COVID-19: Go Away! (Part 1)
COVID-19: Go Away! (How are you coping?) – Part 1 of 2
The COVID-19 pandemic has brought so many uncertainties to daily life and challenges to our mental well-being. How are you coping? Watch to see how you can stay in the healthy zone.
This video is part of the “Start the Conversation: Taking Care During Tough Times” video series created for Nebraska Extension’s Wellness in Tough Times project. The videos, led by Dr. Christine Chasek, include strategies to improve your well-being and reduce stress during this challenging time.
Watch more videos at https://go.unl.edu/ruralwellness.
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[00:00:20.480]Well, hello, everybody,
[00:00:21.650]hey my name is Dr. Tina Chasek
[00:00:23.590]and I'm coming to you on behalf of the wellness
[00:00:25.970]in tough times team
[00:00:28.693]a part of the UNL extension program
[00:00:30.300]to help our rural folks
[00:00:32.880]kind of with issues that are they're going through,
[00:00:35.980]and especially during this difficult time of COVID.
[00:00:38.460]And so today I'm going to talk to you
[00:00:41.860]about how you're coping.
[00:00:43.320]And the title of this talk is COVID-19 Go Away.
[00:00:47.820]Because I don't know about you,
[00:00:50.279]but I am really tired of COVID-19.
[00:00:53.824]I'm coming to you from my house
[00:00:55.100]because that's where I am working now,
[00:00:58.520]which actually has some really good things
[00:01:00.340]attached to it.
[00:01:01.173]So we'll talk kind of about some of the challenges,
[00:01:03.550]but we also wanna talk about some of the good things
[00:01:06.060]and how we're dealing with all of this.
[00:01:07.920]And so let's start the conversation.
[00:01:10.530]So part of my job,
[00:01:12.590]I am an associate professor at UNK
[00:01:15.010]and I teach in the counseling school
[00:01:18.460]I also am the director of a program
[00:01:21.410]at UNMC called BHECN,
[00:01:23.690]which stands for the
[00:01:24.540]Behavioral Health Education Center of Nebraska.
[00:01:27.260]And basically, I get to do lots of fun things
[00:01:30.310]and work with students,
[00:01:33.257]and teach students how to do
[00:01:34.790]Behavioral Health Counseling and services,
[00:01:37.280]and it get more folks out into rural Nebraska,
[00:01:40.420]who can be providers.
[00:01:41.740]And so I am a rural girl at heart,
[00:01:45.200]actually, where I'm coming to you from
[00:01:48.802]is a very, very small town in South Central Nebraska,
[00:01:52.400]there's 300 people
[00:01:54.070]that live in the town.
[00:01:56.212]And I always joke my front door is a cornfield
[00:01:59.060]and my back door is the city hall
[00:02:01.300]where all the farmers gather every morning to have coffee.
[00:02:06.360]And so I get to enjoy their dogs coming home into my yard,
[00:02:10.500]which is awesome.
[00:02:12.480]And so I grew up actually out in the Panhandle,
[00:02:16.490]and more from a ranching background.
[00:02:20.310]And I just loved that way of life,
[00:02:23.227]and so when I went off to college,
[00:02:25.540]I knew that I could not be in a big city,
[00:02:29.510]and Carney to me is the big city
[00:02:31.710]and that's where I went to school.
[00:02:33.560]So after I graduated,
[00:02:35.050]my husband and I found a nice, small community,
[00:02:39.490]where we were really taken in and
[00:02:43.805]and I had a lot of support from all the folks
[00:02:45.360]and of course, everybody around here, ranches, and farms,
[00:02:49.100]actually more farmers and really livestock folks,
[00:02:52.200]but so growing up I have really strong rural roots,
[00:02:55.510]and I really wanted to,
[00:02:57.830]continue to somehow be connected to agriculture.
[00:03:01.177]And so what I get to do then is now
[00:03:03.580]I provide Behavioral Health Services
[00:03:05.820]and I specialize within the Ag community.
