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A few members of the KCA community have shared what is helping them stay safe, sane, and be joyful through the coronavirus pandemic. 

Susan Alanis | KCA’s Director of Gift Processing

What are you doing to stay safe?

I’m wearing a mask when I do have to go out in public. It’s also so important to eat healthy to maintain a good immune system.  I’m juicing a few days a week.

What are you doing to stay sane?

I’m taking long bike rides and spending more time in my garden.

What is bringing you joy?

Beautiful nature has a way of making me feel that everything will be okay. Daily calls with my daughter also bring me great joy.

Gretchen E. Vaughan | KCA’s President and Chief Executive Officer

What are you doing to stay safe?

Having access to minute by minute scientific updates from the top medical minds in the world, being somewhat of a germaphobe as well as an asthmatic, and having a deep mindfulness in regards to the health and wellbeing of others, there should be no doubt that I am strictly quarantining at home! My infrequent outings consist of only necessary trips to the grocery store, etc for things I’m unable to get online – fully masked and gloved!

What are you doing to stay sane?

 I would say my sweet pup, Norm, is my saving grace – always full of love, attention and snuggles!  Additional means of therapy include: personal training workouts via FaceTime, Fr. Sean’s virtual homilies and humor on Sundays, virtual happy hours with friends, the brilliance of Texas allowing alcohol delivery, Dr. Teal’s Lavender Bubble Bath, humor, endless HGTV and an enormous amount of online shopping.  I’m pretty sure I am single-handedly going to keep our economy alive while I go bankrupt (you’re welcome).

What is bringing you joy?

No one could have convinced me of the boundless joy a dog could bring until Norm entered my life.  In addition to his unconditional love and constant entertainment, I find the majority of my joy these days comes from my never-ending love of music and being outside enjoying nature.

John Ferrell | KCA’s Patient and Caregiver Advisory Council

What are you doing to stay safe?

 I am staying safe by social distancing, wearing a mask in public places and staying home as much as I can!

What are you doing to stay sane?

Zoom happy hours with friends and family, binging on Netflix (Tiger King, Ozark, Narcos) and trying new recipes!

What is bringing you joy?

Spending the extra time with my family.

Deb Maskens | KCA’s Patient and Caregiver Advisory Council

What are you doing to stay safe?

Most importantly, I am staying HOME! Safe and sound. Grateful to everyone working hard out there to help me and fellow patients stay safe at home.

What are you doing to stay sane?

Taking long walks through a nearby forest — enjoying the peace, the sounds, and getting some much-needed exercise while gyms and everything else are closed.

What is bringing you joy?

Finding the joy in little things every day: whether it’s a nice cup of tea, lighting a beautiful candle, baking some healthy muffins — and my week-end “combination therapy” of the best dark chocolate and glass of red wine I can find. Is it Friday yet?

Salima Witt | KCA’s Patient and Caregiver Advisory Council

What are you doing to stay safe?

What I have always tried to do: wash hands after going out, stay a bit distant from crowds of people during flu seasons and now [SARS-CoV-2].

What are you doing to stay sane?

Exercise five days a week whether it’s swimming, yoga, or walking, and talking to friends.

What is bringing you joy?

Small things. Spending time with my animals, my children, my family. Watching nature outside, like the birds. Meditation, going for walks, slowing down a bit and enjoying, gratitude, and learning new dishes to cook.

Melissa Lopez | KCA’s Executive Assistant

What are you doing to stay safe?

Washing my hands and keeping my distance from others.

What are you doing to stay sane?

Exercising and staying on a schedule.

What is bringing you joy?

Cooking – I have been trying new recipes, being in the kitchen is like therapy for me and walking- getting out in the fresh air daily has been very helpful!

Courtney Firak, MPH | KCA’s Senior Director, Patient Initiatives

What are you doing to stay safe?

Staying home, wearing my mask in public, and washing my hands.

What are you doing to stay sane?

Twice daily walks with [my dog] Gemma, using my new home gym, Netflix.

What is bringing you joy?

FaceTime with my niece and nephew, household projects (a new home gym and a yellow laundry room!) and listening to lots of books and podcasts.

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