A week ago, I was literally snickering…I’m a very level-headed, laid-back individual and what I was experiencing through social media and in conversations with others appeared to be a gross overreaction (to say the least), I mean hand sanitizer, toilet paper and Airbourne flying off the shelves, activities canceling, emails from the local public school district talking about new policies regarding their cleaning practices seemed way out of whack. COVID-19 is something happening mainly elsewhere, why do we have our undies in a bundle?
And as of this writing, I am still hoping it is out of whack.
Whether we actually get hit with epidemic numbers of COVID-19 cases or not, this situation is getting many of us to think about several things, like how much we outsource products used daily and how often we don’t recognize what we have until it’s no longer an option, how we take for granted our school schedule including the care/food provided for so many who will now have to figure out how to work and take care of their kids during the day, and maybe most of all…how quickly life can change.
We can choose to look at this evolving global situation as something that is happening to us, or as something that is happening FOR us.
At the moment, the extreme travel restrictions, the closings, the being told to stay home have had some immediate consequences for our family and likely for yours as well. We had a cruise planned for the end of March that won’t be taken, our two older boys who were going to be home for a week from college on Spring Break will likely now be home much longer, my husband (who owns a travel business) will have some significant setbacks to overcome, the children’s hospital I work at has implemented some strict changes (just waiting to see if any of those involve more than my rescheduling a few major events), and though I haven’t heard if our high school kids will get an extended break from school yet, I am expecting that will be the case.
It would be really easy to get stuck in a negative thought pattern about how this will affect our family financially and in ways I can’t even imagine at the moment, but I want to pause and remind all of us who have lived through major tragedy or serious life-altering events before (think 9/11, SARS, Hurricane Katrina, the housing crash of 2008, H1N1, the Sandy Hook Elementary school shooting, the mass shooting in Las Vegas…) that it is, in these times, when we move through the fear, we come together and remember we are all one. This is when humanity really shines!
The coming weeks are an opportunity to reconnect with our families, to take a breath from the sometimes-insane pace of life we expect ourselves to rise to, to wave to our neighbors, to pay it forward by allowing someone else to go first or by sharing a roll of toilet paper.
You watch, while we don’t yet know exactly how bad things might get…there will (and have been already) multiple situations each of us will come to learn and be a part of that will highlight our human side, the side where we work together for the greater good, this…THIS is what gives us perspective and neutralizes our fear and calls us into our higher selves.
COVID-19 is giving us the opportunity to choose staying present over future-tripping. Becoming gounded or feeding our anxiety. Adopting gratitude over greed.
Take this moment in time to be still and stay here, look for the good and let it remind you of what is truly important in this human experience.