[00:03:08.790]I just think it's so important,
[00:03:11.400]that we understand kind of the rural culture
[00:03:15.197]and how to help folks
[00:03:16.100]when they're going through some of the struggles
[00:03:17.950]in the tough times.
[00:03:19.790]And so really, there's only two reasons
[00:03:21.980]that I really like to go to Omaha, or Lincoln,
[00:03:25.000]and those reasons are my kids.
[00:03:27.420]I've lost a couple of my kids to the big city,
[00:03:29.860]I'll admit they went off to school
[00:03:32.730]and found spouses,
[00:03:33.563]and stayed kind of in the big city,
[00:03:36.360]but I always joke that,
[00:03:39.220]you could move a rural girl to the city,
[00:03:41.280]but she doesn't lose her real roots.
[00:03:43.520]And my daughter and her husband actually live on an acreage
[00:03:48.420]on the outskirts of Bellevue,
[00:03:50.916]and they have a their front yard is a pasture
[00:03:53.890]and they have all kinds of animals
[00:03:56.680]they have chickens and sheep and dogs
[00:04:01.180]it Who knows,
[00:04:02.850]I think they're gonna branch out
[00:04:04.530]and maybe get some goats.
[00:04:06.840]So they kind of live in the,
[00:04:08.850]urban area but their rural folks
[00:04:12.751]and my son-in-law runs a like a
[00:04:13.780]sawmill, treemill kind of business.
[00:04:17.170]And so one of the reasons I bring that up
[00:04:20.960]is we've really gone through some tough times.
[00:04:24.250]And over the last year,
[00:04:26.330]two years actually,
[00:04:27.330]it's been really tough,
[00:04:30.646]in rural Nebraska with the Ag background,
[00:04:32.460]and one of the things that impacted us was the flooding.
[00:04:35.480]And where they live got flooded,
[00:04:38.580]but they were also at the time getting married
[00:04:40.670]and their venue got flooded on the river.
[00:04:42.820]And so we got to have their wedding
[00:04:44.490]in the middle of the pasture
[00:04:46.130]and we had a couple of fun guests,
[00:04:47.930]which were their sheep Penny and Jenny,
[00:04:50.870]got to join us on the wedding.
[00:04:54.187]So we call it the city ranch.
[00:04:55.720]So I just, I think that, it's such a privileged
[00:05:00.530]to be able to live in the area that we do,
[00:05:04.490]and so but there's also a lot of challenges
[00:05:06.540]and this last like say two years,
[00:05:09.430]we've really had some challenges
[00:05:11.440]and I'm just like can we catch a break please.
[00:05:15.490]Starting off with flooding
[00:05:17.550]the bomb Cyclone
[00:05:19.130]the blizzard out in the Panhandle,
[00:05:21.876]was just a really tough time
[00:05:24.150]and weather event for,
[00:05:27.440]for already hurting and struggling ranchers and farmers
[00:05:31.560]and you guys know that
[00:05:33.520]you're right in the thick of it.
[00:05:36.321]And so we've had so many different
[00:05:39.300]kinds of challenges,
[00:05:40.133]but now we run up on this whole COVID thing.
[00:05:44.030]And that is also challenging us to be,
[00:05:48.840]take a look at,
[00:05:49.900]how we're dealing with things
[00:05:52.030]and, I guess really be honest with ourselves,
[00:05:54.250]how are we handling it all?
[00:05:55.083]How are we coping with it?
[00:05:56.330]And so, the rains, the flooding came and
[00:06:01.140]the land sure,
[00:06:02.960]took a hit from that
[00:06:04.570]all the way from the river
[00:06:06.880]over on the eastern side of the state,
[00:06:09.060]to the northern part of the state
[00:06:10.700]when the ice jams and the dam broke,
[00:06:15.189]and then in the Panhandle
[00:06:17.620]where we had the blizzards
[00:06:19.771]and folks were digging out their cattle
[00:06:21.926]and trying to protect,
[00:06:22.759]the during the calving season.
