
Written by Brittany Boyd, Monitor at LMM’s Men’s Shelter at 2100 Lakeside