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Putting the Pandemic in Perspective

March 16, 2020

Greetings from the San Francisco bay area. It’s Meg. Our island community of Alameda has been isolating and social distancing for a few days, now. In fact, here in the bay area, we were just put on lockdown (grocery runs are ok). I can tell already – this is going to be rough!

I’m especially feeling for those whose livelihoods are in jeopardy, those who can’t get the essentials they need, those who are pregnant and are getting ready to deliver – ahhh!!! I’m so sorry you’re in this position and I know your anxiety is running high (as it should!!). EXTRA love to you guys. I wish I had some good, solid answers and advice.

What I can offer is some perspective. I am a WWII junkie. I’ve read all the WWII novels I can get my hands on – and watched all the documentaries (Ken Burns “The War” is exquisite – go watch it if you have time). And reading these books gives you an amazing perspective on the human struggle.

Think of this as war. The enemy is a deadly virus. It threatens to sicken us and kill our parents (grandparents) – and our vulnerable. And in war, ALL bets are off. School, vacations, paychecks… toilet paper. I reluctantly just called a few minutes ago to cancel our Spring Break plans. These things are out of our control right now – and it’s a hard thing to accept. I said the Serenity prayer to myself yesterday:

“grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change”

The good news is this: we aren’t being bombed by air raids, threatened by nukes, burning furniture for warmth, or eating the glue off of wallpaper because we’re starving. We aren’t being taken prisoner or risking our lives on the front line (though medical professionals certainly are!). For THAT, let’s take a moment to be thankful.

That said, people are suffering and there will be real casualties. Hospitality and travel is being decimated. Jobs will be lost, mortgages won’t get paid, summer vacations will be cancelled. Many peoples’ lives will be turned upside down – to no fault of their own. On that level, it’s bad. And it’s sad. So many worries, losses, and disappointments. Let yourself be sad and mad and disappointed. Let yourself grieve your losses. This is a safe space.

Just like in any war, it will suck, but we will suffer through this together and come out on the other side. Our cities won’t be reduced to rubble, our banks won’t be insolvent (I hope) and we WILL recover. For everyone that can stay home through this, lives are being spared. Thank you for that!!! We’re doing this for our elders and for the general wellbeing of our fellow man – and we hope that our children will do the same for us if/when the time comes. It really is an act of love.

Try to find the good things – the time you can spend with your families (if you’re able), the bonding that happens with neighbors and others in need (that would otherwise never happen!). Heck, even the reduction in carbon emissions from reduced travel/commuting is incredible. There will be many good things that can come out of this, if you let them.

I actually think this experience will be absolutely life changing for many. Many who never have the time (or would never take the time, at least) to slow down and fix some of the systemic problems in our lives.

A news article today reported that the people of Wuhan are getting back to work and slowly getting back to their lives. That’s great news! The same will happen for us – in time. If you watched the debates, both Biden and Bernie had a plan to “make whole those that are economically affected”. I don’t know what this means – or exactly how it will work – but it’s hope. Update: Congress has just passed a monumental stimulus/rescue package. Check it out.

Until then, go bravely forward with courage, flexibility and hope. Check in with loved ones. Watch a movie. Cook some food. Fix that leaky faucet. Do some yoga. But most importantly, just breathe – and know that everything will be okay in the longrun.

We’re gonna get through this!

— Meg

How are you doing today? Leave me a comment below —

Back to: Coronavirus News and Information Page


  1. I gave birth on March 16. My husband, daughter and I are in lockdown but we’re anxious ( like so many). I’m struggling with breastfeeding and am worried. We’re not sleeping (obviously) either which only makes things worse or seemingly impossible at times. But we’re going to get through this – we have to. We have been blessed with a beautiful daughter.

  2. Enjoy this time with you and baby. Relax, allow yourself to get comfortable (get phone, waterbottle, snack handy) and try breastfeeding. Breastfeeding will do both of you good. It releases hormones etc.
    This time with you and baby, with no visitors, is a gift. You can focus just on you and baby and hubby and other child can all adjust without interruptions.

  3. Just read this post. I’m grateful for these words and the perspective you offer. I keep thinking about wartimes and books like The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah, where one day everything was normal and then a day not too long later, there was another normal that was so different and much harder. It feels like that right now to me – the shift has happened and I’m left feeling thankful and more rested and lonely and scared all at the same time. Take care and be well, all of you!

  4. I love this positive perspective–what a breath of fresh air! I think a lot can be said for the Serenity Prayer at a time like this. There are so many things outside of our control and it’s learning to let go of what we cannot control and focus on the actions we can. Focusing on the positive is what will get us through this pandemic.

    -my positive attitude
    -turning off the news
    -how I follow CDC recommendations
    -my own social distancing
    -limiting my social media
    -my kindness and grace
    -finding fun things to do at home

    -if others follow the rules of social distancing
    -the actions of others
    -predicting what will happen
    -other people’s motives
    -the amount of toilet paper at the store
    -how long this will last
    -how others react

    Source: TheCounselingTeacher.com

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