Unpacking the Sh*t Show that was 2020 with KaRon Spriggs-Bethea - E023
It's time to get to unpacking 2020. 2020 has been a hell of a year for all of us. Covid-19 happened, lots of people lost their jobs, others lost their loved ones, and pretty much everything that we couldn't even imagine happened this year.
On today's episode, we're unpacking 2020 with KaRon Spriggs-Bethea, and we share our perspectives trying to understand what happened and what we can learn from it. He also shares his experience and lessons while working in the LGBTQ community, in Pittsburgh Pennsylvania, how working as a health care worker looks like, and his best practices for dealing with anxiety and depression during uncertain times.
Go ahead and take a listen to my conversation with KaRon. Then message me on Instagram with your biggest takeaway. Got questions? I'd love to hear from you.
TODAY'S GUEST: KARON SPRIGGS-BETHEA
> How KaRon's working days look like and what it means to work with HIV individuals and helping the HIV community on a daily basis (08:54)
> Pennsylvania's current outlook after the election (16:05)
> The situation with Coronavirus is going in both Canada and Pennsylvania and how this affect us on a daily basis (25:25)
> How important is to protect yourself from Covid-19 and how health care workers are affected by the virus (28:50)
> How KaRon deals with quarantine and isolation (35:23)
E023: Unpacking the Sh*t Show that was 2020 with KaRon Spriggs-Bethea
It’s time to get to unpacking 2020. This episode focuses on what this crazy year has been. We’ve been doing this for most of the episodes. We’ve been unpacking 2020 and trying to make an understanding around the shitshow that has happened.
Me and KaRon Spriggs-Bethea sit down and he shares his perspective of working in the LGBTQ+ community in Pittsburg, Pennsylvania in this very turbulent time. Especially considering Pennsylvania was the state that turned the election blue. I hope you enjoy this episode.
Amy: [00:01:16] Okay, welcome back. On this episode of What We're NOT Talking About, I have KaRon Spriggs-Bethea with me. KaRon is a social worker and host of the podcast titled “The Karonicle,” a show about the random thoughts going on inside his head. On today's podcast, we're going to take a slightly different approach.
Although KaRon and I have briefly spoken, we're both going into this conversation without knowing where it'll end up. I thought it would be great for us to start this conversation and see where it flows with no expected outcome. We're going to let the vibe of the day lead us to where it wants to go.
KaRon, are you ready?
KaRon: [00:01:53] I am!
Amy: [00:01:54] Amazing. Okay, first I just want to mention that I love the name of your podcast
KaRon: [00:02:00] Thank you.
Amy: [00:02:01] And second, Oh, sorry. Go on.
KaRon: [00:02:03] I was just going to say that it's so funny because I was at work one day and talking to one of my coworkers. And I was like, “I'm going to be starting a podcast. I have all this list of names that I want to name it.”
And she's like, “Well, how about we go with ‘The Karonicle’?”
I want to make sure every time someone tells me that I wanna make sure I give her credit for that.
Amy: [00:02:29] I love it. That was great. It's a great name. I love all these spinoffs of people's names. I've seen a few of them and I just love them. I think they're so intelligent. Have you ever heard of the podcast Nava Bro? It's by a Navajo man. I was just like, “This is another cool name. I love it.”
KaRon: [00:02:53] I do like that.
Amy: [00:02:54] Yeah, that was really, really cool. So, KaRon, please, tell us a little bit about who you are and what sort of thoughts are running inside that head of yours.
KaRon: [00:03:03] Yeah. So, as you said, I'm a social worker. I actually work at a clinic that works with people with HIV and AIDS. We work to get them all set up and get them the meds that they need, just making sure that they're fully supported basically. I'm also a therapist.
I do private practice on the side. Anything from couples to individuals, anxiety, depression, all of that. It’s been very rewarding. I've been doing that for about almost a year now. I should say I've been doing it consistently for almost a year now.
