With stay-at-home orders in place across much of the U.S., families, couples, and individuals are learning to live a new normal. In a best-case scenario, this means coping with the challenges of remote working, homeschooling, and early morning grocery runs. For others, dealing with COVID-19 includes worries about health conditions, loneliness, and making ends meet. For this podcast, we host a telephone discussion with three mental health professionals from Baptist Health Madisonville. Psychiatrist Shabeer Abubuker, MD, explains the important distinction between “physical” distancing and intentional social connection. The trio offers ways to maintain intimacy in your marriage, create stability for your children, balance work/home, and improve communication.
Episode 4: Transcript
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Kerri: Working from home, bills, layoffs, furloughs, breaking-news updates, homeschooling. These are just some of the concerns facing families during these unprecedented times. The stress and anxiety facing families right now is unlike anything we’ve seen and it’s taking a toll. So I’m joined on the phone today by a team from Baptist Health, Madisonville. Skylar Phaup, community education manager, Brad Long, clinical director and psychiatrist, Dr. Shabeer Abubucker dive into these issues and more that our listeners are facing.
Kerri: So thank you for joining me and tuning in to another special episode of the Health Talks Now podcast.
Brad Long: Thank you for having us.
Skylar Phaup: Yes, thank you.
Kerri: I’d like to focus this discussion today on relationships, specifically marriages and families. It appears we have several more weeks of social distancing and self-isolation ahead of us. Remote working is certainly not a staycation and understandably couples are already feeling the strain. To start, how do you recognize the stress and what can we do to maintain stability, or rather sanity, if a couple is already juggling a full workload and the household management of kids.
Dr. Abubucker: So, this is Dr. Abubucker. Just to kind of start the conversation off, I think that sometimes when there’s shifts and transitions, there’s generally bumpiness in trying to find a new ground to land on and our usual schedules and assumed responsibilities may not be there the way that they were. And so sometimes we have to figure out how were we going to create a new stable ground to rebuild on. And that can be a little unsettling, but it can also be looked at as an opportunity to revisit what are our values as a couple and as a family and what’s important and how do we find ways of juggling different responsibilities.
Dr. Abubucker: How do we find time to schedule certain things, maybe making some responsibilities more directed as opposed to assumed. And sometimes those kinds of things can be helpful to try to reduce the amount of stress that’s there. Because sometimes there’s an assumption that something’s going to done but it doesn’t get done. And then there’s fighting or argumentation as a result. So sometimes being more upfront and direct about dividing up the responsibilities.
Dr. Abubucker: And then also giving each person the ability to have some way of finding space. And that may not be a lot of physical space, but it may be some time or activity that gives them a way of de-stressing, moving away from the family being together.
Dr. Abubucker: And then also thinking about having activities there together to help increase the bond between everyone. Those are just some thoughts.
Kerri: Okay. So adapting the communication style and being conscientious to maintain some alone time, but embrace space as well.
Dr. Abubucker: Mm-hmm (affirmative).
Skylar Phaup: Yeah.
Kerri: Go ahead.
Brad Long: This is Brad. I’m sorry, I just wanted to add, I think one thing that we stress a lot here with the folks that we get to work with on a day-to-day basis is being very intentional and I think that that’s a very good point to focus on during this, as Dr. A said, this transition into at least our new temporary normal. It would be very easy to get overwhelmed and know that that overwhelming feeling of anxiety is a normal feeling. I think folks should know that.
Brad Long: That they’re not alone in feeling anxious and feeling that increased level of stress at home, but to not forget to be intentional with that communication, especially in a marriage, especially for couples that are working remotely or maybe not working at all on top of having kids at home and having to do online school and maintaining, as you said, that stability.
Brad Long: What we often recommend, even outside of a pandemic, is to have this intentionality about the way that we communicate with each other. So setting a time aside each day, whether it be for five minutes or 10 minutes or 30 minutes to just talk. Not necessarily about anything super deep or anything like that, but just to have that time where a husband and wife or Mom and Dad or a couple or a family unit can communicate with each other, rather than just getting caught up in all the commotion. Actually setting a time aside to have conversations and to talk through things together is pretty important.
Kerri: Sure. I like that tip. That’s great.
Kerri: As restrictions were lifted in China, residents were able to get out and there was a huge surge in divorce filings. It was also reported that domestic violence, incidents of child abuse, were also up. How do you attribute that back to these stressors that we mentioned?
