The world - right now - is in the midst of the 2020 Covid 19 Pandemic.
That is not news to you if you are reading this blog post today... but if anyone in years to come stumbles onto this blog post - it is important to know what we are in the midst of ... when I share my thoughts during this challenging time:
I stopped at the Grocery Store on my way to work. Amazingly the shelves were mostly stocked. (Stores have begun limiting quantities of items purchased -- and that has eased the problem of wiped out supplies in most every category.) As I got out to my car a Gentleman asked me "so -how does it work?" He was wondering if the store was limiting the number of shoppers -- and perhaps how safe he might be doing his shopping. I assured him that they had locked up most of the shopping carts (essentially limiting the number of shoppers in the store) - and that shoppers were to stand on the taped lines at the checkout counter to keep a 6' distance. He felt assured that his errand would go smoothly.
I don't know about you... but I never thought a pandemic of this scope could happen to us++ (even though we knew about the 1918 Spanish Flu pandemic) - surely with all our technology and medical advances... we would never have "our" normal world collapse. (Perhaps someone on the other side of the world might have to deal with this... but not us). Oh how we are humbled... and realize that a life on the other side of the world and our life both have the same worth and value. ++"Optimism bias is the belief that each of us is more likely to experience good outcomes and less likely to experience bad outcomes. The key to optimism bias is that we disregard the reality of an overall situation because we think we are excluded from the potential negative effects." (https://psychonline.eku.edu/insidelook/%E2%80%9Cit-won%E2%80%99t-happen-me%E2%80%9D-optimism-bias)
We are grieving our "normal" problems, "routine" headaches, and wish this nightmare would end quickly so we can get back to our regular problems. Most of us are okay (perhaps a little bored or weary of our housemates) to work at home, or watch TV or work a puzzle. Others are feeling great disappointment - as they had big life events on the calendar: weddings/graduations/reunions/once-in-a-lifetime-vacations, etc.
Staying home... feels safe -- but it also feels a little confining. We know we need to isolate with our immediate family to protect our little "nest". Let us continue to do so for our own family and to keep others in our community safe who are elderly or otherwise compromised with pre-existing medical conditions..
Some businesses are booming (if you make hand-sanitizer or toilet paper or cleaning supplies) and many businesses are struggling. Family resources are stretched, and investments may be diminishing. All that is true -- but no amount of "profit" will compensate if we lose a dear loved one.
With all of this - I am feeling more compassion for others. Perhaps you are feeling it as well. May this extra dose of "compassion" urge us to action:
Do we have something to share with a neighbor or family member? (Even a loaf or bread or plate of cookies lets them know we are thinking of them)
Do I have something to donate to a homeless shelter? (perhaps they need additional supplies in general as more people experience homelessness)
When we get through this - we will perhaps be labeled "resilient" -- but right now I feel like I am slogging through most days...perhaps you are as well. Down the road we will clearly see where mistakes were made by leadership... or even in our own homes. Hopefully we can all learn from this experience so that we don't need to repeat it in generations to come.
I hope you can share a smile with someone doing their best (even if it is your image in the mirror). I hope you can add your prayers for our Scientists and Medical Providers who are on the front lines and stressed and exhausted.