“The physical toll in addition to the emotional toll of losing patients to this virus has really amplified my anxiety for me. I have a really difficult time separating my home life from work life at this point and am learning different ways to try to cope using different outlets. I miss my dad. I used to stop by his house on Friday and visit and catch up. I can’t see anyone now because I’m more likely to be contaminated with COVID so I just go to work and home now which is really tough emotionally.” expresses Courtney Pitre, Pharmacist and Owner of Courtneys Thriftyway Pharmacy of Arnaudville.
Pitre states that her normal daily duties of checking and filling prescriptions, counseling patients, bookkeeping, insurance contract maintenance, and management of employees has remained the same, but with a heavy load of extra additions. “Now I run a curbside service at my pharmacy in order to increase patient safety and reduce the likelihood of my staff catching COVID-19. I run in and out all day bringing prescriptions to and from vehicles so that patients will remain in the vehicle and reduce contamination potential. I’m averaging 8 miles a day of running back and forth to cars all day. For the last 2 weeks, I have worked 16 hour days as opposed to my usual 10 hour days. It is utterly exhausting.”
Somewhere in the middle of those 16 hour days, Courtney manages to find time to keep her non-profit, Le Bon Voisin (“The Good Neighbor”) not only alive, but thriving during the pandemic by bottling and supplying hand sanitizer to essential workers throughout the community. “Le Bon Voisin has also been hard at work bottling and giving out hand sanitizer to essential workers. We just completed this project after bottling 1,300 gallons. Next, we plan to distribute more food and assistance to those affected financially in the community.”
Similar to many of us, Pitre has noticed an unwelcome change in her mental and physical health, struggling in many ways to just feel normal. “It has taken a huge toll on me personally. The things I have used in the past to keep me balanced are no longer available to me, and I am working a lot more now. This is causing a lot of problems with my depression and anxiety. I bought a converted Sprinter van in January and had several trips lined up this month to balance out my already crazy work life. I played on 2 travel hockey teams and had trained an entire year for our National Tournament in Minnesota at the beginning of April. It was so hard to have all of that canceled right before our competition. So now, instead of working out, playing hockey, or traveling, I am staying at work super late and then going straight to bed.”
Trying to find the light in the midst of all the darkness, Courtney has taken up some old hobbies to relieve a little stress at the end of her days, and is already dreaming up plans for future adventures. “I used to play mandolin for fun many years ago. I decided last weekend to start playing again. It’s really nice to zone out and play songs again. I also just ordered a bicycle to use to still get outdoors a bit but maintain social distancing. Once things calm down, I’m going to pack up my van and take a trip anywhere I can and for as long as I can afford to.”
She keeps her advice to us simple…
“Please stay home as much as possible, wash your hands, and don’t touch your face. If you go anywhere, please be patient with the essential workers still working. They are tired and super stressed out.”
If you would like to help out Courtney and her community with a monetary donation, click here: Le Bon Voisin Donation.
Thank you for your dedication, Courtney, it does not go unnoticed!