Covid-19, Pajamas & Furry Friends

Posted by Amber Collie in Life After Paralysis on April 07, 2020 # COVID-19

On Friday, March 13 my two high school aged kids with shock in their voices said, “Mom, school has been closed for 2 weeks including all school sports and events!” The 2020 outbreak of the Coronavirus (Covid-19) has moved to Southern California. This may sound familiar; but within 24 hours we learned all professional sports were cancelled or postponed. We were then informed there is not to be any gatherings with over 250 people. Large businesses started closing, having employees work from home if possible. The 2 weeks of all schools closing turned into 6. Now no gatherings of any size, and many more workplaces closed. I was able to checkout a couple books right before my local library locked its door. Movie theaters, parks, and restaurants all closed until further notice, leaving only grocery and convenient stores, banks and hospitals open. The public went crazy stocking up on food and necessities. Long lines resembling Black Friday shoppers formed, with people waiting to get in as soon as the store opened, trying to get chicken and toilet paper.

We have now been on the “Stay at Home” policy for a little over a week. The weather has been overcast and raining off and on, so staying inside has not been that difficult. I tackled some household projects, organizing and sorting things that have been on my To Do list, for a very long time. Wearing pajamas all day makes me feel lazier. I now make myself get dressed (at least most of the days). It’s been a transition, for my teenagers in the family to switch to doing all schoolwork at home, mostly online.Zac and Bree with Sedona

Zack, my adult son who is a C-4 quadriplegic, lives close by in an apartment with his fiancé Bree. He’s doing his master’s program and his college has shut down until the fall semester. Zack’s preference is to be in a classroom setting. He learns better that way and enjoys the social interaction. Bree has taken up some creative crafting, since her place of work, Disneyland closed. Zack on the other hand has recently threatened to break out a puzzle soon. Nothing against puzzles, it’s just Zack has never done one in his 25 years. Doing a puzzle as a quadriplegic could be very interesting though. To all the quads out there; please be extra careful.

One of the best things this last week has been taking neighborhood walks with my son’s service dog, Sedona. We do that daily anyway, but it’s gone from being a duty to something I look forward to. We, of course are practicing our 6 ft away, social distancing and getting much needed fresh air, plus making the dog very happy.Teddy Bears in window during coronavirus pandemic

I’ll close with this, even in spite of all that is going on in our world right now, the not knowing, fear, sadness, and loss, I still see positive things along side of those. People supporting each other and showing kindness. It seems when tragedy and hard times come our way, it brings the best or the worst out in people. A friend of mine who lives in a small town in New Jersey tells me her neighbors are putting out rainbows as a way for the children to feel connected while being at home. In my town there have been quite a few sightings of teddy bears popping up in windows with a message saying, “We’re here, we’re doing ok and we hope you are too.”

My life has had many parts, I could write a book just on that section but let's fast forward to when I married Adron Collie. Two weeks after turning 20 (yes, very young!) I had Zackery at age 22, Levi at 24, six years later Kaden, and 18 months after that daughter Laila, making me a busy mother of four. At that time, I also ran a photography business. The year Zack was injured I had a child in Preschool, Elementary, Jr. High and High School. Four kids in four schools! I thought I was so busy, just getting their drop off and pick up times correct was a challenge. I have to laugh now thinking back on that because little did I know my life was just about to turn upside down.

For more resources on the coronavirus, visit the Reeve Foundation COVID-19 Information Center.

The National Paralysis Resource Center website is supported by the Administration for Community Living (ACL), U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) as part of a financial assistance award totaling $8,700,000 with 100 percent funding by ACL/HHS. The contents are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily represent the official views of, nor an endorsement, by ACL/HHS, or the U.S. Government.