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How are you coping?

A friend mentioned while her husband is going to the basement to work out and get buff, she’s increased her wine intake. She wonders if her liver will survive COVID-19.

Different coping skills during COVID-19 have no doubt been evolving by the sequenced stages of distancing. Likely, more casual for most in the beginning. Now, I have noticed the anxiety level increased in some, including myself. During this past month, I bet each one of us has hit the wall of our own personal frustration with the spiky virus.

Mine occurred Monday after the frightening storms passed.

Play by play: Wake up because the storm woke you up. Check. Make coffee. Check. Print off homeschool schedule and gear up to be the homeschooling cheerleader to motivate child for homework. Ugh and check. Get started on your work from home. Check.

My phone rings as multiple group work texts buzz through. I answered to hear my mother explaining that her 11-year-old German Shepherd, Lacey, was picked up by animal control. She received a call from the Humane Society to come pick her up. I asked about the morning feed routine and what time she was let out of the house. We had no idea and were confused as to how she was picked up by animal control in the first place.

Lacey was an older dog. We had already noticed marked changes by her slower movements and other signs of aging. I later found out per a neighbor’s account to the animal control officer that she had wandered to a back porch, to sit it out. Another neighbor that had seen her earlier reported that she did not look well. She has been at his home before, so as he left for work, he figured that she would return home. Her current tags did not have my mother’s phone number, but the officer knew she was chipped. So, off she went with the animal control officer. Then the phone call to pick her up. Sparing the chaotic details, within an hour and a half timeframe.

By the time Lacey returned home, she had expired.

I’m not writing this to make anyone sad; the message is coming. This was my wall, though. A month sheltered in place because of the pandemic is when I hit it.

Yesterday, with puffy eyes, I delivered something to my work and drove to the bank machine. I found that my route was spread out, which was OK. I needed the drive. By the end of my trek, I realized that I had made a circle around Greenwood and felt like I could do it again. Just keep driving. I was looking out of the window at all of the vacant business parking lots. It was then that it hit me, that I am tired of this. Still thankful, but as another friend has put it to me, “If this were a New Year’s resolution we would have broken it within the first hour.” I’ll admit that my anxiety level has kicked up since Monday. There have been a couple of stare-down contests with the whiskey hidden in the back of the pantry (don’t judge). And no, Pastor Chris, I did not have any.

My hound, Copper, and smaller mutt, Lily, became Lacey’s buddies nearly four years ago. I had just commented last week that the hound, her running buddy, had probably added about two years to her life by playing with her. Certainly, to her quality of life since being together. She looked very regal sitting in the clover last week. We all miss her.

We are all missing one another. People need people.

Lacey had a good life. She was loved and she gave love. She was well fed.

May we not feed our fear but cope well to feed our faith. I believe we will all be together again soon. Hang on and hold your faith.

Rhonda Merritt is a Greenwood native. She is a practicing occupational therapist.  She serves on the Programs and Education Committee of Greenwood Women Care and serves with the Rock Presbyterian Church Praise Team.

About this blog

From telecommuting to the new public home school model, a growing number of us are homebound for the foreseeable future as we take unprecedented steps to slow and hopefully stop the spread of the new coronavirus that is sweeping the world. This blog is our attempt to catalog some of the daily changes we are experiencing together. If you want to share your story with us, email us at



On Sunday, the Palmetto State recorded its highest number of new COVID-19 cases in nearly two months as the nation is seeing its highest number of daily new cases.

State health officials reported 628 new confirmed cases and 57 new probable cases of the novel coronavirus on Saturday, as well as 14 additional confirmed deaths and two new probable deaths.

State health officials reported 784 new confirmed cases and 83 new probable cases of the novel coronavirus on Friday, as well as 18 additional confirmed deaths and 5 new probable deaths.

State health officials reported 921 new confirmed cases and 79 new probable cases of the novel coronavirus on Thursday, as well as 40 additional confirmed deaths and 10 new probable deaths.

State health officials reported 686 new confirmed cases and 86 new probable cases of the novel coronavirus on Wednesday, along with 11 additional confirmed deaths and 1 new probable death.

State health officials reported 666 new confirmed cases and 66 new probable cases of the novel coronavirus on Tuesday, along with 25 additional confirmed deaths and 10 new probable deaths.