“The Karonicle,” like you said, it's also just random topics. I’ve used it partially for unpacking 2020. So, the past topics that I've done have been things on... I've actually been focusing a lot lately on mental health and self-care and things like that. Which is my focus in my professional life. That's been really nice.
My episode that just came out yesterday was about a filmmaker that I talked to.
He does a lot of things with trauma and mental health. He talks a lot about the trauma that he's been through and the latest project that he's working on, which is actually a really cool thing. I think he said it comes out like within the next year or so. It's always just something, whatever the heck just comes through whenever I'm feeling like recording. I think next week I'm actually doing one on Thanksgiving.
I already have that recorded and it's all good. But I have so many things that I wanna do with this podcast. I want to spread out into the world. I'm just trying to make it as good and as widespread for everyone that has interests in pretty much anything. So anything, even unpacking 2020
Amy: [00:05:25] Yeah, I think that's awesome. Even using it for unpacking 2020. The inclusivity of these certain podcasts is so beautiful. I used to have an online business in the business coaching area of the internet. Not to rag on it, but it's so blah. It's pressing, I guess, for business people.
I just feel like there's so much that we should be talking about that we're just not talking about it in a way that’s accessible to the people that really need to hear about it.
KaRon: [00:06:00] Right. Right. And I completely agree. I've tried. I try to, again, make sure that anyone that wants to listen to it has that opportunity to listen to it. Even unpacking 2020. I'm always asking people to share it with their friends or family, all of that. It's a show for pretty much everyone, no matter what, what your interests are.
Amy: [00:06:32] Yeah, that's really awesome. I think that's great because it's not like we're just one type of person. It's not like we only want to listen about mental health. We want to hear about unpacking 2020. I'm really into, and I don't believe in them necessarily, but I love learning about conspiracy theories and things about aliens and really ridiculous, far out there stuff.
But it's also cool to be able to listen to the same type of person talk about how to manage anxiety or how to show up when you really don't want to.
KaRon: [00:07:00] Right, right. Absolutely. Oh yeah.
It's funny that you bring that up.
I was just talking to someone, because when I was in college, I took a psychopathology class.
That was one thing that really got me more into paranormal things. I won't say I completely believe it, but having more of an understanding of these things. One girl in my class did her final project on the Ouji board.
She walked around the little town that we went to school in using the Ouji board and walked around campus as well. And the stories that she told us about that was just like, “Oh my goodness, this is absolutely insane.”
Amy: [00:07:56] Yeah. And I've not had many experiences with that. I do remember the one thing that I've had with the Ouji board. We were at a sleepover. I think I was like 11 years old or something. And we didn't know what we were doing. You're 11, you have no idea.
KaRon: [00:08:09] Right.
Amy: [00:08:10] Yeah. And then we're like, “Give us a sign, give us a sign.”
Then the phone rang and we answered it and it was dead on the other line. And from that moment, I was like, “I believe in everything.” It was terrifying.
KaRon: [00:08:20] No. Thank you.
Amy: [00:08:22] Yeah. And I'm still like a little child, basically. I'm terrified of the dark. It's really bad. I'm just so scared of the dark.
Although ghost stories, all that paranormal stuff, I think it's really cool, but in the light of the day.
KaRon: [00:08:37] Oh, absolutely. Yeah. I don't look at horror movies, anything like that. I don't watch them at night. My mind likes to play a lot of tricks on me.
Amy: [00:08:50] Yeah, I feel that. I definitely feel that.
I want to talk little bit about your work that you do, and unpacking 2020. So, you work with HIV and AIDS positive individuals. God, that must be really hard and tough to deal with on the daily.
KaRon: [00:09:07] So, this is actually a completely new position for me. I started about two weeks ago. I've always had an interest and a desire to work with this population because it's such an underrepresented population. When the job came up, I was like, “Oh my gosh, I have to take this.”
The first time I had contact with this particular clinic that I'm working at now, I was working in the hospital. We had a patient that was newly diagnosed and we had to find his family for him because he was unresponsive and not able to give us any information.
That was really heartbreaking for me. Especially with him being newly diagnosed. He didn't even know that he was HIV positive. So, working very closely with the physician assistant over there was really nice. That gave me my first taste of what really goes on and how that really went.
