As I look out my window this morning it’s easy to think that everything is right is with the world. The birds are singing, the sun is shining, and the breeze is gentle. And…the invisible COVID-19 virus is as deadly as anything I’ve experienced in my lifetime. And it’s indiscriminate. It doesn’t care whether or not you believe it’s contagious, dangerous and deadly.
There are two things I want to model for my son (daughter, grandchild) today. First, it’s that indiscriminate loss is real and along with that comes grief. Grieving is okay, and vulnerability is not a weakness. Actually, it’s important, especially in times like this. Expressing your feelings, fears and disappointments is vital to mental and physical health.
Your kids have probably lost lots of things in the last five months. Sports, school graduations, marching band, hanging out with friends. And so have you. Work, grandkids, friends, basic freedom of movement. All of these are vital as God “wired us” with a need for interpersonal connections, and all of this has been severely limited…and will continue to be for months…for those who are wise.
Grief is a real thing and it comes in many shapes, sizes and directions. It’s indiscriminate. In almost every corner of the earth people have been separated from those they love, their work and normal routines. Please explain to your kids that what we’re dealing with is invisible and yet a very dangerous health crisis.
Yesterday the World Health Organization (WHO) reported that 14.56 million people have suffered from COVID-19 thus far (over 213,000 new cases just yesterday). 607,000 people have died, and the United States has contributed over 140,000 to that number. Just for a little perspective…about 13,000 people died in the US from H1N1 (Swine Flu) in 2009.
Secondly, this is not a sprint as our national leaders naively thought six months ago. This isn’t even a marathon. This is an ultra-marathon. So pacing yourself and doing everything you can to care for yourself becomes incredibly important. Today I want to demonstrate patience, endurance and resilience for my loved ones.
The emotional pull to go back to “normal” routines is going to increase. It’s vital to demonstrate for your kids that you have to be smart in who and how you interact with others. Those who are careless and think (and act) like the virus isn’t dangerous will endanger their family members and others.
Stay the course. Wear your mask. Use your hand sanitizer. This too shall pass…just not nearly as quickly as we’d like it to. The virus is an indiscriminate killer…even on beautiful days like this. So please be highly discriminate about how you live your life in the coming months.
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