[00:06:25.370]My family has a ranch and cattle up there
[00:06:29.500]and it was just a really, really tough time
[00:06:31.900]trying to keep the livestock cared for.
[00:06:34.200]And so we've gone through
[00:06:35.650]some really difficult times
[00:06:37.190]like this whole natural, huge disaster within the last year.
[00:06:41.390]And then you layer that on, right
[00:06:44.200]to an already hurting kind of situation
[00:06:47.633]in farmers and ranchers,
[00:06:49.910]you guys know that you're so impacted
[00:06:54.450]by things that are outside of your control,
[00:06:57.810]things like the weather events
[00:06:59.890]that We have and so rains,
[00:07:02.830]that just kept coming over the summer
[00:07:04.790]and kept the ground is just so soggy,
[00:07:07.940]and hail at the wrong time
[00:07:10.390]wiping out the crops.
[00:07:12.430]And there's also things Mother Nature throws at us,
[00:07:15.490]such as pests and disease,
[00:07:17.710]and so that is something that you can't control,
[00:07:20.830]and so it just makes for a really stressful, stressful time.
[00:07:25.450]And then if we dig even further,
[00:07:28.180]and I'm really sounding like a Debbie Downer here,
[00:07:30.740]but you look at the,
[00:07:32.750]the economy and in the farm and ranch reports
[00:07:35.840]and how, how it's the financial situation looks,
[00:07:40.610]that also can lead to a lot of
[00:07:42.660]kind of feelings of hopelessness and helplessness
[00:07:44.910]because there's so much financial instability,
[00:07:47.970]and COVID is really layering that upon layers
[00:07:52.990]right now and prices are dropping,
[00:07:55.260]a lot of folks have negative income
[00:07:57.950]and it always operating out of a sense
[00:08:01.940]of debt load
[00:08:03.610]is just very stressful.
[00:08:05.530]And the thing when we have disasters
[00:08:09.000]like we did a lot of times since disaster aid
[00:08:11.280]in no way meets the needs,
[00:08:13.950]to operate, continue to operate
[00:08:17.288]and recover those losses that have happened,
[00:08:20.626]and the other thing that's so outside of
[00:08:23.160]control is like government policies
[00:08:26.240]and global policies
[00:08:27.073]and things that impact the market
[00:08:29.160]and the outlet for the product.
[00:08:31.510]And, I'm definitely not an expert on that end of it
[00:08:35.090]I just know that I hear and see a lot of people
[00:08:37.760]who are hurting,
[00:08:39.380]and a lot of people who have to look at bankruptcy
[00:08:43.270]and, losing things that they've built their whole life for,
[00:08:46.530]and I sincerely,
[00:08:49.920]my heart hurts for those folks
[00:08:51.380]and if you're one of them,
[00:08:53.480]I just wanna tell you just keep hanging on,
[00:08:55.880]and that hopefully,
[00:08:57.940]that, there can be people that come on alongside and help
[00:09:02.608]and get things kind of whatever the solution might be,
[00:09:05.500]to just to get through this really difficult time.
[00:09:09.702]The other thing that when I think about my farm and ranch,
[00:09:13.529]friends is just all the different stressors
[00:09:15.680]in terms of the job.
[00:09:17.550]And most folks who are farming,
[00:09:21.150]or ranching a lot of times
[00:09:22.700]at least one of the the people
[00:09:24.490]on the farm work off the farm,
[00:09:26.620]to have, benefits and steady income,
[00:09:30.000]and then they continue also to work on the farm
[00:09:33.020]so they have two jobs.
