On productivity, grieving, staying sane, and having fun during quarantine

How are you doing in this strange universe of social distancing? Since the clinic went on hiatus about six weeks ago, I have been surprisingly “busy” despite not having a clinical schedule: catching up on administrative work, making meals, going for long walks with Milo, learning to make cafe mochas, and finally binge-watching Picard* and my first Korean drama on Netflix… which is not to say that I have been productive. Far from it. Five weeks into lockdown, I find that I have very little to show for the time except for pictures of food that have long since been ingested.

In a society raised to believe that our productivity is tied to our self-worth, it is difficult adjust to this new existence. I urge everyone to be gentle with ourselves and be reminded that our only goal is to arrive, to survive this period healthy and whole. Our current reality is challenging enough so stop trying to be productive. I had such an ambitious list of projects after I finished shutting down the clinic, then I discovered that I was long on time but very short on motivation… and that’s okay.

Thank you so very much to every one who checked in and especially those who offered to help through this challenging time! It warms my heart to know that you all are looking out for me.

The best thing you can do is come back when the clinic reopens, whenever that may be. (If you can convince my landlord into suspending the rent for a month or three, I won’t say no to that either.) In the meantime, Flying Turtle has pages on Google, Facebook, and Yelp so if are so inclined, please leave a review.

Gift cards to the clinic are available online for those who want to prepay for their future treatments, or donate them to someone who might need herbs or herbal consults right now and cannot afford to pay.

As far as reopening the clinic is concerned, Gov. Baker extended the closure of non-essential businesses to May 18. Acupuncturists, while we are considered health practitioners, are not part of the list of essential workers allowed to operate. According to the models and articles I’ve seen, it does not look like Massachusetts will be able to reopen earlier than mid-June so it is very likely that another extension is forthcoming.

I miss you all dearly and would love to reopen as soon as it is safe to do so. I have been exploring telehealth options for patients who are interested in herbal consults via video chat and will have more information in the next newsletter if the clinic remains on hiatus.

Patients who had appointments in April have already had their sessions moved to the closest available day/time in May. I will “rinse and repeat” for June if the stay-at-home advisory is extended. (As always, you can use the link in the email notification to move the appointment as it gets closer.)

For now, stay healthy and be well, everyone!

Stay sane

A friend sent me this excerpt from Washington Post’s advice column by Caroline Hax: “When in the NICU, a nurse said in passing that most people can handle up to 5-6 weeks of a huge shift in one’s life, but after that a lot of people snap for a few days. As most of us enter the 5-6 week phase, be gentle with yourself and with others. And it will be okay in the end even if the end is far away.”


My heart goes out to everyone affected by COVID-19, especially those who have lost loved ones to this disease. Our friends have lost a brother and a mother in the Philippines, and grieving is difficult enough without the ongoing restrictions that preclude holding a service and coming together as a community to comfort one another.

I have learned that, as much as I am grateful to have a roof over my head and food on the table, the feelings of loss and grief are still valid. Our lives have been completely upturned and likely forever changed. We have to give ourselves permission and space to process what has happened. Here are a few links to content that have helped me recently:

Have a little fun


The best way out of a funk, in my opinion, is to think of how to help others:

Be informed

Watch this informative and reassuring Q&A with a doctor at the front lines in a NY COVID-19 hospital. He talks about the mechanisms of transmission, how to prevent it, what to do if someone tests positive in your household, etc.. Here are time markers if you want to jump to relevant sections:

  • 4:47 – What is COVID19?
  • 6:45 – How is it transmitted?
  • 9:45 – How do you protect yourself?
  • 19:50 – What to do if you get infected?