It really solidified that idea of that's where I wanted to be.
When I was in grad school, I volunteered at a place, a LGBT youth center, where they did a lot of HIV-positive, sex-positive things for the youth of the community. It was a great experience that really helped me, even solidified a little bit more, that this was the population that I wanted to work with.
Amy: [00:10:53] Yeah. I've not done much work myself. I mean, for you this was before we even had to think about unpacking 2020. The only real... I have two experiences, one is just like secondhand. I had a therapist, my very first therapist, actually. She worked with the HIV/AIDS population in Toronto, Canada during the outbreak, like back in the eighties, nineties, when people were dying.
KaRon: [00:11:14] Yep.
Amy: [00:11:15] Yeah. So, and she would tell me a lot about it and it was just so heartbreaking. She said she was losing clients every day, at least one a day. I was just like, “Wow.” I think like there's been so much progress in the area. But, we, because it's not as in our face as it was, we kind of forgot.
And it's so hard to hold our attention these days.
So, I think that's a beautiful community to be helping out. And I'm very happy that you've been able to take on this position so recently.
KaRon: [00:11:52] Thank you. Yeah. These last two weeks have been very amazing, honestly. I've done more to help someone in the last two weeks than I have in a very long time. It’s some rewarding work. It is hard at times, just from the observations that I've seen being there. There are some times where all we want to do is just give up.
But we know that this is a population that we cannot just give up on. They're counting on us as their social workers to be that support, especially if they don't have that family support.
Amy: [00:12:45] Yeah, absolutely. And that's something that, unfortunately, is, from my understanding, common among that population as well. I’m sure they are unpacking 2020 and its horrors.
KaRon: [00:12:52] Absolutely. Yep.
Amy: [00:12:55] And it's just devastating because you've got a horrible situation and then you don't have any support. I cannot imagine being in that place. I would feel so alone.
KaRon: [00:13:07] Yeah. Yeah.
I was talking to one of my clients yesterday.
He was telling me his story and I was like, “Wow. This is the first time I've had this time to actually talk to someone about this. And to have their story being told to me in this way…” And it was really nice. Even if it was just like a five minute conversation, he was able to tell me this. And I was able to connect with him.
This was like our first time actually meeting. So, it was nice to have that connection, even in that first meeting.
Amy: [00:13:49] Yeah, absolutely. And you can help your clients with unpacking 2020.
For the work that you're doing now, I know you're new in the position, but is the work you're doing mostly psychotherapy? Or maybe not psychotherapy, but therapy type counseling?
KaRon: [00:14:01] No, no. We actually have a therapist on site that we can refer people to. My position is more of the case management and support system type of assistance.
Amy: [00:14:18] Okay. And now where in the world are you again?
KaRon: [00:14:20] I live in Pennsylvania, United States. Yeah.
Amy: [00:14:24] Are you in Philly? Are you in a smaller town?
KaRon: [00:14:27] Pittsburgh.
Amy: [00:14:29] Pittsburgh. Okay, cool. So, still a city.
KaRon: [00:14:31] Yeah.
It's pretty weird because Pittsburgh is a big city, but it's also really small.
Physically it's big, but you pretty much will see the same people all the time. There's so many different suburbs of Pittsburgh, so many different areas of Pittsburgh. But yeah, you will pretty much see the same people over and over again.
Amy: [00:15:05] I know that type of city, I used to live in a city like that. It was a very large area, but you'd always… The same day, you'd be in two different areas of the city and you'd run into the same person. And you're just like, “How is this possible?” And it would happen regularly. I think that's the craziest thing. (But now unpacking 2020 is crazier.)
It's not like once every like blue moon or anything like
KaRon: [00:15:23] Right. It's like, “I just saw you. What in the world is happening?”
Amy: [00:15:28] Yeah. So I like that. I actually really like those cities because it breaks down that idea that it can't be community oriented, almost.
KaRon: [00:15:39] We completely agree with you.
