A community united: Coping mechanisms II

Renegotiating the rules and restrictions

Dan Reiber and Larry Mirel discussed the importance of renegotiating Kendal's rules and restrictions as a form of coping. As both men felt that the lockdown restrictions were somewhat extreme, circumventing Kendal's rules and performing their own risk assessments allowed them to feel sane again. Moreover, figuring out how to get around the rules gave them purpose in the difficult days of isolation. 

"I took pride in sort of, reworking the rules in your own mind, trying to maintain the degrees of safety that the rules were intended for but maybe not doing exactly what they wanted, and that gives me a little bit of a challenge to stay positive." - Dan Reiber

"Let me think about coping mechanisms. Trying to, trying to think of things to make it better. Instead of just accepting what was there." - Larry Mirel

Physical Exercise

Kendal's Former Oberlin Resident, Dan Reiber, and the Former Geriatric Nurse turned to outdoor exercise to cope, even discovering new forms of enjoyable exercise as others became unavailable. 

"I think the biggest thing that I've realized in doing Zoom is that I have needed vigorous physical activity...I mean I had not before felt I needed so much vigorous physical activity. I hadn't done as much. I didn't go biking or walking as much. And it's persisted, and I feel really great about that. So that's been big." - Former Oberlin Resident

"And so walking the dog got to be my exercise program when they shut down all the other exercise classes. So twice a day, I would be over there walking the dog, and you know it’d be half hour, twenty minutes, something like that brisk walking." - Dan Reiber

"I really rely on exercise so I’m a walker. And as long as I could walk outside, which I could, I was still okay." - Former Geriatric Nurse

Arts and Crafts

Janet Kelsey Werner, Dianne Haley, and the Former Geriatric Nurse turned to forms of creation to cope. All three adopted new crafty hobbies that not only passed the time but also connected them to other people. 

Scrapbooking family history: "So I’ve been kind of the historian for our family, and that’s been my–my wonderful niece who lives in Paso Robles, California, who has put together, as I told you my maiden name is Kelsey, and is putting together a, she’s a big scrapbooker, and it’s called Shutterfly, and doing a big thing on the Kelsey kindred and for some reason–maybe it was for whatever reason, I got a lot of the stuff, so I sent it all to her. And then we’ve been going back and forth." - Janet Kelsey Werner

Making masks for the community: "At the beginning, I was very excited about masks. I made dozens and dozens of masks because I like to sew and I had lots of fabric." - Dianne Haley

Chinese Painting: "I don’t call it painting, I call it therapy. And the only thing I really have accomplished is at Christmas time I painted 12 Christmas cards. I had this need to thank people, letting them know how much I appreciated them helping me over the past year and a half and so I made a personal card for them and I painted my very minimal picture on it. But I put on a Chinese symbol so they would know it was Chinese…And I have trouble getting into it because I have to be in the mood and be inspired, and I lately–so one of my goals is to really work on putting aside time and do it a lot more seriously than I have been." - Former Geriatric Nurse