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Using Our Developed Resilience to Cope with COVID-19

Alethea Mshar
Special needs mom and Blogger
06/22/20  3:48 PM PST

How We’re Using the Resilience Developed While Living with Disabilities to Cope With COVID-19

Last year my son, Alex, and I were thrilled to take part in our local Farmer’s Market. By the time our season wrapped up last year and I covered the cost of our garden expenses, Alex had banked a few hundred dollars. We had made friends and connections in our local community and had some great mother-son bonding time together. As we planned the garden and started our seeds this spring we were also watching the Coronavirus pandemic evolve. By the time we moved our tiny starts from under the grow lights to the greenhouse it was obvious that we would not be able to participate this year.

With the medical conditions our younger son has in addition to Down syndrome, we have opted to use great caution to avoid bringing Coronavirus into our home. And as part of our caution, the Farmers Market is not a risk we’re willing to take. However, our garden had been planned long before we made this decision. The plans included expansion in order to grow even more produce for our vendor stall at the market.

resilience covid-19

Our Resilience to COVID-19

We weren’t about to be thwarted by circumstances beyond our control. If there is anything that living in a family affected by multiple disabilities and medical conditions has taught us, it’s how to adapt and overcome when our circumstances change. We long ago decided that when plans are thwarted our response will be resilience. With plenty of practice at choosing plan B (or C or D), we are quick to use our mental flexibility and creative problem-solving. I like to think of it as a muscle that has been conditioned by plenty of exercise.

Since we aren’t afraid of changing our plans, we were quick to brainstorm other ideas as soon as we realized that this year was different. That gave us time to evaluate our options and develop a strong alternative plan in plenty of time to bring it to fruition.

This weekend, just one full week after the opening of the local Farmers Market, we placed our own little farm stand at the end of our driveway. It wasn’t our first choice, but it might be even better. Whereas the Farmers Market had been limited to just Alex and me, our whole family has been able to pitch in for the farm stand. 

We didn’t get our first choice, and that’s okay. Coronavirus has forced many to change plans this year. We’re happy to adapt and are thankful for our resilience to COVID-19 and the ability to protect our family.

inclusion on the playground

Alethea Mshar is a Special Needs Mom and Blogger.

Read her blog, Ben’s Writing, Running Mom

Follow her on Facebook


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