By now, we’re all sick of the terms overused to describe the COVID-19 pandemic and its effects: These are unprecedented times! We all must pivot, facing so much uncertainty, but always with an abundance of caution. Be safe out there! Wash your hands (that one can stay).
Another word seems apt in summing up the past year: test. As in, the coronavirus has tested our society and tested us as individuals in ways we could before scarcely imagine.
We are tested daily on our memories. Did we remember our masks before we left the car to enter the store? Is my son’s school virtual or in-person today? When was the last time I spoke to my mother?
We are tested daily on our patience. Not just in line at the store, but tested to see if we can endure another interminable wait whether it be for a vaccine shot, a government stimulus payment or simply warm weather. Others are waiting in forlorn hope that a loved one will return, somehow.
We are tested daily on our stamina. Three hundred and sixty-five days is a long time to do anything — we have been asked each and every day to witness and internalize death and disease and suffering. The exhaustion can seep, if we let it, into the black spaces between our eyes and mind where it corrodes our compassion and colors our intake. Everything looks bleak when bleakness is everywhere you look.
An honest individual will likely conclude that they did not pass every one of these tests. We can all be more patient, and kinder, and stronger but success is found, as the saying goes, not in never falling but in rising each time you do. You’re still here. We’re still here. And we’ll try to do better tomorrow.
Please join us on Page 6 today and each day this week as we take inventory of where COVID has brought us, and where we’re going.