You would be hard pressed to not have heard anything about the Covid-19 pandemic. Unless you're Jared Leto on a self-imposed desert retreat! Whether you’ve been diligently watching your local news channel for regular updates or gathering your news from family and friends, it has become a worldwide dilemma with no relief in immediate sight. The virus is spreading at an unfathomable rate, critically impacting senior citizens and those with underlying health conditions. Sadly, people are dying as health officials worldwide struggle to find a cure or vaccine that works.
This pandemic is life-altering. The US economy has been completely derailed with small businesses shuttered indefinitely and the unemployment of millions. The foreseeable future looks bleak at best. People have had to completely upend their lives and for many, it has not been easy. Predictably, it will probably get even harder. Beyond the advice to wash your hands and sanitize everything, many have discovered that social distancing themselves to be an even bigger challenge. For the social butterflies amongst us, being confined to their homes, possibly alone, has been painful. Many are only one week in and already stir crazy.
My local news station is giving Covid-19 updates with regular frequency. Every few minutes they report on the rising infection rate, the lack of adequate testing, and the official government reaction, or inaction, as the situation changes rapidly. If what our European neighbors have experienced is any indication of what will come, I imagine that when testing does become readily available to all, the number of cases will be mind boggling.
In the next few months, many will learn what they are made of. They will discover the best and the worst of themselves, and others in their lives. They will learn what they stand for, or if they even stand for anything at all. I imagine disappointments will be deep and surprises will be abundant. Fear has people hording toilet paper and cleaning supplies. Greed has others hording supplies in order to turn pain into profit for themselves. Our government continues to fail us, the current administration concerned more for their failing image than the suffering of people impacted by this crisis. Racists have turned their hate toward Asians, believing a President who has blamed China for what is happening. Harassing and threatening your Chinese neighbor who was born in Michigan will somehow fix what is broken. We are seeing more of what we already knew to be true. Evil is rearing its ugly head. People’s true colors are waving like a red flag against a cloud-filled sky.
How will you face the challenges ahead? What will this crisis say about you? Will you be a helping hand in a time of need? Will you bury you head in the sand until the problems pass you by? Will you be self-less or selfish? While you’re washing your hands and sanitizing your counters think about the example you will be for your children. For family and friends. For strangers. Will you be refuge through the chaos? Or will you be another thorn in the calamity? Will you be light? Or just another dark path to nothing? What, pray tell, will you be made of?