[00:09:34.650]And a lot of times,
[00:09:36.681]if you're the wife of a farmer, rancher,
[00:09:39.550]or you're kind of the female presence, if you will,
[00:09:43.050]you also then become almost the
[00:09:47.130]de facto behavioral healths support person,
[00:09:50.860]the counselor for the family
[00:09:52.800]because of, a lot of times when women are the nurturers,
[00:09:56.170]and, deal with a lot of the family problems
[00:09:59.090]and emotional things that crop up.
[00:10:02.410]And so there's just there's a lot of stress
[00:10:05.250]that can happen in a lot of families stress.
[00:10:08.150]So one of the things that's unique to the,
[00:10:11.530]of course to the industry
[00:10:12.363]is this whole idea of succession planning.
[00:10:14.710]And, it's not just what's on paper,
[00:10:17.300]but it's also people's,
[00:10:20.010]their emotions and their feelings
[00:10:22.509]and their meaning
[00:10:23.342]and all sorts of things that get tied up into that.
[00:10:26.770]My husband's family,
[00:10:28.930]they have a lot of,
[00:10:33.355]we going through a lot of these things
[00:10:34.188]with elderly grandparents,
[00:10:36.725]and who's going to take over the farm
[00:10:38.090]and what does that look like?
[00:10:40.110]and that's caused a lot of,
[00:10:41.420]stress and difficulty within the family.
[00:10:44.330]And somebody who doesn't work the land,
[00:10:47.500]or have the land or the taste of land,
[00:10:49.860]just they don't have that level,
[00:10:52.260]where people are fighting over their office, right
[00:10:55.640]after they leave or retire from their job.
[00:10:58.584]And so it,
[00:11:00.640]Agriculture is so personal,
[00:11:02.300]everything becomes personal.
[00:11:04.090]We live, where we work,
[00:11:06.503]we play, it's all we're family,
[00:11:08.984]it's all tied up in the same one thing,
[00:11:10.680]which is great.
[00:11:12.621]It makes our way of life awesome
[00:11:14.521]that you can do that
[00:11:15.807]but it does also present some challenges.
[00:11:18.410]So we've had all of these kinds of natural disaster,
[00:11:21.990]the flooding and all that
[00:11:24.146]and then we have the normal stressors.
[00:11:26.500]And now we're gonna layer on another natural disaster,
[00:11:28.600]which is COVID.
[00:11:30.820]And COVID has some unique I think impacts
[00:11:33.810]for folks who are rural,
[00:11:35.849]and working in agriculture.
[00:11:37.820]Of course, right now, the big worry is,
[00:11:41.280]of course the economy
[00:11:43.205]and the Ag economy
[00:11:44.038]and what it's gonna do to the Ag economy
[00:11:45.460]and not having outlets for,
[00:11:49.021]the products with with the terrible crisis
[00:11:51.300]or in with the Meatpacking plants
[00:11:52.900]and how that spreading and impacting that industry.
[00:11:56.990]I know I went over to the grocery store
[00:11:58.890]the other day to buy some meat
[00:12:00.857]and I was just absolutely shocked
[00:12:02.580]at how much it was.
[00:12:04.430]And that supply chain
[00:12:06.680]is just really being disrupted,
[00:12:08.930]And I know that it's not the farmers and ranchers
[00:12:11.100]on the other end,
[00:12:11.933]it's getting all of that,
[00:12:14.063]extra money that we're paying for meat,
[00:12:16.160]or milk or whatever it is at the store.
[00:12:19.530]And so that's gonna create,
[00:12:21.510]some extra financial challenges
[00:12:24.540]for folks as their product is,
[00:12:27.430]not gonna be able to get as much forward
[00:12:28.960]as what you had in the past.
[00:12:30.800]And, paying employees
[00:12:33.990]can be difficult,
[00:12:36.080]maybe being off the farm
[00:12:38.000]lost some jobs as well,
[00:12:39.790]and so it's really financially I think, difficult
[00:12:43.303]not to mention if somebody in your family is ill
[00:12:45.010]or not feeling well
[00:12:45.960]or has, contracted the virus,
[00:12:48.347]that's a huge stress,
[00:12:50.730]and how do we keep everybody safe,
[00:12:53.410]when we all live together,
[00:12:55.670]and then there's so
[00:12:56.503]there's just a lot of increased family stress
[00:12:58.110]on top of normal day to day stuff that you do,
[00:13:02.360]the kids are home now, right?
