Posts Tagged ‘COVID-19’

“When life gets back to normal …”

Normal? Whatever happens with the scourge of Covid-19, there will be a whole new way of life waiting for us as the impact of the virus diminishes. It is unlikely it will look like our old normal.

As we mourn and heal, we can decide how we will react to all the challenges that will chalk2surely be waiting as the next new normal rolls out. Everybody will have a unique set of circumstances, with no universal answers. It will be up to each of us to determine what will happen.

That future will depend on the choices we make, individually and collectively.

Currently, the virus is in control. As its effect on us subsides, the decisions will be made by politicians, officials, business owners, and employers to determine when we go back to work and school, when churches and restaurants open and how social situations resume. It is anybody’s guess where we will be financially as we work our way out of this.

Won’t it feel a little awkward to be in a crowd again? Will we ever feel comfortable hugging people who aren’t immediate family or close friends? Will we ever shake hands again? How about travel? There are so many things to hold on to or give up.

During the pandemic, we’ve had our eyes opened to some unexpected positive outcomes:

  • Less daily commuting and industrial grinding opened a world of beauty that had been diminished. Discovering clear water in the Venice Canal and views of mountains and landscapes previously obscured by smog. Will this motivate us to vote in favor of the environment?
  • Finding joy in the form of children placing hearts in windows or drawing pretty pictures and words of hope in chalk. I would love to see these kinds of traditions take hold.
  • Cheering for our first responders and healthcare heroes. And gaining appreciation for the service people who helped us navigate getting groceries, prescriptions, making financial transactions, and so much more.
  • Using electronics to make connections with other people in new ways – concerts on social media, remote gatherings with extended family and friends, and virtual learning opportunities, all of which will likely continue in some form.
  • Learning about ourselves as we’ve allowed more time for creativity, reading, cooking, building something, finishing projects, and so on. Being pushed by circumstances to tamper the desire for immediate gratification or do without.
  • Extending kindness and caring for others.

Resilience is the ability to be happy, successful, etc. again after something difficult or bad has happened, according to the Cambridge English Dictionary. We can ponder what resilience will look like for each of us personally.

We are now in a time when we can open up to what is possible. As we dream and plan, and educate and express ourselves, we can envision the future we want for ourselves and our families. We can consider what is worth supporting through our votes or actions in the future. We can incorporate what is good about our lives now, along with the changes we want to see and be, into our intentions for the future.

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Our world – our lives – are changing so quickly due to Novel Coronavirus COVID-19 that we can barely keep up with what every new day brings. Social Isolation is a concept that has jumped to the forefront of our new reality. And it exists for a good reason – to save lives. I believe it is important we make changes and decisions that will help keep ourselves, our communities and our world as safe as humanly possible.

But social isolation has problems of its own. In November of 2016, long before the world was rocked by COVID-19, Psychology Today published an article, The Perils of Social Isolation. Author Frank T. McAndrew Ph.D. stated, “Humans are hardwired to interact with others,” and, “When we go through a trying ordeal alone, a lack of emotional support … can … hinder our coping ability.”

Due to circumstances beyond our control, many of us are being forced or are voluntarily choosing to practice social isolation. Sure, there is usually access from home to plenty of movies, TV shows, recordings, etc., but what about personal communication in real, or close to real, time?

What can we do to make as many human connections as possible?

It may be time to use our texts and emails in more circumstances or to more people. Let your light shine through even if you can’t interact in person. And remember to make phone calls, especially using Skype or Facetime if available. Maybe it’s time to rediscover the ancient art of sending a card or letter, especially to those not electronically connected.

For those who do use electronics, thank goodness for interactive social media. Whether you prefer Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, WordPress, Pinterest, Goodreads, or many other applications, we can find each other online to share, chat, show and tell, or talk about the ordeal we are going through. Personally, I am going to try to do more Facebook chatting with members of a writing group rather than meeting live in a restaurant.

In other words, do whatever we can to keep being part of each other’s lives. It’s time for stretching the imagination and putting possibilities into action.

For Minnesota musician Charlie Roth, that means realizing his plan to keep performing for his audiences who live in nursing homes. “Technology is on our side,” he says, about the use of videoconferencing to allow him to livestream from his living room, singing and playing his guitar remotely for audiences he can still see and interact with. “We can figure it out.”

With creativity and caring, we can find and implement ways to stay personally connected, even if we (or others) are socially isolated in this virus-upended world.

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