You can feel it in the air. We sense it all around. Each of us is coping with uneasiness; the unsettling feeling of fear and the unknown. 😔🥺😢
Dumbstruck, we watch together from the relative safety of our Nation as tens of thousands fall ill around the world. COVID-19 AKA the Novel Coronavirus was infecting mankind leaving a trail of chaos and death in its wake. The unthinkable happens. A Country that has never seen war breach its borders is suddenly infiltrated by an enemy roughly 42000 times smaller than the width of a human hair. People in the United States of America begin getting sick, some die. 🦠
We can’t believe it’s real.
We’re told it’s deadly. We’re told it’s the common flu…
We’re told it’s getting better. We’re told it was getting worse…
But one thing for sure is that something new is here, within our borders, and whatever it is, it is real.
For many of us, two different emotions hit us like a wrecking ball.
💀Fear and Hope. 🌟
The fear in us immediately tries to grasp this new reality and assumes control of our thoughts. Fight or flight mode kicks in. Horrible ideas flood our minds: “What if my friends or family get sick? What if they DIE?! What if everything shuts down and I can’t earn any income? What if I can’t feed my family? What if I lose everything I have! My God, PLEASE, this can’t be happening right now!” 🙏
This IS happening. This is a new reality. We begin to learn new words that coincide with this new reality. These words, in turn, become new behaviors. The new normal. “Social Distancing”, they call it, and for the moment at least THIS will be our strange new reality. The government speaks in its booming voice, “shelter in place.” Schools close, churches close, parks close, stores and businesses, they all close. 🏠🏡🏘
I wasn’t prepared for the onslaught of emotions. They hit me like a punch in the stomach as I break down, fall to my knees and cry for our world. I sob for our little children, older parents, pregnant women, the people suffering, those dying, those panicking, the exhausted nurses, our doctors, essential workers, and anyone affected by this terrible virus.👨🔬👨👩👧👦🤰
These are uncharted waters for each of us, and our collective boats are rocking amongst a sea of anxiety, fear, chaos, and worry. Something not seen in generations; we’re truly in a fight for our lives against a collective enemy, whether we like it or not. Our grandparents fought in wars to defend us. Now they’re asking us to sit at home on the couch to defend them. It seems that honor and duty come in many forms.
I’m reminded of a quote by Anne Frank, who wrote, “In the long run, the sharpest weapon of all is a kind and gentle spirit.” It is our compassionate nature that distinguishes us from beasts. Our ability to come together as a species and overcome the greatest calamities the natural world can hurl at us defines humanity. Truly we are beings capable of accomplishing anything we make up our collective minds to achieve. Humans have gone to our moon, to the depths of our oceans, and we’ve eradicated or contained every microbiological threat we’ve ever faced. We are a species of overcomers!
Now comes Hope:🌟🌟🌟
•We find that 99% of people infected with the virus will recover.*
•Children seem to be infected less often and have milder issues.
•The number of new cases is falling where the outbreak began.
•The internet exists. Through the miracles of technology, we have ways to practice social distancing while still preserving at least some social and medical connections.
•We have watched celebrities, companies, and the government alike donate tremendous amounts of money and resources to help those afflicted by the pandemic.
•We have unified as a nation! Coming together as one to get through this together! That is the defining spirit and what it means to be American.
Through all of this, we must be kind to our neighbors; check on them, help them; above all love them. We should seek to have a gentle spirit for our many leaders and medical professionals. Those who are busy guiding and healing us, all while navigating a disease and scenario which no one has any prior experience with. Most of all, we should remember to be kind and loving to ourselves. Be patient with your feelings, your frustrations, and your own ability to process the overwhelming waves of changes as they sweep over us daily.
Before you panic, be kind; think of the vulnerable, and how your actions can affect those weaker or less fortunate than yourself.
Keep a steady reminder of the little things: That you get to spend precious time with your family. That we live in the Greatest Nation on earth. That we will recover and come back from this stronger, wiser, and with a renewed sense of purpose. Allow yourself to slow down and appreciate that which really matters. Remember that your own life and those of so many others matters more than any amount of money or material resources.
Things are going to be really hard. We are all changed by this, and it’s going to hurt for a long while. But, when you look back at your life, ONE, TWO, TEN… TWENTY years from now, you can be proud that you endured a time of great difficulty and were part of the solution in making it better. We will overcome this together, learn from it, and grow from it. We can recognize the frailty of our own existence, both on a personal level and for our very species. Through all of this mess and chaos, mankind has been given a gift; the remembrance of what it truly means to be alive….