Amy: [00:15:42] Yeah. So, I think that that is like one benefit. Are you from Pittsburgh or?
KaRon: [00:15:45] No, I'm from Pennsylvania.
I'm actually from the Harrisburg area.
So, another bigger city. But I moved to Pittsburgh for school, and just decided to stay here after I graduated. So, I've been in Pittsburgh for about five years.
Amy: [00:16:01] Awesome. That's great. How is the situation there right now? Like with the aftermath of the election?
KaRon: [00:16:08] You know, it's not terrible.
Amy: [00:16:13] Okay. That's positive. I mean, that's better than a lot of other people I've interviewed is that.
KaRon: [00:16:17] It's not terrible. I think… So, I'm not gonna lie. I cried when the results actually became official. And because as a African-American male that is in a community that is not, completely... What's the way I want to say this? I don't want to say completely fond of people outside of their race, outside of the norm of what they're used to.
But it's been very hard. I get a lot of heads turning towards me, especially whenever I'm walking into the grocery store down the street. Or, even when I'm just walking around or driving around the little town that I live in. The part of town that I live in, I should say.
There have been a couple of times where my sister came to visit me.
It was about six months ago or so. There were a couple people in the nail salon that she went to that were just bashing minorities and bashing LGBTQ people, things like that. It was just like, wow, okay. This is the area that I live in. I did not completely realize that.
I mean, I've seen it, but I didn't know that it was as rampant as it was. So, now I've been a little more on alert, then I had been previously. But for the most part there hasn't been too many riots, or even protests.
It's been pretty quiet because also the county I live in voted blue-blue and normally does vote blue for the majority of elections. So, it hasn't been as bad. This has been some of the crap we’ve dealt with in unpacking 2020.
Amy: [00:18:34] Yeah. And that's good. I think the places where they've been turned is like where it, from my understanding... and like Pennsylvania, are you guys normally a swing state?
KaRon: [00:18:47] Yeah. This year was especially important because last election was the first time in almost 30 something years that it did turn red. This year we were one of the most deciding factors of the election.
Amy: [00:19:08] Yeah, so I actually went to Pennsylvania the March after he took office and I was in the country, like where it was, you know. And it was like, excuse my French, fucking terrifying. Even as I am a white female, I am not a minority.
It was the scariest thing I've ever experienced. I'm pretty positive.
KaRon: [00:19:35] Yeah. So, during both of these elections, his first run and then this current election, it was terrifying. With the first election I was interning at one of the state hospitals, state psychiatric hospitals. The town that it was in was overwhelmingly... Actually the county that it was in was overwhelmingly in support of him. And this is part of the unpacking of 2020 and before.
So, driving through there, again, as being part of the LGBT community, I was so afraid of something happening. Just seeing the amount of people driving around with the bumper stickers, with the flags on their car, the flags in their windows, things like that. It was just, it was very unnerving.
Amy: [00:20:36] Yeah. I know. I'm in Canada. I know that we're still very racist up here, but the overtness in the United States. Where I'm not... But I know people that are in the privacy of their home, they are horrible human beings. But when...
KaRon: [00:20:53] Right. Right.
Amy: [00:20:54] They're behaving, it's so scary.
KaRon: [00:21:00] And unfortunately it... I hate to...
I'm sorry to get political, but it's at the hands of the leader of this country that has so much power.
He has brought about so many things, so much hatred, and so much the rhetoric that he has brought about has just been so bad for our country and so bad for the environment. It allows people to just say, “I'm going to overtly be racist. I'm overtly going to be homophobic.”
And I actually really hate using the word homophobic. Because you're not scared of people of the same-sex it's, it's more of a, what's the word? I can't even. It's another -cism that comes out. You're not afraid, it's something that you're not comfortable with. And I can’t believe this is something we have to unpack in 2020.
Amy: [00:22:09] Yeah. The one thing I don't understand because I view humanity... I try to look at us like we are, at the base of all of us, good human beings. Obviously, that's not the case for so many. But, I just don't know how these people have gotten to a place of sheer hatred for individuals that they don't even know. It’s taken unpacking 2020 for me to really realize that.