Brad Long: Well, I think as we alluded to, this is a really, really hard time. We live in a culture today where we’re used to being able to do what we want, when we want and how we want it. And a couple of weeks ago, early March, middle-March, that all really came to a halt. So folks that were used to a certain lifestyle have had to have a drastic change to that lifestyle.
Brad Long: And so when you look at individual lifestyles being kind of turned upside down, you can only imagine the impact that has on their interpersonal relationships. Specifically if you’re being quarantined in a house with your family for weeks, months, it’s going to impact your interpersonal relationships.
Brad Long: Dr. Abubucker spoke on how really it comes down to perspective. We can perceive that as being at home or we can perceive it as an opportunity to reexamine our values and the quality of our interpersonal relationships.
Brad Long: But to answer your question, all of that stress has an absolute impact on our mental health, has an absolute impact on how we manage stress, which obviously impacts your relationship with your significant other. It impacts individual’s ability to manage stress, which could turn into violence, either verbally or physically.
Brad Long: It’s very important early on that we focus on controlling what we can control in a situation that seems to be out of our control. And what we can control is how we respond to it and how we manage that stress in this moment.
Kerri: Yeah, that’s a great tip.
Brad Long: Doctor, I don’t know if you have anything you want to add to that?
Dr. Abubucker: Stressful situations can either bring a group of people together or they can push and pull the people apart.
Dr. Abubucker: And so if there’s fractures within the family and within a relationship and the individuals within that family are focused on these fractures, then what happens is that those things begin to become exaggerated.
Dr. Abubucker: On the other hand, the perspective is that we’re facing a common enemy, so to speak, and we’re in this together to try to figure out how do we face this. And that shift in perspective can be very helpful in trying to be very intentional in the way you address things and try to move forward. Then we see this as a challenge, that we have to figure out a way to solve. How are we coming together to figure out that, how do we come up with activities, solutions that help us to address that issue?
Dr. Abubucker: And I’m just maybe touching on some of the other questions you may ask later, but on the one hand there are a couple of places where stress is coming from for families. There are sort of the financial, the social, the interaction-related stressors that exist, right? But there’s also this anxiety about this illness and this pandemic and I think in terms of the anxiety about all of these uncertainties that exist, I think it’s worthwhile stepping back from the concept of anxiety and focusing on what we have control over, versus what we don’t have control over.
Dr. Abubucker: So anxiety is an emotion that signals us that there is something that’s off in our life. There’s a problem that exists. There’s something that’s unsettled that we need to address and deal with. The problem is that in this current environment, there are things that we have no control over.
Dr. Abubucker: We can’t control the spread of this individually. It requires social action to do that. And that’s why we’re trying to physically distance ourselves from each other. So there’s a sense of helplessness that comes and that that tends to exacerbate and exaggerate the feelings of anxiety. And when we feel anxious, oftentimes we feel threatened. And when we feel threatened, we tend to feel more in need to either run from a situation or to fight in that situation. And fighting, oftentimes, becomes arguing and things of that nature.
Dr. Abubucker: So to try to minimize some of that anxiety, it’s worthwhile focusing on, “What do I have control over? What is there that I can do about it in this circumstance?” So trying to follow through with some of the physical distancing issues, trying to watch our hand hygiene and when we go out, if we have to go out, then being careful about those kinds of things.
Dr. Abubucker: And then recognizing that we’re doing what we can and then we have to leave the rest of it be because that’s beyond our ability to manage or maintain or control.
Kerri: Yeah, I like that. What tips would you give for relationships to our listeners to maintain balance? On top of what we’ve talked about initially, of being very intentional with conversation and the way that we’re communicating with a partner, as well as recognizing and respecting space.
Kerri: I read a tip recently: being conscious to reduce criticism of your partner and maybe allowing your partner to express emotion in a healthy way over this crisis. What other tips would you give?
Dr. Abubucker: I think that that’s a good tip and the issue is when we feel cornered, we feel threatened. And when we’re all together, we don’t have enough physical space, then we have a tendency to notice the things about a person with us that is more, I guess, problematic, more troubling. So instead of trying to focus on that, if you try to give them some space and recognizing that I feel threatened and so I need to feel like I’m doing something and sometimes I know what that is, it’s criticizing the person you’re with.
Dr. Abubucker: And sometimes it’s helpful to recognize that people need just simply to be able to express what’s on their mind and to be able to say, “Look, I’m stressed out.” And the two can share the feeling of, “I’m also stressed out. I don’t have all the answers either.” And that creates a commonality and a feeling of connection between the two folks, overseeing all of the [folks 00:11:16] .
