It's Sunita here.
There has been no let up of the tragic loss of life and devastation that COVID-19 has brought us. What's even more troubling is that we still do not have a clear picture of what life is going to look like in 1, 3, 6, 12 or more months from now. This uncertainty makes for dark times.
Dr. Devi Sridhar, chair of global public health at the University of Edinburgh in a recent article in The Guardian writes, "... there are huge gaps in what we know about this virus, including about immunity, about the possibility and timeline for a vaccine or antiviral therapy, about who exactly is vulnerable, and about long-term health implications. In this uncertainty, countries that are actively working to contain this virus and keep numbers as low as possible are buying time to build a more informed policy response while also protecting their economies and societies. Others, by letting the virus spread slowly through their populations (only flattening the curve instead of completely stopping the spread), are just gambling with people’s lives, and will be caught in cycles of lock down/release that will destroy the economy and cause social unrest, as well as increased Covid-19- and non-Covid-19-related deaths."
What can one take from all of this? Should we open up our businesses? Should we not? What is the best way to keep our families and ourselves safe? Will staying shut down and at home for another few months help, or not? How does that impact our economy? What about my job? Can we travel? How am I going to make it in the new economy that is unknown at this time? Will I need to retrain, switch jobs or even change professions? What about my mortgage/health insurance payments/car payment/utilities/kid's college tuition/school loan payment/etc., etc.? Can we afford that anymore?
There are infinite questions, but very few answers at this time.
But there is certainty of one thing.
There is a major change in our world, and our lives.
We are responding in different ways to the fears that we all have in response to this sudden change and uncertainty. Despite our varying behaviors and responses, we are asking ourselves the same question.
What is my relevance in this unknown world? How will I fit in?
It is terrifying to find ourselves on a make shift stage, in the middle of nowhere, without a script of any kind. Or a director. The performance we had rehearsed with a well known group of fellow actors, innumerable times, and together, presented with ease, delight and confidence is no longer on the playbill. On top of this confusion, incertitude and havoc, we are now joined on this stage by almost every other human being on this planet. That's about 7.5 billion people...
We are responding to this crisis in many ways. Usually we are having a mix of reactions and feelings at different times. They may come and go in waves. A few of them are being, and feeling
There has been a burst of posts and articles on social media in this COVID-19 pandemic time. Many of them are not only useful and helpful, but down right necessary. Information about the virus, tracking it's effect, healthcare responses, related social issues, humor, inspiration and efforts to help those who need assistance are critically important in this unprecedented time.
But we have also seen some amplified cries for attention in social media by people who may be reeling from the gravity of the question above. Their fear of now being irrelevant may be driving them to post things just to be noticed. In that, they may be finding some form of fabricated, self satisfying relevance.
There will be no short cut to finding relevance of any kind in the new order that is emerging from the chaos and destruction of this dark and difficult time. It will demand reflection, honesty and courage to see a new path going forward.
We must stop to pause, and go to the core of who we believe we are. Those beliefs about ourselves will be the driving force of the creation of our new reality. The word I want to stress here is New.
It is a new beginning. It is a shift of our consciousness. It is a new era. I believe this time offers us a chance to rephrase the questions we are asking ourselves. (You can learn more about the process of rephrasing in this recent Blog of mine.) It is time to see the abundant and ubiquitous opportunities to transform and transcend in this time.
I leave you with this poem of mine from "Stripping : My Fight to Find Me"
Has now passed.
But it’s fury,
Has taken its toll.
Spreads for miles on end.
Lies in shocked silence.
To the washed-up destruction.
The inky sky,
To this ruination.
In its stillness
I plead with the dawn,
"Can you wait in the wings,
A little bit longer,
While I make peace
With this night?"
Relief and assistance.
Clean up and rebuild
The fading darkness
For now just let the fading darkness hold you...
Be kind to yourself in this difficult time.
But know that you have the capability to rise, and create a new relevance of yourself in the times to come.
With my love,