KaRon: [00:22:34] Yeah. Yeah.
Amy: [00:22:35] It's baffling to me. And why? I mean, I'm sure you've been fighting with this horrible for your entire life. I’m at a loss for words, and I'm never really at a loss for words.
KaRon: [00:22:54] Yeah.
I've personally wanted to interview people to say, “I need to understand because I can't intellectually get why you are like this.”
KaRon: [00:23:07] Exactly. Yeah. And I'm probably going to sound super crazy talking about this, but I have a fascination with serial killers as well. My true crime things. That’s kind of my fascination with people that can be overtly racist or overtly against a group that they're not a part of, basically. I don't know if you've seen this article, but, apparently Pittsburgh is one of a few cities that have a huge hate group population.
Amy: [00:23:54] Oh, no, I haven't seen this.
KaRon: [00:23:55] Yeah. Another part of unpacking 2020. There was an article that came out probably about two or three weeks ago that I saw this chronicled in. This is one of a few cities that has a huge population of hate groups. And I was like, “What? Wait a minute. Where in the world is this happening?” So, just thinking about how this election did turn out, I'm somewhat afraid. I don't know how that will affect the way that the people in the party that lost and mostly have that ideology will react. Especially after the inauguration and things like that.
Amy: [00:24:56] Yeah, I think that's one of the scariest things, that this isn't over. Got to get out of office. They've got to go in, there's a lot to happen. And then they get to deal with unpacking 2020.
KaRon: [00:25:09] Exactly. We still have two months until the inauguration. So, there's still going to be all of this uncertainty, this unknown. Even with the Coronavirus, we're still soaring pretty high.
Pennsylvania put out whole new mandates for us.
Even when we're outside, we have to wear a mask. Even if you're by yourself, even when you're in your house with someone else, and even if you are six feet away from each other, you still have to wear a mask. They’re putting stricter mandates down, because the United States is going into their third wave of the virus. And, unpacking 2020, we shouldn’t have a third wave.
They only said we were supposed to have two waves. We're going into the third wave right now. So, it's scary. It's so scary. I just had a couple of clients or a client who says that his whole family caught the virus and they were lucky because they didn't have as many or as severe symptoms as someone else may have had.
It's a really scary thing because our death toll is going up even more as well. It’s very unnerving because we don't have the support that we need right now to try to curb this as much as possible, so it doesn't kill as many people, or continue to kill as many people as it has in the past.
I know there's a vaccine that's supposed to be coming out. They're hoping within the next couple weeks, but I'm not very optimistic about that either.
Amy: [00:27:19] Yeah, I'm the same way I have like weird.... I'm not an anti-vaxxer.
I'm always very apprehensive about putting certain big pharma products into my body.
So, I am a little nervous too. In Canada, this is the flu shot season, so everyone else is out getting it. And we just had an article in our province where it says like, “There were 15,000 flu shots were bad-batched.” All I can think of is like, “Well, what if that happens with the Corona virus?” Like, what does it look like? Because a lot of people don't understand that... Like, I don't know how the coronavirus vaccine works, but with the flu shot, you actually get part of the flu virus injected into you. And if it’s anything like we’re dealing with about unpacking 2020, it’s going to be worrisome.
KaRon: [00:28:06] Right. Right, exactly. So, for me, with the Coronavirus vaccine, I'm very apprehensive because it's being pushed through so quickly. Things could potentially be missed that may have been caught if we had a little bit more time to go over it a little bit more in depth.
That's what I'm worried about is that there are gonna be things that... That’s normal. It happens. There's always going to be something that may get missed. But with something at this level that is a global pandemic, we need to make sure that it is at top-notch. We need something that is going to actually work for everyone.
Amy: [00:29:03] Yeah, exactly. The one article that I saw recently about the United States that just shocked me was the fact that Doctors Without Borders are putting all of their doctors in the United States. That's insane. Like how? Wow.
