The days are so strange. There is an eeriness in the air. Few cars on the street. More people walking around – many in the middle of the road for social distancing purposes. I haven’t been in my car more than two times in nearly three weeks. And when I was, it was upsetting to drive around and see the empty train station parking lot, barren quaint downtown closed to foot traffic, playgrounds off-limits and wrapped with police-tape, and of course, all of the empty schools.
Work has transitioned from in-person meetings to video calls, and my client calls are overtaken by pretty much all things Coronavirus. Stress and anxiety are high, concerns are significant, and fear is rising. Our new boss, COVID-19, is bringing out one of two mindsets – the glass is half-full or half-empty. With either perspective, however, almost every client conversation focuses on how they can successfully make it through this unknown period of uncertainty without breaking. Some are dealing with quarantine, fear about getting medical help if needed, a partner’s positive test results, and making sure their elderly parents have food. Others are worried about staying financially afloat and doing whatever is necessary to keep their employees employed. Question marks are hovering over every thought – when will this end? What if I lose my job? What if I run out of toilet paper? How do I get groceries safely? When can I see my friends again? Can I survive another four weeks (at minimum) being around my spouse and kids all day?
Every time I learn of friends and acquaintances, strangers, too, testing positive for COVID-19, I am saddened, scared, and concerned. To the best of my ability, I understand the severity of this battle, but yesterday was the first day that I truly felt the magnitude of COVID-19’s power. My body felt heavy, and my head heavier. The news seems to be getting bleaker as regions of the country are preparing for what’s currently happening here in NJ and so many other states.
Last night while sitting on my couch I watched videos on my phone of military men and women coming home from overseas. With tears rolling down my face, I couldn’t get enough of them. There was the son who surprised his mother on her lunch break, the sister who set up her brother to think he was getting in trouble by the school principal before surprising him at school, and then there was the father who showed up at his son’s elementary school assembly.
I typically watch these videos when they pop up in my social media feed, but last night, I sought them out. It had to be an unconscious linking of our military and medical personnel. Just like you, I want every soldier to return home safely. And just like you again, I want every nurse and doctor to return home to their families safe and healthy after this war ends too.
I’m pretty sure that the deep sadness I felt last night was a reminder that we are at war. The military videos represented my hope for an ending to this COVID-19 war – an end I hope is not all doom and gloom but one filled with relief, gratitude, and joy!
Today’s a new day, and I’m feeling grateful for the opportunity to be sheltering in place. I’m following the rules and keeping my social distance from the many I would love to see and hug. I’m remaining connected with friends, family, and clients by Zoom calls. And my sadness, while real, pales in comparison to what’s going out there on the battlefields.
For all those fighting their own battle to get better, keep fighting the fight! I’m cheering you on and wish you nothing short of a speedy and healthy recovery. To the doctors and nurses on the front lines, thank you for your commitment to saving people’s lives! Stay healthy and strong and never forget that you too will have your day of returning home when this war is over! And when that happens, after you get some sleep and reunite with your family, I want to be there alongside everyone in our country to celebrate you and your contribution to defeating the Coronavirus War.