Wow, so much has changed since I penned my last post on the coronavirus. From a major concern to a global pandemic life as many of us know it has indefinitely changed. I would be lying if I wasn’t filled with worry or concern about all of the uncertainties of how this will all play out. So much is unknown. However, I am trying my best to keep calm and carry on. That is all we can do in such unnerving times.
While toilet paper has officially run out at most stores, and life is slowly but inevitably shutting down, it just all feels surreal. As I try to go about my day to day business, I’m constantly reminded even from the pet food supplier of what I need to do to prepare for the dreaded virus. You can’t escape it no matter what you try to do. Turn on your computer and log on to email, it is there. Turn on your car radio, it is there. Schools, gyms, museums and even churches have closed. Offices have advised employees to work from home. Every day something unexpected shuts down. Even going to the grocery store feels odd while shoppers hurriedly rush through the aisles, stocking up on supplies that could last a year, and God forbid, you accidentally cough and then come those accusatory looks of fear that you may have it. I feel like we are living out a bad dream. It is simply not like anything we have collectively ever experienced in our lifetime.
When I think about the implications, I have to selflessly look away from my own life and all the canceled travel plans, and think of the impact the pandemic will have on the world as a whole. This is when I truly start to worry. But rather than dwell or fill myself with fear of the unknown, I try to focus on the positive things in life and the silver linings. Starting Monday both of my kids will be home doing school online. For now, they are saying three weeks but in all honestly, I imagine it to be for quite a while as the virus hasn’t even begun to truly surface yet in my home state of Minnesota. My husband soon may also be working at home as he works in one of the most populated skyscrapers in the city. Soon we will all at least be together in this unusual, unsettling time. My gym has closed. Going out to eat feels odd. The only place where people are coming out of our early winter hibernation is on walks around the still-frozen lake. I get the feeling I will be doing a lot of walking and social distancing these upcoming weeks.
I am truly grateful that I have the flexibility and the means to be working at home. I worry about all the families in our community who live paycheck to paycheck and don’t have the means to be stock up on supplies and miss work when life shuts down. About all the children at our neighborhood schools who rely on the free and reduced lunches as one of their main meals of the day. Of all the small businesses, the travel companies, basically everything. I have no idea how we will be able to help.
As we prepare to hunker down and stay put for who knows how long, I try to take some deep breaths and remember that this too shall pass. It is a scary, uncertain time. It is time to bring out kindness, compassion, resilience and perseverance. To work together as a community and pitch in.
In times of worry, I look for inspiration and beauty in the world. Thus, I end with a few words of wisdom.
“Let me not pray to be sheltered from dangers but to be fearless in facing them”. – Rabindranath Tagore
“I don’t think of all the misery, but of the beauty that still remains”. – Anne Frank
And I look for the silver linings. Stores have begun to open again in China as life comes slowly but surely back to normal. This too shall pass.
Stay strong and stay well.