KaRon: [00:29:23] Yeah. I work for a big healthcare system in Pittsburgh.
And we get a lot of updates on how the health systems are doing due to that.
Healthcare workers are being affected the most. They're going to be deploying potentially some outpatient providers to the hospitals. Because people in the hospital are getting sick. So, it's something that is very serious. And people here are just not taking it as seriously as we should be. And that’s part of unpacking 2020, is that they weren’t then either.
Amy: [00:30:08] Yeah, they're all just concerned about their free rights to not wear a mask.
KaRon: [00:30:12] I'm going to wear a mask no matter where I'm at. Hell, even after this is over, I'm probably still going to wear a mask whenever I'm going into the store and things like that, because you never know.
Amy: [00:30:27] Exactly. Yeah.
The one thing I'm always curious about... And I do need a precursor to what I'm about to say with the fact that I'm not the greatest biologist. So, what I say might be full of crap, but I know we go out into the world and we are in contact with germs.
So, when we're using these masks and we're preventing ourselves from the Coronavirus, what element of immune building that we would normally get is missing? And how do we build that back up in a way that is not going to destroy our system?
KaRon: [00:31:04] This is very true. Yeah, this is very true. And that is something that I've heard.
I've heard a lot of arguments against masks, that we're just messing up our immune system even more.
I get that to an extent, but also we have to make sure that we're not messing up the environment and giving off these particles that are running around? Or we're spreading around, especially with the coronavirus, because we see how deadly it can be. We need to be protecting everyone and not thinking about ourselves in that way. Because in unpacking 2020, people died.
Amy: [00:31:51] Yeah. And that it's so hard because in North America and Western Europe, we have such an individualism like idea. Capitalism is really based on that, too. That's one reason why I believe that a lot of places...
I interviewed a man who lives in China and we were talking about this and it’s so community oriented. The grandparents live in the house or the apartment with the parents and the children.
It's more in your face where we have a lot of old… Like, my grandmother is in a home. So, she's, out of sight, out of mind, almost. It's just such a different type of ideology that we hold here that I really believe is one reason why we just can't get this under control.
KaRon: [00:32:41] Yeah, I completely agree. I think it's an individualized mindset that a lot of us have. That's why we're not moving as quickly towards a resolution as we would like to be.
Instead we're like, “Oh, this is a thing that's happening and it's not affecting me. So, why should I worry about it?”
Amy: [00:33:11] Yeah. I also truly believe in the desensitization of it, especially with all the stuff that's going on with the anti-masks, unpacking 2020 and what happened there, and even the anti-vaccine stuff around it too. It's so overwhelming that I believe so many of us have disconnected.
KaRon: [00:33:30] Yeah.
Amy: [00:33:31] And they’re just like, “I can't process this.”
And, unfortunately, a by-product of that is maybe not being as safe.
KaRon: [00:33:38] Yeah. The COVID fatigue. It’s a part of unpacking 2020. And that's what it is. I mean, that’s with healthcare workers, private citizens, all of that. We're all just feeling fatigued. There's some people that can work past that fatigue. And then there's other people that are just like, “This is just too much.”
And, as a therapist, I talk a lot with people about how have you been dealing with the isolation? How have you been dealing with not being able to go out places or the changing of your daily life?
Because we can't do a lot of things. A lot of things are closing and a lot of things require you to have this before you do something. And, you may have to get a test, like Pennsylvania, if you're traveling outside of the state. Or you're traveling into Pennsylvania from another state, you have to either quarantine for two weeks or you have to have a test that's negative within 72 hours of you coming to Pennsylvania.
It's one of those things where they're trying their hardest to make sure that we're all staying safe.
But if people aren't listening to or wanting to actually abide by these things, we're not going to get anywhere basically. It’s no wonder we have a hard time unpacking 2020.
Amy: [00:35:16] Yeah, absolutely. Well, you were just saying about how you are checking in. How are you doing with it?
KaRon: [00:35:23] You know, at first I wasn't liking it because I was not able to go out and do things. And then I was like, “This is actually kind of nice.” I don't have to leave my house. And I don't have to like, get dressed. I don't have to socialize if I don't want to socialize. Because I am an introverted extrovert.