Kerri: Sure. Speaking of connection, would you weigh in on sex in a marriage if it is a good way to bond, but also to be conscientious that there shouldn’t be pressure applied. But because so much time is spent within the household right now making that time to be intimate, to reconnect.
Brad Long: So I would say, not just with sex or intimacy, but knowing your significant other. Gary Chapman has a book called the Five Love Languages. I think that’s super important because intimacy and sex isn’t everyone’s love language. And so I think it goes back to what Dr. Abubucker was saying, know what your significant other needs, especially in a time of crisis and know how to quote-unquote “fill up their love tank,” whether that be… So he gives the example of five different love languages, one being physical touch, one being gifts, one being words of affirmation, acts of service, and then quality time are his five love languages.
Brad Long: And I think it’s super important to know how your partner, your significant other, your spouse responds. And if it’s sex, then so be it. Be intentional with creating time to be intimate with each other. Maybe it’s quality time. And so making sure that we put down our phone and we’re not spending time on social media too much or watching the news too much, but we’re spending that quality time. Maybe it’s saying, “Hey, honey, go out on the deck and read a book and I’ll do the dishes or the laundry.”
Brad Long: Just knowing what it is that your significant other, how they respond to things, is even more important. Because like we’ve said already, we’re going to be spending unusual amounts of time with our family unit and so stress is going to be at an all time high and so that means that we’re going to be more intentional with making sure that each other’s love tanks are filled.
Kerri: Yeah, their needs are being met.
Kerri: There’s something I was wanted to ask you about social distancing. How can that hurt or impact mental health?
Brad Long: Part of the reason I use the physical distancing is that I think that’s actually what we need. We need to physically distance. And so sometimes when people think of social distancing, they have a real hard time distinguishing that from social isolating. So the idea isn’t that we need to socially isolate because this is really a time where we need to support each other. The thing is that we need to physically distance. And so keeping connections with our loved ones, it may be through FaceTime or via phone or via chatting or some other mechanism.
Brad Long: But trying to maintain our connections, our social connections, is really important when it comes to dealing with the negative impact of socially isolating.
Brad Long: And so that’s why I want to make that distinction, when we think about the illness, it’s about droplets or contact issues that we need to be paying attention to. So we want to physically distance from folks and that practically can create social isolation, but try to counter that by connecting with people in whatever means that we can that’s safe to do.
Brad Long: So social isolation can result in feelings of stress and depression because human beings tend to be grumpy areas. We like to be around other human beings. Being isolated from other human beings is difficult. So I think maybe shifting that conceptualizations to that where I need to be physically away from large groups of people, I need to be physically away for other folks as much as possible. But I want to keep socially connected with the people that are important in my life. And that might be via technology.
Kerri: Okay. That’s a clear distinction. That’s very helpful. What does stress look like and what is happening physically and biologically when we experience high levels of stress?
Brad Long: I think we have a tendency to compartmentalize, there’s mental processes and then there are physical processes. But the reality of the matter is that the two interact with each other. And so our emotional states affect our physical states.
Brad Long: And so there are certain hormonal changes that can happen. So for example, cortisol is a stress hormone that is released and that can have impacts on our physical health and sometimes it has immunosuppressive effects on the body and those are negative in a situation of infection.
Brad Long: And so I find to reduce stress is very helpful in that way. Trying to improve sleep can really help with regards to stress hormone levels and maybe provide some stress relief so that we’re more able to manage the stress.
Brad Long: Sometimes stress can be in the form of a threat. All human beings and animals have what is called a fight-or-flight response, which is when we’re in situations of danger, our bodies release adrenaline and that adrenaline causes certain physiological changes in our body that help us to fight or to run from situations of danger. This is intended to be a short term kind of thing, in a life threatening situation. But the problem is that in the modern world, we tend to have high stress situations more than we’d have life threatening situations.
Brad Long: And so sometimes feelings of threat can result in adrenaline release, an emotional threat can result in adrenaline release and then you feel this rush of emotions and it’s harder to control our responses and we tend to get more irritable, more angry and more reactive.
Brad Long: Those are some physical and biological impacts of stress and how they may impact our emotional [spaces 00:16:32].
Kerri: How does marital stress impact health?
Brad Long: So I don’t think marital stress in particular is different in terms of these matters that I mentioned, but it’s worthwhile thinking about marital stress in terms of the fact that our marital relationships tend to be our most intimate and our most intense relationship. And so, strain and distress in that relationship can be very profoundly distressing, especially at a time when we feel a lot of external threats from the pandemic, from financial issues, from other life-related stressors.
