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We will get through this together

Handmade signs posted to a tennis court fence are set to greet future patients at a temporary field hospital for coronavirus patients on an adjacent soccer field in Shoreline, Wash. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson)

How are you doing?

It’s a simple question that many of us usually brush off with a vague answer. In the past, whoever was asking probably didn’t stop long enough to hear your response anyway. But now, it feels very different. That question is much more complex. And as we’re forced to slow down our daily lives, we’re listening more and showing that we care.

As I look for glimmers of hope, this may be one of the positives that will come out of the pandemic.

How to listen to KIRO Radio during stay at home order

On the Gee and Ursula Show Thursday morning, Gee asked me how I was doing. I wasn’t expecting the question. I basically fell apart on the air while I shared that someone I know had passed away from COVID-19.

Elizabeth “Liz” Mar was the matriarch at Kona Kitchen, a restaurant where my family goes for the best Hawaiian food. She hired our youngest son last summer, she was a fixture at the restaurant, and always had a warm smile for everyone.

I’m also sad and stressed about my 89-year old father who’s been in an assisted living facility since last August. After two residents at the facility tested positive for the virus, they’re making everyone stay in their rooms as much as possible. Like other nursing homes, no visitors are allowed. Our family can only talk to him through a glass window and I haven’t given him a hug for nearly two months.

In the past few weeks, I’ve also heard from friends and listeners who are in danger of losing everything they’ve worked so hard to achieve.

Listeners text and email us about the pain of being let go from a job, or being the person who has to give workers the bad news. Ride share drivers who have no customers are wondering how they’re going to pay rent or buy food. As an empath, I feel their pain and stress, which may be the reason why I often come home from work and sleep for a few hours, and then still go to bed early. As an insomniac, that is very different for me. It was worrisome enough that my oldest son asked me if I was depressed. I don’t think I am. But like so many of you, I’m definitely feeling anxious and experiencing a whole roller coaster of emotions.

Our show is one of my biggest sources of strength right now. Gee, “Chef,” and I know it’s more important than ever for us to give you good information to help you and your loved ones through this crisis. Every day, we get hundreds of texts, and we really appreciate them.

Today, I was overwhelmed by all of you who took the time to comfort me. Thank you so much for reaching out, and for listening. We will get through this together!

Lunch ladies spread joy to students picking up meals during closures

In case you missed it, please watch this video of a Mayo Clinic doctor who is spreading joy with the power of music. On his Facebook page, Elvis Francois said: “There is something beautiful about a collective struggle. And the beauty in what we are facing today is that the only way to overcome this pandemic is for us to ALL come together as one.”

Francois is accompanied on the piano by his colleague, Dr. William Robinson.

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