Amy: [00:35:55] Yeah, me too. Yeah.
KaRon: [00:35:56] I like my alone time. But then again, I do like to have that time with other people. So, I think depression set in for me pretty hard, probably around like April or May.
I isolated myself completely, I didn't talk to anyone, I didn't reach out to anyone. And I was like, “I'm here, I'm at home. I don't need to do anything else.” Basically, what I had to do to get out of that was force myself to go out and do something in the community.
I had to choose, whether that be walking, going to the grocery store, or having some sort of interaction with someone. Even if it wasn't someone that I knew.
But having that time to do these things, to get me out of that funk that I was in… The last week or so I've actually been switching a lot of my sessions to virtual, because of the rise. It's been rising pretty significantly and pretty quickly here.
And so I want to take any sort of exposure off of the table and we can do virtual for the time being. If you're not okay with that, then we'll have to figure out a way for us to be seen. Or we may just have to wait. Even if they are having a hard time unpacking 2020.
And so after the holidays, that's been how I've been trying to go about it because I am also at a pretty high risk of getting it. So I'm trying to make sure that for myself, that I'm not getting it. But also that if I am asymptomatic in any way that I'm not passing it on to anyone else.
Amy: [00:38:04] Yeah. Yeah, exactly. And I mean, I don't know if your new position is in-person or if it's virtual right now, but you are working with a very high risk population.
KaRon: [00:38:12] Exactly. As of right now, I am on site, but we're not fully meeting with people. Normally we would be seeing people in the clinic, giving them things, all of that. But, basically, we put things in envelopes. We try to do things virtually as much as possible, so that we reduce that one-on-one contact as much as possible.
Not because we don't wanna see them, but because we're trying to protect everyone. A lot of our clients take the bus to get into the clinic.
That's not a good place to be at when you're immunocompromised either.
Amy: [00:39:00] Yeah, absolutely. That's just like one thing on top of another, on top of another, on top of another.
KaRon: [00:39:09] Exactly. Yup. So, we, as of right now, because I'm so new and I'm still training, I am onsite. But once I get my training up-to-date, or once I'm done with training, which I'm hoping will be in the next like two or three weeks, I will be able to work from home and deal with unpacking 2020 there.
Amy: [00:39:24] Okay, that's good
KaRon: [00:39:25] And I think they're trying to keep at least one social worker in the office so that if there is something that someone does need, there is someone that can provide that at that time.
Like I said, we're trying to reduce the contact as much as possible with the increasing rise. That population’s rate of being able to catch it is a lot higher.
Amy: [00:39:59] Yeah. And I would feel like if your organization was not doing that, that would be obviously malpractice. So, that's good to know. And I know a few people that have started new jobs during this because they lost their job or they had this moment where they were like, “I'm going to change my life because I hated what I was doing,” and Corona kind of allowed them to step into that unknown territory even more.
KaRon: [00:40:28] Yeah. Yup.
Amy: [00:40:29] It's so interesting because they're in the government and they're going to learn.
They're there and they're being very safe, but it's still an environment that a lot of people don't necessarily need to be in.
And they're going to work and doing that.
That's a whole other level of stress now being added. It's just... Like, I work from home, I'm doing my masters, I'm becoming a therapist as well. So, I'm very safe inside. I’m over here just learning about Freud and Young and all that stuff. And, so thankful. It gives me time to start unpacking 2020.
KaRon: [00:41:04] Yeah. I'm actually in my doctoral program right now. It's definitely been an experience.
Amy: [00:41:15] Yeah, I bet. This year has just been, wow. You think we could see it all. And then 2020 was like, “Wait, just wait for it.”
KaRon: [00:41:25] We have more to show you. Now we’re really unpacking 2020 and everything it brought to light. Unpacking 2020 has put so much on the table.
Amy: [00:41:27] I still say this to everyone I talk about the year with, as we are unpacking 2020. I'm still waiting for the aliens to come though. I'm hoping I'm ready. You know, I might as well.