Brad Long: Having the marital relationship be another source of stress as opposed to a place of refuge adds to that overall difficulty in managing distress.
Kerri: Sure. Kind of shakes the foundation of it. And it could seem worse than it is, but I really like your tip that you gave earlier about just being conscientious of time and intentional to keep what you can control, keep that focus.
Kerri: Well, how do you recommend balancing caregiving work and family obligations during these times?
Brad Long: So I think there’s a couple things to consider here. There are some folks that are doing just that. They’re maybe healthcare workers or consider what we were hearing so often the essential businesses that are still working. And so there’s a lot of folks that are having to go to work every day, all while trying to maintain obligations of caring for their children and maybe they have elderly family members that they’re having to get groceries for and care for as well.
Brad Long: That can be overwhelming and that’s a lot of responsibility all while you’re trying to maintain your own health and wellbeing and that of your family. I think it’s important that first and foremost you prioritize those things and you have a clear understanding of the importance of making sure that you are well. That way you can appropriately care for and maintain the other obligations.
Brad Long: That’s not to say that you’re ignoring the other obligations that you have, that Dr. Abubucker always gives the analogy of the oxygen mask on an airplane, right? When it falls down, they always instruct you to make sure that you put your oxygen mask on first. That way you’re able to help someone else if you need it.
Brad Long: First and foremost, I think we have to make sure that we are all taking care of ourselves, our own health and wellbeing, and then we are able to help those others around us as much as possible all while trying to make sure that we’re following the guidelines that are being put out there.
Brad Long: I think as far as maintaining all of those, it goes back to, again, being very intentional and making sure that you understand what you’re capable of doing. You understand what your limits are and if you get to a point where you feel overwhelmed with all of those obligations, that you have that set time where you can take a step back and refuel yourself. If you’re running on empty, it’s going to be very hard to carry through and actually see those obligations out.
Brad Long: So just again, being very intentional with making sure that you’re having that self-reflection and making sure that you’re aware of where you need to be in order to maintain all of those things.
Kerri: That’s very helpful.
Skylar Phaup: I think it’s also important to take it a day at a time.
Skylar Phaup: I feel like you don’t have to have everything figured out. On Monday, you don’t have to figure out what you’re doing on Friday. On Monday, you just need to worry about that particular day and come up with that plan of attack.
Skylar Phaup: I mean, sometimes it’s going to work and sometimes it’s not, but as long as you simply agree to do your best, then I think that you can just adjust accordingly and go from there.
Skylar Phaup: I mean, I can’t speak for Brad and Dr. Ray, but I can tell you that from my own experience, what I do is I go home and me and my fiance talk every night before bed about what went on that day and then what our plan is for the next day and then we just do that at the end of every night. That’s how we’re handling things at this point in time.
Kerri: Sure, I love that.
Dr. Abubucker: Just to jump in and maybe add a little point on that. Anxiety happens when we feel that we are helpless to do something. And today is a place where we have control and the ability to do things. Tomorrow is a place where we don’t have control. So our mind is living in tomorrow, we feel sense of helplessness and anxiety. If our life was focused on, “What am I doing today?” Then we’re in a place of control and we tend to feel more empowered and less helpless and anxious.
Kerri: That’s a good perspective. So what if someone has preexisting mental health conditions? How does that impact this added anxiety that we’re experiencing right now?
Dr. Abubucker: If you have preexisting mental health issues, a lot of times it can make those illnesses, sometimes, worse. Sometimes people have a more difficult time managing. So someone may have been stable on their medications or with their therapy for a period of time and now it’s become more challenging.
Dr. Abubucker: And sometimes it may be related to not being able to access therapy resources because of some of the changes that are going on in terms of accessing resources.
Dr. Abubucker: It may be related to the fact that the stress is significant enough that the medications aren’t sufficient, or circumstances are such that the underlying illness is just exacerbated.
Dr. Abubucker: Depending on the type of mental health issue, whether it’s depression or anxiety or bipolar illness or schizophrenia or substance use, all of these things can sometimes be exacerbated by situations of stress, in particular with regards to substance use. Substances are often used as a way of numbing or forgetting or escaping from stressors and difficulties. And so it’s very possible that people will turn to that at this time because they feel overly stressed. And what I worry is that there’s going to be an increase in substance use, and then in the next month or two there’s going to be a significant fall-out from that.
