This past weekend as I was watching all the efforts to try to anticipate tomorrow and next week and next month relative to the Covid-19 Pandemic, I found myself discovering that it is not realistic when humanity is in the midst of a pandemic to be able to forecast the future. There is no actual way to “predict” much of anything. We desperately want to “know” where this experience is going, when it will peak and when it will be over. We may be more used to crises like hurricanes, floods or geologic events which tend to have pretty defined beginnings, middles and endings. This Covid-19 experience does not work on a schedule. It’s more of a flow.
Covid-19 is not like an event. It’s a live virus doing its thing infecting humans. Unfortunately, the lack of a common understanding of global experiences with pandemics like this amplifies humanity’s desire for ever more predictability. We can no more predict the snowfall for 2021 or the next earthquake in California or Japan and yet, we work so hard to box up Covid-19 and make the future known and predictable.
Here is my suggestion. In these past two years after losing my wife to cancer, I have learned the reality that we humans spend an awful lot of time trying to figure out tomorrow and the future almost always at the expense of living today. What if we elevate our expectations? What keeps us at this moment from choosing to expand our contact practices, not physically, electronically? Not those contacts you’ve already made. Those were easy. What if each day you invested one email, one text or one phone call to someone you care about? What if you touched someone meaningfully every day? What if instead of receiving and occasionally responding in social or other media you made a concerted effort to create one to one contact with a person?
I can tell you from my own recent past, that outreach is incredibly welcome. Here is what I know having lived through this last personal life-changing event.
At some point, the virus loses and humanity wins (survives). Tons of us. Millions and millions of us actually. Likely greater than 99% of us! At that point when the “return to normal” is in the air, and this once in a century type of event is behind us, what will you be able to say you did with all this extra time at home? How will you say you have grown? How will you remember having invested your time during the 2020 Pandemic?
On a personal level, I don’t want to spend these next few weeks trying to figure out how soon it will be over. Choose to make this a mindful time to remain connected, in fact, extend your connections. What if we can all say we became CLOSER through this separation? What a gift that would be for everyone.