KaRon: [00:41:37] True. Well, apparently…
Wasn't it in the United States that there was a UFO that was apparently spotted at some point?
But no one knew about it because we were so focused on Coronavirus?
Amy: [00:41:53] Oh, my goodness. This is crazy that I missed this and now I learn about it while unpacking 2020. I mean, I’ll obviously just go on Reddit and the internet now and try to find this.
KaRon: [00:42:00] It was a confirmed UFO and it was on the news.
Amy: [00:42:05] Confirmed? From who?
KaRon: [00:42:07] I don't remember.
Amy: [00:42:10] Oh my gosh, this is even confirmed! That's intense. Have we ever had confirmed UFO sightings?
KaRon: [00:42:17] don't think so.
Amy: [00:42:19] What? Sorry. I'm in shock right now. I'm like, “How did I miss this?” Oh my gosh. Yeah, this is what I'm doing.
KaRon: [00:42:25] it was like in the middle of everything. So, the election was starting to, well, at least in the United States, the election was starting to ramp up again. That was during our primary. So we were all focused on trying to pick the best candidate for the democratic party. And then also Coronavirus was ramping up.
Plus, we were all on lockdown. So, a lot of us were just not worried about anything else, you know?
Amy: [00:42:56] Can’t handle it.
KaRon: [00:42:57] Yeah, exactly. So, I don't know. I think I just happened to turn on the TV, which, I've actually cut out a lot of media, social media.
I have a limit on what I do on social media or what I read on social media.
But I like the media in general, like the news. All of that.
I've actually cut it out of my daily routine anymore because it's been so toxic for my mental health. And they aren’t even unpacking 2020 on it yet.
Amy: [00:43:28] Yeah, me too. Like, even I can kind of deal with the news a little bit more than like social media. The battles that are going on in social media too, when it comes to... A lot of it is Republican Democrat, you know,
KaRon: [00:43:42] Right,
Amy: [00:43:42] and you just see them threatening the lives of these people. It's just sickening and nothing is being done.
Yeah. I’m like, god, ugh, man. I really truly hope that this is like the phoenix-in-the-ashes kind of situation. Like we're burning it down.
KaRon: [00:44:02] Oh my gosh. I hope so as well.
Amy: [00:44:05] I'm really holding onto that. I think so many of us are because it's just like, “How much worse can it get?” I mean, I know it can get worse.
KaRon: [00:44:16] Right, right. It's one of those things where everyone's like on the edge of their seats. Like, “Oh my gosh, what is going to happen next?”
Amy: [00:44:25] Yeah. Still, the aliens apparently have already come. So now I'm like, “Well, what will it be? A meteor?” I don't know. They find like a lion in... I don't even know. I don't even know. It's so crazy.
Well, thank you so much for joining me for this episode.
It's been great. And I love these conversations where we just start and see where it goes. It’s so valuable.
KaRon: [00:45:54] Yes, absolutely.
Amy: [00:45:55] If you're interested in connecting with KoRan, don't worry, you'll go to show notes in the description of this episode. You can click on the link and you'll be able to access this podcast and everywhere else that he's hanging out online.
So, thanks again. What I love to end the episode with is a question to you. So, you will be the last person talking.
So, as a therapist who has been working during this crazy year, what are some words that you would, like, words of advice, words of wisdom, that you would like to share with the listeners when it comes to, in the most calming way, or sane way maybe, end this year?
KaRon: [00:45:44] Reach out to people. Make sure that you have that support and you are reaching out to those supports, especially through the end of the year. We are going into the holiday season and it's going to be more important than ever now. Because these are the times that we're so used to being with our families, being with that social support.
Make sure that you are reaching out to them. If you can't be with them, utilize things like zoom and video chatting. You can make sure that you are still having some sort of a part in those festivities. I actually just put up my Christmas tree today, because I felt, “I need some cheer in my life right now.”
Just make sure that you are doing these things, getting those supports, and talking to those people that you feel are the most supportive of you.