[00:13:03.880]And we're gonna have another webinar here about like,
[00:13:07.670]The kids are driving me crazy, what do I do?
[00:13:10.030]Because we're not used to,
[00:13:12.230]now being teachers
[00:13:13.410]and all the other things that we have to do,
[00:13:17.673]but because we cannot we have to be physically distant.
[00:13:19.990]And so COVID-19, I just really say go away,
[00:13:23.430]we've had enough.
[00:13:25.330]The Ag community has had
[00:13:27.392]an absolute enough
[00:13:28.250]of all of these natural disasters.
[00:13:30.520]And there is a cycle
[00:13:33.830]that we go through in terms of disaster recovery,
[00:13:38.200]and, there's lots of things that happen,
[00:13:41.200]but a cycle in terms of our emotional well being
[00:13:43.960]and how we handle things.
[00:13:45.760]And so the pre-disaster phase
[00:13:49.740]which is, we're waiting for it to happen
[00:13:52.728]and in Nebraska, we waited quite a while
[00:13:54.170]for the for COVID to really hit us
[00:13:56.610]because we're in the middle of the country.
[00:13:59.186]And so we had this kind of sense of impending doom.
[00:14:02.090]And so, emotionally we're just kind of in a wait
[00:14:04.340]and see period
[00:14:05.350]maybe a little bit anxious
[00:14:08.010]but then when it hits,
[00:14:09.170]in like it has
[00:14:10.003]then we kind of go into action.
[00:14:12.530]And there's this phase that's called
[00:14:15.616]the heroic phase
[00:14:16.449]where we just get down to business
[00:14:17.820]we get things done,
[00:14:19.260]right, we get the masks,
[00:14:21.542]we sell the masks,
[00:14:22.375]we make sure that things are clean
[00:14:23.840]and that we've taken care of what we need to take care of
[00:14:26.350]in communities, especially with the flood
[00:14:29.230]you saw this a lot communities kicking into gear,
[00:14:35.160]helping out neighbors, moving cattle,
[00:14:38.820]after it hit to be helpful
[00:14:40.860]so our communities come together
[00:14:42.640]and we get close and tighter.
[00:14:46.284]And that's really kind of
[00:14:47.730]what they call the honeymoon period
[00:14:49.410]So everything is great,
[00:14:51.520]in terms of we're working through this together,
[00:14:54.430]we're gonna get through it,
[00:14:56.500]we have a saying in with the flood which was
[00:15:01.490]and, but we'll get through this as Nebraskans
[00:15:04.520]because we are strong and resilient, right.
[00:15:07.170]And we still have that
[00:15:08.260]and that's just a really good thing
[00:15:10.640]that we come together.
[00:15:13.230]But then hits what we call the disillusionment stage.
[00:15:16.570]So as time goes on,
[00:15:18.590]and we continue to deal with the problems
[00:15:21.648]and, with the flooding
[00:15:22.481]it was continuing to deal with the aftermath of,
[00:15:25.840]sand all over in the in the fields
[00:15:29.690]and not being able to use the land
[00:15:31.220]or pumping the water out,
[00:15:34.090]dealing with kind of not being able to plant,
[00:15:38.080]when it was time because it was so wet planning late
[00:15:41.050]and just a lot of repair of things,
[00:15:45.168]In, the realities of mold
[00:15:46.880]and all kinds of stuff
[00:15:48.100]We just start getting kind of wore out
[00:15:50.600]and emotionally that's the time of
[00:15:52.780]the most the emotional lows
[00:15:54.380]is when we're going through that.
