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Coronavirus (COVID-19) Health and Safety Guide

ASERT has compiled resources for those with autism and those who care for people with autism relating to the current COVID-19 outbreak.

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Positive Solutions - Supporting My Family Through a Pandemic

By Ziggie

Resiliency is defined as an ability to recover from or adjust easily to adversity or change. Year 2 of the pandemic is creeping upon us, and sometimes, days can be pretty exhausting when information about a new variant of Covid-19 causes concern in society. We’ve come a long way from scavenging for toilet paper, but there are still elements at play that I’ve had to handle to care for myself and my family during these trying times. So this month, I’d like to give a brief overview of the steps I’ve taken to keep everyone safe and how Resiliency enabled me to maintain a calm attitude and to look for solutions to certain circumstances. 

When the pandemic first hit, isolation was the primary way to avoid getting infected with Covid-19, and that was tough. Anyone with ASD knows that a massive disruption in routine can be hard to adapt to, and I’ve had my struggles with that as I attempted to navigate the new worldscape. In addition, I have an older brother with Down’s Syndrome, and explaining the pandemic to him was very challenging. He thought that he was being punished when he couldn’t attend his day program and other activities that kept him busy and living life to the fullest. To address his concerns, I had to read many articles and studies about Covid-19 and then translate them into a more accessible form of information that my brother could digest. He’s brilliant, and after talking with him for a few weeks about this particular subject, he was then able to watch the news and see the numbers going down, which made him more comfortable. He was ready to get vaccinated ASAP (And he was one of the first groups immunized due to health reasons in my state). Information about the pandemic is difficult to understand, but I believe that knowledge can give someone reassurance if it is projected positively. 

Missing the holiday season was hard on my family and me as a whole. Unfortunately, the vaccine wasn’t available at the time. I had candid conversations with relatives at high risk of complications if they were to get infected and reassured them that staying home is the best course of action until the vaccine is here. Missing a year of holidays was, in the long run, the right choice as we’ll be able to celebrate more of them going forward rather than risk someone getting ill at a party. 

In my personal life, I had to readjust my higher education goals. Things are set up for my attendance next year. As optimistic as I am, even I have reached my limits sometimes. Even though I’m the youngest in my immediate family, I have many responsibilities; my older sister and brother have particular needs that require my support. There are days where I wish I could have my parents here, but their memories give me the strength to support my family to the best of my ability. While caretaking is in my lifeblood, and I’ll be working towards a degree in healthcare, you have to prioritize yourself as well, which is why I’m focusing the remainder of this year on improving my mental health.

To the readers out there, please stay the course. Finally, we’re returning to a modicum of normalcy. We all can look forward to a brighter tomorrow.