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  • Writer's pictureDr. Jacqueline Parsons

Coping, Creating, and COVID 19

Coping, Deployment, and Coronavirus

Our ways of coping tend to be similar, regardless of the stressor. The methods I’m using to cope during the coronavirus pandemic is much like how I persevered when my son, Garrett, was deployed to Egypt; I control my emotions by writing, cleaning, connecting with others, and attempting to be artistic.

Cleaning and decluttering calms me, so when I missed Garrett, I started clearing out our garage. I came across a large piece of wood, and given the size, I didn’t want to throw it away. As I dug deeper, I discovered a treasure trove of shells and starfish. Trying to be “green”, I began brainstorming what I could construct with the seashore treasures and wood I found. I wanted to create something that honored my son’s deployment with the Texas Army National Guard, so out of an amalgamation of found objects, I began crafting an American Flag. 

I’m the daughter of an Army Sergeant and the wife of an Air Force Lieutenant Colonel. I’ve been in a military family for the majority of my life. Making an American Flag honored our family’s tradition of military service, plus it was a tangible symbol of love for my son.

I spent an inordinate amount of time on this project and it proved to be healing. The American Flag is symbolic of hardiness, vigilance, and perseverance. These were ideals I was hoping to achieve through controlling my emotionality during my son’s deployment, and these remain emotional goals during this pandemic.

Texas Military Department Combating Viral Insurgent

Ironically, we’ve another family member (of choice) in the Texas Army National Guard currently deployed to combat the novel coronavirus outbreak. Please realize that not all battles are fought with bullets. One of the ways the Texas Military Department is combating this viral insurgent is with mobile COVID-19 testing sites.

So, in support of my brother from another mother, as well as myself during this pandemic, I’m back in the garage cleaning and creating.

The physical and psychological challenges many are experiencing during the coronavirus pandemic are similar to what military families face when a loved one is deployed. Employing positive coping mechanisms is essential to combat fear, anxiety, stress, and depression. Practicing good mental health hygiene is a loving gesture for one’s self and others.

Healthy Coping Mechanisms

Examples of healthy ways of coping include:

  • Exercise

  • Cleaning

  • Cooking

  • Planning and maintaining a schedule

  • Journaling

  • Crafting

  • Praying and meditation

  • Maintaining boundaries.

As we engage in a war with this viral enemy, we are being taxed emotionally, much like military families are when a loved one is deployed. Employing past successful coping techniques is excellent for maintaining good mental health hygiene, while we battle this contagion. 


Dr. Parsons

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