The next-best thing besides changing medicine as we know it.
April 7, 2020 9:54 AM   Subscribe

My amazing cousin saw my various facebook posts about being a scared medical worker and messaged me asking "Is there anything I can do to make your essential-worker life suck less? Up to and very much including buying and having supplies delivered to you." I would love to take her up on this but I'm overwhelmed and can't even think of where to begin. What would you ask for in my boat? More info about both me and my cousin below.

This is a little more about my work situation, for reference. Since I made that post there have been more restrictions put in place in terms of where my patients can go in the community, but we're still short on PPE and sanitation supplies and it still feels like I'm waiting for the inevitable week when everyone gets covid at once. Also the program director still won't address me directly.

My cousin is in her early 30s, works in tech and is still working remotely. Lives in a large city several hours from me, we typically see each other maybe 3-4 times a year but interact some on facebook in the in-between time. Things we bond over include feminism (we're both womens' college alums), clever wordplay, musicals, thrift shopping, and self-deprecating humor about our extremely neurotic, overachieving family.

Outside of work I'm materially comfortable. Have a lot of quarantine-friendly hobbies and have adequate supplies for all of them. Have enough income to cover my rent, food, and other necessities comfortably. My roommate does most of our grocery shopping. When I think about the things that suck most for me at the moment my head jumps to stuff like "the program I work for is fundamentally regressive and just pats itself on the back for being so different because the bar for good drug treatment is low enough to trip on" and "why is health insurance even?" Help me get out of my head and think of something attainable. Maybe an activity we can share on zoom?
posted by I am a Sock, I am an Island to Grab Bag (5 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
In a long-distance relationship once, my significant other ordered each of us a box of super-fancy truffles/chocolates. Then each night for I think it was like 12 nights, we chatted while we ate one. Or two. It was a lot of fun.
posted by warriorqueen at 10:03 AM on April 7, 2020 [2 favorites]

If you want stuff: how about stuff for pampering yourself (since your necessities are covered), like bubble bath, nice chocolates/ tea/ coffee/ snacks, or a weighted blanket?

If you don't want stuff: how about watching a musical simultaneously and singing along together over video chat? Or simultaneously watching something with clever wordplay and chatting through it?

What if she created an online playlist of favorite songs from musicals and sent you the link? (Spotify would work for this.)

You could also ask her to make a donation in your honor to a feminist org (local Planned Parenthood, maybe).
posted by wicked_sassy at 10:06 AM on April 7, 2020 [1 favorite]

Do you get the opportunity to blow off steam regularly to someone who is willing to sit quietly with your anger? Would it be helpful to get the chance to shout, cry, complain, and be scared to someone who is on the same page as you and holding space for you to lose your shit—about the government, about your program director, about whatever? I understand why people are thinking about ways she might distract you, but I also wonder whether as a care worker whose voice is being undervalued at work, you are actually suffering from having to hold it together and could benefit from just being able to express frustration and fear.
posted by babelfish at 10:22 AM on April 7, 2020 [8 favorites]

Your other post says you are not allowed to wear PPE at work, but what about the clients? The cloth, non-medical masks that many people are making now are thought to help when people who might be asymptomatic spreaders are wearing them. Would your clients like to have masks, and would they wear them? And would that be allowed at your facility? That would help protect staff, and if the clients are wearing masks maybe it would be considered more appropriate for you to wear them. That might be something your cousin could make or track down and send to you
posted by yohko at 5:46 PM on April 7, 2020

You say you are materially well off but some of your coworkers may not be. What if she arranged to have something like a big tray of cookies or sandwiches sent to the break room in your honor? All of your coworkers would be super appreciative and you would get to enjoy the treats too.
posted by ficbot at 8:44 AM on April 8, 2020

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