In the middle of a pandemic: Grateful for the little things

People who know me know that I try to write my wife a short note once a week. We met via long distance in the days before online dating and text messaging and it’s been a good way to keep us in touch and grounded. The letters are a story for another day, but my letter to my wife this week hit home to our current situation.

writing-828911_640-2In particular, I joked that I wish we could go back to January 1 and restart 2020. I wrote too that we’re living in crazy times, but when I’ve gotten down in recent days I try to think of all the things that I’m grateful. Here’s a few of the items I listed:

  • Health. In this day and age, with the speed and quickness of the Coronavirus, our health is precious and you really can’t take it for granted.
  • Family time. Our daughter had been in South America serving in the Peace Corps. Early last month the Peace Corps announced its decision to evacuate all 7,000 volunteers. We’re sad that her dream has temporarily been put on hold, but we’re excited that she’s here with us. In short, I’m happy for family.
  • Good food. We have food to eat. It might not be the food we want, but we have food and so far have been able to keep up on the run on milk, bread, and eggs.
  • actress-2868705_640Laughter. You have to laugh the strangeness of the situation we find ourselves in or you’ll drive yourself crazy. First off, since our daughter is in quarantine, we’re eating dinner in our hallway to be close to her. It’s strange, but our youngest son keeps everyone on our toes, showing us strange videos that he’s found on YouTube and on social media. Yes, you have to be there, but still funny all the same. But that’s not all. When my wife and I went grocery shopping the other day—we try to hold out as long as we can, but eventually we need catch up on the basics—I couldn’t help laugh at the run on the beer and wine and the people hanging out watching to see if the store manager was going to be restocking the toilet paper anytime soon. Beer and toilet paper, I guess people have their priorities in line.
  • hand-disinfection-4954816_640Good news. The news is filled with horrible stories, people doing well one week, on the ventilators the next, but there’s good news stories too. Here’s just a few of them:
    • More than 100,000 people have recovered from the Coronavirus worldwide, according to the latest figures from John Hopkins University.
    • If you search a little, you can read stories about regular everyday people coming together to make much needed masks for doctors and medical personnel in the heart of the fire.
    • In my own neck of the woods, volunteers at my wife’s school are banding together to give out meals and weekend pick-me-ups to local kids from financially disadvantaged families.
  • Still working. My wife and I are working from home and that certainly has caused some challenges—for me anyway, I feel like I’m always “on,” that I can never get away—but we still have jobs to help us pay our bills and keep a roof over our heads.
  • Still together. Let me repeat that, we’re still together.

family-2811003_640I wrote a few other things that I’ll leave for my wife. However, you get the gist of the message. Yes, this is a crazy time and I don’t know what the future holds, but I know what I’m trying to do every day: let my family know that I love them and that we will overcome this obstacle.

We as a society will overcome this challenge.

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