It didn’t even seem possible!
We had all heard about this COVID-19 virus that was sweeping through China. And then it spread to Europe, Italy being particularly hard hit with its aging population, the majority of whom suffered several comorbidities (underlying conditions). The US responded by shutting off travel in and out of the country.
We thought we were impervious – we are the mighty United States of America! Hubris at its best. Don’t get me wrong, I still do believe we live in one of the greatest countries in the world, but the virus has humbled us all.
COVID-19 has quickly taught us that all humans, regardless of race or economic status, are vulnerable and at the mercy of Mother Nature.
But this is not a time to allow our fears to run wild and panic! As in wartimes of the past when Americans and citizens of many other nations have risen to the challenge of their generation, this is a time to band together and show the world what makes us great. We are a resilient species. I believe in humanity and that we will persevere.
Things will undoubtedly be challenging for a few months (for some more than for others). Even if you are not suffering yourself, you will know many who are, and at the very least, things will be…different…for you. The economy may not jump back to its previous highs right away. Businesses will close. You may even know someone who will be lost to this serious virus.
Nonetheless, we can still seize this opportunity to grow, to home in on what is truly important in life and be grateful for it. This is a chance to remember why we do what we do every single day.
And why is that? In order to spend precious time with the people we love! I know it’s alluring to think it’s the wealth we are all chasing, but it’s not; it’s the time we can “buy” with that wealth, and spend with those we cherish.
Currently, the entire world, including the mighty USA, is taking drastic and uncomfortable measures for the Greater Good. We may not like it, we may have to adjust many things about the way we live, and we may experience fear and worry. But take a minute right now to breathe deeply, and get in touch with the most important things in life – which are not things at all – and spend.
This uncertain time is the perfect opportunity to spend some of your most precious currency – time – with your family at home, and really be present. See those around you who matter to you. If you get a chance, be one of the “helpers,” as Mr. Rogers named them, who emerge in any crisis to make it less painful by going out of their way to ease the suffering of another. In simple ways, or more grand actions, you can help someone, whether in your own home or outside of it in the community. Let’s all commit to emerging from this experience with a new perspective and empathy for others.
I encourage each of you to remain optimistic and think of this as an opportunity to reflect, reset, and rejigger (that’s a real word) our path forward as one people. Let’s use this as an opportunity to connect with our families and our communities now in new ways, and then even more deeply once the restrictions on our daily lives are lifted. Truly, the only way we are getting out of this crisis is together!
This is our “Greatest Generation” moment – let’s show the world how great the human race really is – especially in times of crisis and uncertainty!