When I was a child, my mother read me the story of the little boy who cried wolf.
We’ve all read those stories to our children, haven’t we?
Through innocent stories, we want children to learn not to fear the world, we want them to be careful and responsible, to grow up wise to the world, to be serious about life without losing their sense of humor, without being frightened by scary events or false information.
Most people of all ages have not yet contracted COVID-19. Good to know, but misleading. We are collectively trying to stop its spread – while not testing most people, because most people don’t need to be tested, and because we can’t test everyone …
Consequently, we are living frightened lives guided by wide swings in public information, political spin, and occasional sprinklings of fact and levity. Unsettled describes everyone. And that’s just about our health, let alone everyone’s livelihood.
Elizabeth Kübler-Rossarticulated the stages of grief – denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and acceptance.
Are we dealing with those same stages of COVID-19?
Grieving the loss of our expectations – of life as we knew it, reality as we perceived it, public safety, and risk. It now appears our comfort level was false and misleading, and many are feeling rage at our levels of confinement and/or restriction from living our lives as we did just a few weeks ago. Most people are publicly hiding their rage, but everyone is roiling to some degree. Disruption of routine and isolation/separation unsettles everyone, but doesn’t cause.
Rage is rooted deeper; the villain is an invisible unemotional killer. We are both individually and collectively so ineffectual in fighting it.
This isn’t politics and rules, it’s about medical science and facts. They call it a Novel virus because it is Novel, something new that people haven’t had or been exposed to before – and while labs everywhere are working hard, it is unlikely we’ll have a magic virus-stopping solution soon. What we have, at best, is a chance to blunt the high-spike in the infections curve.
This is easy to understand, but we aren’t used to living our lives by a fear-index, a graph, or predictions. We listen to weather warnings and go out anyway. We listed to stock-market reports, and invest anyway. We know we can’t control people, but we marry them just the same …
We’ve lived our lives free of this fear, and oblivious to this kind of fear – masked by ignorance, and masked by our governments’ lack of preparedness, lack of transparency, and lack of trust.
I may have moved through the denial phase easily, but I feel stuck in the anger phase.
I want to be myself, but I don’t recognize myself so well anymore.
An optimist would tell you to cheer up, there are better days ahead.
A pessimist would worry and warn that the worst is yet to come.
The realist might say, we are getting used to something which will get far worse soon – and once we get used to that, what we have now won’t seem so bad.
We could take the attitude of just waiting it out – and when the number of weeks or months pass, we will learn who, and how many, have died. And then we can come back to life.
That’s too long to wait.
We need to come back to life now, be innovative now, be busy now.
Come on, everyone, come back to life.
The future will be grim for many, but if we are going to survive, thrive, and feel alive, we need to be ‘back to life’ now. It MUST be the attitude we show, of grit, determination, and wise-living, best practices, and being safe – but we CANNOT be idle, cowering, or blame-splaining.
This is not about someone else being responsible for what happened.
This is about each of us being responsible for what will happen next, taking reasonable calculated risks, and standing up to protect our businesses, communities, and our futures. Governments are doing what they are supposed to do at times like this – provide services, distribute resources, and smooth out the bumps; we know they are mortgaging our future, and that is what we need from them.
But those are band-aids, not cures; stop-gaps, not solutions.
There are lots of things we’ll read about five years from now – solutions and failures. We’ll learn who made a fortune, and who lost theirs. We’ll learn who should have blown the whistle/siren sooner and louder. And we’ll learn about significant medical breakthroughs that saved us.
And we’ll learn what we should do to be better prepared next time, for the next pandemic. I wonder, five years from now, if fatigued public and governments will find the time, energy, and budget to do much then.
Five years from now, what will you have done?
A lot of people will have bit their tongue, and worn a hole in sideline benches.
But not you.
Have you started anything new today?
If not, get started …
By the way, a novel idea would be to see this virus COVID-19 as a murder mystery novel – we are watching it being written.
Good Sunday to you it is sunny here and the birds are chirping, sorry about your friend. Death is always present in the background, silent waiting for the right moment to remind us we still alive we have an other chance at life, live it, AG, Cancun, Mex.
Your Post was very moving this Morning. I too wonder what the new normal will be if and when and how long it will be. I think of the younger Generation in the years to come. I think about all the times before and ask why was the World not Ready for another Crisis. I worry and think about what will be left. I too lost a good friend 2 days ago. I felt so bad for her that she died alone, surrounded by Strangers, not her Family and Friends because the Hospitals are on lockdown. They would not let anyone in. I am also Sad for the Loss of an Icon in Calgary. I truly am Sorry you lost a Great Friend Mark. Ken King was a pillar and his shoes will never be filled.Take Care my Friend, Stay Safe, MJ, Calgary, AB