Holding on to Humanity

I have noticed over the last week, that the tenor of the posts about Covid-19 and social lockdown have started to change. There is more arguing, more anger, and more divisiveness. Some of it has been triggered by the small but well-publicized protests against sheltering-in-place as well as people who still post vehemently on social media that the pandemic is a hoax and who continue to disregard the calls to socially distance themselves. I also think that five weeks of unemployment, no income, no health insurance, inability to pay the bills, etc. is really taking a toll on people. Situations like this always take the greatest toll on those who were already the most financially and socially vulnerable. Finally, as this drags on, with the threat of a Winter resurgence looming over our heads, many of us are starting to come to terms with the fact that life as we once knew it might be over. Period.

We are scared, we are grieving, and our lives are filled with uncertainty.

However you are feeling right now, however you are reacting right now is OKAY. No one gets to tell you how to grieve. No one gets to tell you that you have nothing to worry about.

They are not walking in your shoes.

Some days I am full of calm, support, and good advice. Other days, I am sincerely and overwhelmingly terrified that I will NEVER be able to safely leave my house again because I am in a medically vulnerable population. I have already been painfully socially isolated for over two years. On those days I hunker down and avoid social media.

There is no ‘right’ way to respond to the world around us. There is only the way that is authentic to you in any given moment.

Take a break from social media when you need it, ask for support when you need it, hit that unfollow or mute button before you virtually smack someone else who is digging their fingernail into your raw nerves. Yelling at each other on social media has not changed minds or hearts yet.

But I am still listening. And I am still fighting to retain my humanity when it seems hopeless and pointless.

And I see you struggling too.

© 2020 Christine Elizabeth Ray – All Rights Reserved

11 comments

  1. It is true that much of what we have taken as “normal” may be forever changed, and certainly not come even close to being returned until we have either an effective (and affordable) treatment for this illness, and/or a vaccine (also affordable even for the poorest of the world) administered to virtually every human being. And, we cannot forget this and again be unprepared for the next emergent virus, because there will be more. The long term hope must be that we will learn to let our Better Angels prevail over our worse ones, realize that the Rugged Individual, the self-made Man, and the Bootstrap success are all fantasies, that our success and survival as individuals and as a species have come and will always come from our cooperation and compassion. John Donne had it right a long time ago in No Man Is An Island.

    ” No man is an island,
    Entire of itself,
    Every man is a piece of the continent,
    A part of the main.
    If a clod be washed away by the sea,
    Europe is the less.
    As well as if a promontory were.
    As well as if a manor of thy friend’s
    Or of thine own were:
    Any man’s death diminishes me,
    Because I am involved in mankind,
    And therefore never send to know for whom the bell tolls;
    It tolls for thee.”

    Liked by 3 people

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