[00:15:56.180]And now we're layering another
[00:15:59.040]kind of tragedy on top of it,
[00:16:00.650]which is COVID
[00:16:01.930]and now we're going through more things and
[00:16:04.050]so that's why I think we get really concerned
[00:16:06.020]with how people are dealing with it
[00:16:07.580]and how they're coping with it.
[00:16:09.850]Hence why we're doing these,
[00:16:12.800]webinars and podcasts for you to take a look at.
[00:16:15.950]So what we wanna get to is,
[00:16:18.889]the reconstruction or the new beginning
[00:16:20.540]where we work through the grief
[00:16:23.454]we've come to terms with what's happening,
[00:16:24.990]and we really get into a new normal, right
[00:16:27.470]and that's what we hope to
[00:16:29.690]get to soon.
[00:16:31.740]And there'll be setbacks of course,
[00:16:34.550]something will happen
[00:16:36.338]and will push us back a little ways,
[00:16:37.171]but we wanna get to where we're more
[00:16:40.011]on an emotional even keel,
[00:16:41.920]rather than the highs of the honeymoon in the heroic stage,
[00:16:45.310]to the lows of of the disillusionment stage,
[00:16:48.210]we wanna get to kind of a normal,
[00:16:51.340]even keel kind of,
[00:16:53.644]we feel like we have control
[00:16:54.630]of life again,
[00:16:56.160]or at least what we can control
[00:16:58.580]and that is what I call
[00:17:00.120]the anxiety control factor.
[00:17:03.050]And so, we as humans
[00:17:06.140]wanna do as much as we can
[00:17:07.870]to control things, right.
[00:17:10.161]It's innate in us,
[00:17:11.440]we wanna to make sure that we are,
[00:17:14.965]are kind of like captains of our own ship
[00:17:17.763]and that we can control things and
[00:17:19.410]a lot of times
[00:17:20.840]we find that it's outside of our control,
[00:17:22.230]then like ranchers and farmers know that the best
[00:17:24.990]you can't control the weather,
[00:17:27.533]you have to roll the punches and be ready to,
[00:17:30.270]to quickly change it anytime,
[00:17:31.450]make make a plan B,
[00:17:33.581]because Plan A didn't work out.
[00:17:35.280]And so part of what we need to sort through
[00:17:38.400]is what can we can control,
[00:17:40.430]and what can we not, right
[00:17:42.240]What do we need to let go of?
[00:17:44.636]Because the more we feel out of control,
[00:17:47.005]and the more we try to control things
[00:17:48.040]that aren't ours to control,
[00:17:50.150]the more anxious we feel,
[00:17:51.890]the more that can lead to depression and stress
[00:17:55.690]and where we don't want it to go
[00:17:56.830]is people feeling so low,
[00:17:59.630]that taking their own life
[00:18:01.710]is seems like a good idea.
[00:18:05.489]And so, that's when people are depressed
[00:18:06.570]for a long period of time
[00:18:08.503]that's that's kind of what starts to happen.
[00:18:09.980]And so we don't wanna, leave
[00:18:15.150]on that note,
[00:18:17.624]there are many, many things that we can do
[00:18:19.317]and how we cope with all of this stuff going on
[00:18:20.660]between the floods
[00:18:23.161]and just the nature,
[00:18:25.058]of Agriculture in the work that you do
[00:18:28.409]and now COVID .
[00:18:29.242]And so the next part of the series here
[00:18:32.100]that you're gonna hear about,
[00:18:32.980]is you're gonna hear about
[00:18:33.880]how you can cope with this in a better way
[00:18:36.440]and how you can come at it.
[00:18:38.420]So stay tuned and take a listen to the next part,
[00:18:41.600]where we're gonna talk about
[00:18:42.540]some healthy coping things
[00:18:43.820]and make COVID-19 I guess, go away,
[00:18:48.864]even though we can't get rid of it,
[00:18:49.697]we can make it have less impact in our life.
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