We are connected to each other. Across neighborhoods, state lines, countries.
We are connected to the coronavirus.
The coronavirus loves us all equally and wants to get in our bodies and reproduce.
We’re connected to the people who will take care of us if we get sick.
We are connected to the people who will or won’t supply healthcare workers with tests, masks, gloves and ventilators.
We are connected to the people we live with.
We are connected to the friends and family who shop for us, protecting us because we are among the vulnerable.
We are connected with loved ones by phone or internet.
We are connected to the people who get sick and recover and those who get sick and die.
We are connected in grief to people without loved ones or warm houses.
We are connected to the people who have lost their jobs and are panicked about how they will feed their families.
We are connected to the children who are out of school in our homes and neighborhoods.
We are connected to people in other countries.
We are connected to people doing creative things to help, like RVs for MDs., or people who have cheered those on the front lines first in Wuhan, and spreading across the globe to Italy and New York City, clapping in the evening, from across terraces and fire escapes, to say a loud Thank you!
It is ironic that our connectedness is so clear right now – when we must continue social distancing. Yale epidemiologist Jonathan Smith described this best:
“If your son visits his girlfriend, and you later sneak over for coffee with a neighbor,
your neighbor is now connected to the infected office worker that your son’s
girlfriend’s mother shook hands with.”
We are truly all in this together.
What’s Not Canceled
At the same time we feel deeply connected, grieve together for what is lost or put on pause, notice what has not been cancelled. Thanks to my friend Dr. Evelyn Biles for this:
|Relaxation – not canceled.
Reading – not canceled.
Family – not canceled.
Sunsets – not canceled.
|Music – not canceled.
Singing – not canceled.
Laughing – not canceled.
Charity – not canceled.
|Hope – not canceled.
Love – not canceled.
Gratitude – not canceled.
Prayer – not canceled.
- Get curious. Notice all the connections in your own life. Be amazed at them and continue to stay safe.
- Do something for someone. Reach out to an isolated family member or a long lost friend. Rake or mow the lawn for a neighbor.
- Enjoy what is not canceled!
- Be grateful. Practicing gratitude is an antidote to anxiety and fear.
- Actually write down 3-5 things you’re grateful for every day. Be grateful for small things that you have: toilet paper, that your friend with Covid 19 recovered, that the days are getting longer, that the magnolias are blooming.
Gratitude is both a feeling and a practice. I promise that if you make it a practice during this difficult time, your well-being will increase in a lasting way.