This is an ugly truth. But, as a result of people choosing to get together at Thanksgiving, the numbers of COVID-19 cases and deaths have been ramping up.
This week ends with Christmas, which for many people represents the biggest of family gatherings. However, the pandemic is NOT over. Yes, there is a vaccine — but it’s important to recognize a vaccine is NOT a cure.
Vaccination is going to take time. What’s more, social-distancing and mask-wearing practices need to continue. There is NO quick fix to this situation. What’s more, the failure to take adequate precautions over the last 9 months is why it’s not improving. But what-iffing the past doesn’t take us anywhere useful now.
The point here is that as much as not getting together with family sucks, we need to view it as a matter of positivity. It’s a good thing. Why? So that we can get together next year.
I suspect a lot of families that just HAD to get together at Thanksgiving will regret it. Why? Because of loved ones that needlessly were lost because of it.
See, that’s the most infuriating thing about this pandemic. This death toll should never have been what it is. Due to selfishness, ludicrous politics, and uncaring, unkind people, here we are. Again, we can’t unring this bell.
What we can do is choose wisely NOW to impact the future.
I miss my people. Apart from a teeny, tiny circle of people, I have not seen a wide swath of my friends or family. Last weekend, I saw my dad and stepmother for the first time in probably 10 months — and we only got about 20 feet from each other. There have been no fencing practices or events for 9 months where I see my friends.
It sucks a lot. However, by not seeing them now — I WILL see them again. Every precaution that we take increases the probability that we will — on the other side of this — be together again.
I would rather have that than see people now and lose them for the rest of my life. How about you?
Yes, people, it IS that serious. I know about a dozen people who have had and survived COVID-19. And I lost 3 friends and know at least another half-dozen people who have been lost because of this pandemic. It is NOT the flu, it’s much, much worse.
Zoom meetings, Google Hangouts, Skype, GoToMeeting, and all the other online face-to-face options are not the same as in-person gatherings. But right now, unless you take extreme precautions, it’s not safe to get together.
So be smart. Even if it may cause hurt feelings, don’t get together with the people you love. Not this year. And if they are making plans and you KNOW they are unwise — try to convince them to change.
How is this good and positive?
Because as much as this hurts and sucks in the now — it allows us to keep those we love in our lives longer.
Let’s spell this out, okay?
Before you gather with anyone who’s not inside your immediate surroundings, you need to isolate yourself for 2 weeks. That applies to anyone you care to get together with. That means no going to stores or interacting with anyone inside of six feet. (Studies have shown that, yes, you can go outside and take a walk — but maintain at LEAST 6 feet from other people — more if you can help it).
Paranoid? No. Politicians and church leaders are NOT doctors nor scientists. Science tells us how viruses work — and how they spread. This is not a hoax, it’s not being “blown up” for anyone’s political gain. It IS being denied and neglected in the name of politics — not the other way around.
And let’s be perfectly blunt here. Even if it WAS being over-hyped — in what way do precautions hurt anyone? With very few exceptions, EVERYONE can wear a mask in public. Maintaining 6 feet of distance isn’t terribly inconvenient. And washing your hands with soap and water is something you should have learned in pre-school.
Kindness, compassion, and empathy cost NOTHING. Why they have become viewed by some as a weakness is beyond me. But these precautions won’t just slow the spread of COVID-19. They will also slow the spread of colds, the flu, and other airborne pathogens. Tell me how that’s not a good thing?
This is good and positive because it shows you care. Self-care also includes caring about others. Because when you care about yourself it’s much easier to share and give that to other people, too.
We will get together again
The world post-COVID-19 will not look like it did before. To some people, this is horrifying. They’re scared of what it will be. The uncertainty is so thick you can almost cut it with a knife.
However, change is inevitable. It’s the one and only constant in the Universe. That being the case, rather than lament what is lost, we have an opportunity here.
The pre-COVID world needed help. We were being pulled apart by our technology designed to bring us together. But I think we’ve all seen that we need to be together for our mental health. Maybe, on the other side of this, that will build new bridges of kindness.
The pandemic has shown the current work/life balance is unsustainable. So is the healthcare-for-profit model. On the other side, we have an opportunity to take steps for change.
It won’t be easy, and there will be resistance. The comfort zone of pre-COVID can’t be restored. New comfort zones will need to be made. But as they are built up, and as the numbers decrease and vaccinations slow the spread, we will get together again.
Right now, today, we need to stay apart. That’s the only way to slow the spread, keep the hospitals and medical professionals from being more overwhelmed, and get to the other side of this. Yes, it sucks right now — but for the greater good and the end result — this is necessary.
What about living in the now?
Living in the now is important. Why? Because now is the only time that truly exists. But one of the biggest misunderstandings of this notion involves disregarding others and disregarding safety.
Living in the now does not mean taking unnecessary risks. It doesn’t mean disregarding safety protocols. Yes, sometimes you take risks — but that is part of being mindful. It’s when you are aware of what you are thinking and what and how you are feeling, here and now, that you can decide with clarity.
Living in the now is about living for yourself, in this moment — but not without consideration for others. There is a big difference between hurting someone because you chose a path they didn’t understand — and hurting someone because you got them sick with a virus that might kill them.
Logic and reason are important here. Logic and reason will show you what we’re facing, how it can impact others, and when a choice to live in the now might have negative consequences that could and should be avoided.
Be smart. Be kind. To not get together with family this year increases the odds of doing so next year. And that, in my opinion, is a huge source of positivity.
Seeing the good from not getting together this year isn’t hard
But it requires mindfulness of your thoughts, feelings, actions, and intent.
Knowing that when you choose to not get together with friends and family for the holidays this year — you are giving them kindness and compassion. That can and likely will counter the discomfort it causes. When you take action to give kindness, compassion, love, and understanding to the people you care about, that ultimately empowers you.
When you feel empowered, your mindfulness increases, you become more aware overall, and that can spread to people around you. This creates a feedback loop of awareness and positivity.
You build more positive feelings and discover further reasons to feel positivity and gratitude. That can be the impetus to improve numerous aspects of your life for the better, help overcome the overwhelming negativity of any current situation, and generate yet more positivity and gratitude.
An attitude of gratitude is an attitude of immense positivity. That positivity can generate even more good energies — and that, like you, is always worthwhile. You are worthy and deserving of all the good you desire.
Originally published at https://titaniumdon.com on December 21, 2020.