Dr. Abubucker: And so being conscientious of that fact and recognizing that substances are not a solution to the problem, they’re a temporary escape that may result in negative consequences and problems.
Brad Long: We do have various resources through our family practice service line that offers some virtual care or tele-health. We do have resources that we’re able to point folks in the direction to, as far as community resources here in our local community to Madisonville and surrounding areas of Hopkins County that we’ll be able to help them, whether it be virtually or in a crisis situation if that need does arise.
Kerri: Sure. Okay.
Skylar Phaup: I was going to say, I was reading earlier, one of the things that stood out to me said, “This is individuals with preexisting physical illness are more likely to get physically ill from coronavirus. People whose mental illness is compromised are at a greater risk of experiencing worsening mental illness as a result of the coronavirus, no matter what their mental illness may be.”
Skylar Phaup: And so we might not be able to treat that. But one of the tools that are available online is that you can do online anxiety screen for free using an anonymous confidential tool from NHAscreening.org and so that’s not affiliated with Baptist in any way, but it is a free online tool that might help someone who is in need to gage where their anxiety might be on a scale if they’re at home and they need-
Kerri: Sure. And then once things change, they certainly can bring those results and start a conversation with their provider.
Skylar Phaup: Absolutely.
Brad Long: Yeah. And we’re here 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Even though this going on, we have an inpatient unit that’s here with services that happen around the clock. So if any of the listeners feel that they are in need and need help, even if they don’t feel like they’re in a time of crisis yet, but want to try to prevent that from happening, they can reach out to us here at any time.
Brad Long: There’s also a 24 hours crisis hotline as well that folks can call into and be directed to resources.
Brad Long: The last thing we want people to do is feel like there is, even though everything is closed down and shut down, there’s all these restrictions. We’re a hospital and we’re still here to serve them and walk through this journey with them.
Kerri: Thank you. Sure. I’ll put those links in the show notes.
Kerri: So how do you talk to your children about COVID-19? How would you explain to them what’s going on during this time and how do you help your children reduce stress?
Brad Long: I say first, just a little bit from personal experience, and I know Dr. Abubucker has some personal experiences as well.
Brad Long: I have two small children that aren’t really able to comprehend what’s going on. Just from a personal standpoint, I always try to be very transparent with my children and honest with them. But in doing so, making sure that I don’t instill anxiety and fear in them. I’ve often heard that throughout this so far, that your kids may not remember this pandemic happening, but they will certainly remember how their parents responded to it. And I think that might be a challenge to those parents.
Brad Long: Again, it’s okay to be anxious, it’s okay to talk to your children about what’s going on, but also making sure that we’re not creating fear and unnecessary anxiety, again, about things that are simply out of our control.
Brad Long: So I don’t think that it’s inappropriate to talk to them. I do think that it’s important to understand on what level to talk to your children. Certainly, talking to a 16-year-old or a senior in high school that’s having to miss their last few weeks of school is different than me talking to my three-year-old. We do talk about it. We limit their exposure to, obviously, hearing my conversation with another adult. In my opinion that’s not needed.
Brad Long: But also I think it’s important to create a routine. Something we’ve done in our household is we still make our kids get up at the same time every morning, going to bed at the same time, getting them dressed throughout the day like they would if they were going to school. That way you’re still creating some structure and some routine.
Brad Long: And also note that this is really, really hard on them and maybe understanding if they have a little bit more of an attitude. Their anxiety, their stress, all of these emotions that they experienced just like we do oftentimes present themselves differently than they would in an adult.
Brad Long: I know you probably have something to add to that.
Dr. Abubucker: Yeah, so I have three daughters and they’re all 11 and up. I think the way that you interact depends somewhat on the age group of the child and how much information you [inaudible 00:26:45] and how much you talk to them about. But I think it is worthwhile having conversations because there are often anxieties and worries that they may not be expressing directly to you, but that’s resulting in maybe behavioral issues, more irritability and things of that nature.
Dr. Abubucker: And sometimes families have gotten to the habit of having their own silos that they live in. One of the opportunities in this social distancing and living in own environment is that people have the opportunity to maybe sit down and do some activities with their child. Play a board game as opposed to something with technology that actually gets you to interact with your child. Those kinds of activities may help you reconnect with them.
Dr. Abubucker: And then in that process sometimes having conversations as opposed to necessarily having to have a sit-down conversation about this topic of COVID. Allow it to sort of naturally come about as a result of interaction.
