Last night I pre-wrote today’s blog because my heart was ripped quite suddenly from my chest. I was sure it would stick. See, we had our first confirmed case of COVID-19 in my Missouri Ozarks. This is a place that’s relatively remote, much like West Virginia.
I mean, I knew it was coming. I knew it was a matter of time when the first case was diagnosed in St. Louis, a short four hour trip away.
Still, it doesn’t hit home until it does, you know? And it hadn’t hit me until that press conference, not really, even though I’d already been asked to quarantine. This whole thing still had an ethereal quality, it was something that happened somewhere else, on another planet, in another reality.
And I won’t pretend that I stared that storm down and spat in its face.
I cried for hours – in fear, in anger, in dawning reality.
I counted my dead (I do not recommend doing that).
I grieved a population that was being cut down daily and I fell into despair.
But, after the dust settled, I found some perspective. After all, if we are to die, let’s make it such a death that others remember our kindness and love. We can’t fight this with fire or with weapons. We can only fight it with generosity and compassion.
There’s Always Light in the Darkness
I know we’re all facing dark times. I know you’re probably still in shock and grasping for anything to hold tight to right now. I know this is hard because you love someone who is high risk or are high risk yourself.
But when you’re done processing what we’re facing, look up. There’s always a light in the darkness, no matter how bleak it is. There are always helpers who will shine like little candles in the inky black. They’re flame and starlight. They’re the ones who make these times easier to bear.
Wash your hands. Practice social distancing. Reconnect with old friends. Tell people you love them because tomorrow is never promised, with or without COVID-19. Live as loudly as you can, even if you’re in quarantine.
Quarantine isn’t the worst thing ever. The worst thing ever is continuing to walk about and spread disease to people who are going to be severely injured by this virus.
So, today, let’s start working on accepting our lot. Today let’s look for the positives. Let’s do the best with what we have, because humanity has a way of being so, so resilient. We’ve overcome so much, but we can’t do it individually. We have to pull together.
Today I charge you to start a “five things challenge,” something a good friend does when she feels too much grim sneaking into her life. Think of five positives you’ve experienced and make a list. You don’t have to post them anywhere, but do write them down. Every day.
My fives for today?
- Fabulously blue hair.
- Social media, because most of my friends live there.
- New beginnings, even in tough times.
- Working from home.
- Spring just starting to peek out from winter’s chill.