And I don’t need any of this. I don’t need this stuff, and I don’t need you. I don’t need anything except this. And that’s it and that’s the only thing I need, is this. I don’t need this or this. Just this ashtray. And this paddle game, the ashtray and the paddle game and that’s all I need. And this remote control. The ashtray, the paddle game, and the remote control, and that’s all I need. And these matches. The ashtray, and these matches, and the remote control and the paddle ball. And this lamp. The ashtray, this paddle game and the remote control and the lamp and that’s all I need. And that’s all I need too. I don’t need one other thing, not one – I need this. The paddle game, and the chair, and the remote control, and the matches, for sure. And this. And that’s all I need. The ashtray, the remote control, the paddle game, this magazine and the chair.
-Navin (played by Steve Martin),  The Jerk.

So much has changed for all of us in an astonishingly short amount of time. In the U.S., we’ve watched a wave flow across the globe. A trickle of newspaper stories turned into a deluge. A suburb north of my city, Seattle, Washington, a nursing home, was hit first. My brother teaches at a high school, down the street from the nursing home. Late last month, we decided that he should not visit our mother, who is 85-years-old. Another brother, who is married to a flight attendant, decided the same. I stopped visiting in person, as well. Mom is in good health and we want to keep it that way.

You have no doubt seen the buying frenzy of paper goods and disinfecting products. My husband, who typically does minimal grocery shopping, brought home survival food, on two separate occasions, less than one week apart. I learned that Spam, something I have maybe eaten once or twice in my life, is an essential tool for survival. I asked John to stop going to the grocery store. We argued about it for a bit and then it dawned on both of us that it might be more effective to actually look at what we had. By the time we’d reviewed our pantry, refrigerator, freezer, my homemade dehydrated backpacking/hiking meals, the food that he’d bought, and our stash of non-perishable food for emergencies (we live in earthquake territory), he estimated that we had enough food for approximately 72 days, not counting the approximately 30 pints of homemade preserves I have on my canning shelves. An overly sweet existence, but we would eat for another couple of weeks, without buying another single bit of food.

To be fair, I’d also been stocking up on items, just different ones. I had an irrational fear of running out of fresh vegetables and fruit. I still keep a good eye on my canned tomato, chicken broth, and dried bean supply. I have been making and dehydrating chili and soups. I hope that I will be using it for backpacking and camping, which is why I started using a dehydrator in the first place.  I had a rational fear of not having enough cleaning supplies for my psychology office, where up until a few days ago, I saw patients. Every morning, I had been disinfecting all “high touch” surfaces, light switches, thermostat knobs, door knobs, table tops, desk tops, pencils, pens, the control buttons on my office equipment, my cell phone, my cell phone charging stand, and all surfaces of my laptop computer.

I worry about my business. 80% of it is doing psychological testing, which has to be done in person. Last Monday at 11:00 am, right after testing a young teen, the Governor of my state made an emergency order and recommended a minimum of 6 feet distance (a bit less than 2 meter) between people who do not live in the same household. There’s no way for me to do that. On top of that, with having had SCAD, I have a rare heart disease of unknown origin. Who knows how my body would react to COVID-19? By noon, I had cancelled the rest of my scheduled testing patients and transitioned the rest of my business to telehealth, from my home. I knew that in two weeks, once I finished up all of my remaining report writing, my income would drop about 80% for who knows how long.

Two days later, I took my first virtual yoga class, from my favorite yoga teacher, Aubrey. She is calling the class, “Zoom Sangha yoga”. “Sangha” is a Sanskrit word for “community”. It was so nice to see everyone’s familiar faces to to practice yoga together. Yoga ends with a meditation. As I listened to the sound of my breath, I thought, “I have all that I need, in this moment.”

In this moment, as I write this, I have all that I need. I have my breath. I have my mind. I have my family. I have friends. I have shelter. I have clean water and good food. I have the nearby woods in which to walk. Not all moments are like this but right now it is.

I wish you many moments of having all that you need.