Dr. Abubucker: I think that the same advice that I tend to give other adults is that, focus on what there’s control over. What is there in your life, what is happening locally in your surroundings, in your environment? What can you do about it? How can you approach it? What controls do you have? And that allows the person to feel more empowered and less helpless.
Dr. Abubucker: Part of the problem with this particular pandemic is that it’s a global thing and we see all these news clippings about all these statistics and they scare us. But the reality of the matter is that we’re not living that statistic and we’re not responsible for that entire global perspective. We’re just responsible for our own lives and focusing there allows us to feel less helpless.
Dr. Abubucker: And you can do that with children as well by helping them to see where they are. And for my kids, like one’s in college and she’s got online classes and the other kids have some online classes, too, from school. That gives them a level of structure and things to occupy their mind. If that’s not the case and the kids don’t have things, then I think it is important to create some activities and structure. Otherwise, it is very difficult for them to spend all of this time cooped up.
Dr. Abubucker: It’s also worthwhile if there are areas that you can go out. We went hiking recently, last week, just to get out of the house and still be around ourselves and still be away from other people physically. Thinking in that kind of direction may be another way to think about it.
Kerri: I like that.
Kerri: What kind of questions regarding finances? Finances are one of the biggest sources of conflict in marriages under normal circumstances. I read a statistic that said 31% of couples argue about money at least once a month. John Gottman, a leading psychologists in many areas of families and marriages suggested that arguments about money really aren’t about money. Many families are certainly feeling the strain of the economic impact of this quarantine, from furloughs or layoffs or other stressors.
Kerri: I’m wondering, what advice would you give to a couple that is struggling to agree about money and what can families do to protect their relationship from financial stressors?
Dr. Abubucker: You know, back to what I said about the fact that stressful situations tend to exacerbate underlying fractures. And so I think that’s probably what is happening with regards to financial stressors, that they’re exacerbating underlying fractures that are there.
Dr. Abubucker: It’s really sometimes challenging if the two individuals don’t really see eye-to-eye with regards to how to manage money. If one person is a saver and another person is a spender and that’s always been the case, then that can create extra stress in a situation where there is financial stress.
Dr. Abubucker: Having open, clear discussions about our value with regards to money and where do we stand and how do we want to approach it. What are necessary things that we need to take care of? What are discretionary things that we really need to figure out, how do we step back on? Those are all things that folks can think about to help them think through that process.
Dr. Abubucker: But I think a clear, open discussion about it as opposed to [defendency 00:30:47], which is to argue over single events. So something was purchased and then that results in an argument. And so because there isn’t sort of an agreement between the two about how are we spending money, what are our goals, what are our financial goals? And maybe this is an opportunity to have that discussion with each other. What is important financially?
Dr. Abubucker: And then sometimes figuring out together, how do we make these hard decisions? If, in terms of if there are jobs lost, how do we manage paying the rent and the utilities and things of that nature. Hopefully, the stimulus checks come in soon, which hopefully helps folks to have some alleviation of this. The fact that taxes can be paid later, if they have taxes to pay. Some of those things hopefully will help as well.
Kerri: Anything else you guys want to share with me?
Brad Long: Encourage folks. Oftentimes, as the doctor said, we can feel very hopeless and helpless in the midst of a chaotic and crisis situation. Know that we’re not in this alone. And I know that sounds kind of cheesy and sounds maybe like stuff than you would hear from a political figure, but knowing that we’re all going through this literally step-by-step together and knowing that even though we can’t control what we’re faced with, we can hopefully control at least some of the outcome.
Brad Long: And so doing what we can as individuals to… We hear our governor in Kentucky talk every day about doing our part and not looking to be the exception. I would just encourage folks that are listening to this to take that to heart. We have, I guess, the blessing here to work in a hospital and at this time still go to work every day, but also knowing that the halls of our hospital are very empty and are very lonely and are very tense.
Brad Long: And so, unfortunately, we get to see the darker side of things and see the reality that this is a real issue. So I would just encourage folks to do their part. Like we said earlier if you don’t have to get out, to not get out. If you do have to get out, to make sure that you’re following the guidelines of the physical distancing and good hand hygiene and those types of things.
Brad Long: And also know that I mean, this is just temporary, right? I mean this is not something that we’re going to live in forever. Although we may have a new normal, our new normal is certainly not going to look like it looks right now. And so find hope in knowing that this is just temporary and that we will all get through this at the end of the day.
Kerri: I love it. Skylar, Brad, Dr. Abubucker, thank you so much for joining me today.
Brad Long: Thank you for having us.
Skylar Phaup: Yeah, thank you so much.
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