For the past 5 weeks, I have been living a nightmare. I’ve been about half-present at work, or maybe more precisely I’ve been mostly present about half the time. I’ve come and gone from social media because too often I am unable to tolerate the incivility and hatred that has become – against all odds – even worse during this time when we should all be pulling together.
The nightmare I’ve been living is being worried sick that the love of my life was going to die.
About 5 weeks ago, already almost 2 weeks into self-imposed social distancing, Maddie started to cough. At first, it seemed like a simple chest cold. No high fever, no loss of taste or smell, nothing that made me panic.
“Mom, It’s the end of the world!” That’s what I heard when I picked up the phone last week. She’d been told to go home and self-quarantine by the hospital where she works. All non-essential personnel for dealing with the coronavirus were told the same. A week later, she reported living nonstop in her pajamas, losing track of time, and grateful for not having killed someone. As for that end-of-the-world thing, I don’t think she cared one way or another. I wonder if it helped to hear me say she’s greatly loved.
Not knowing what else to say, I had the same message of love for another daughter who called by video conferencing from a lock-down zone. Surrounded by her four boys, all under ten years old, including a set of impressively active twins, there was a lot of yelling and running around. With a strained smile, she said, “Felt optimistic yesterday. Today I just don’t want to get out of bed.”
We are still in the midst of a disruptive crisis no matter how “positive thinking police” try to spin it. As the Covid-19 quarantine continues with people working from home, with little or no social interaction, some of your team members may start experiencing a deeper level of anxiety. No one knows when or how it will end or what the “new normal” will look like. That anxiety due to seemingly uncertain futures and not knowing how or when the crisis will end, can cause some people to panic, lose focus about their work and disengage from the team.
With the right strategies you have the power to help yourself, your family and people in your organization to not panic and instead find joy and stay engaged. The actions you take now to increase and sustain connection, community, and inclusion will make the difference between a long re-entry or the shortest one possible. If you want to know five actions you can take immediately, read on.
The email cry for help came from a colleague whom I’ve never met in person, He’d been invited to give the invocation at the Governor’s Prayer Breakfast in Seattle, the epicenter of the coronavirus. My gut reaction was “Run Away! Run Away!” But I settled down when he wanted assistance writing his speech. I appreciate the power of words, especially in chaotic times, and they flowed from my brain to my computer and across cyberspace to help inspire calm, kindness, and compassion.
I struggled with adding hope to that list. I was watching the stock market swing like a balloon in a hurricane. I heard reports of schools closing. Harvard gave students just 5 days to “de-densify” the premises and take classes online. I figure my big Harvard reunion in May will be cancelled. (I’m not saying which year. Y’all know I’m old.)
As a child, on Easter Sunday, my mother had my clothes neatly pressed laid on the bed. My wardrobe consisted of a light knee length dress, normally sky blue or ivory, with white socks, and white patten leather shoes. She’d tie a light blue ribbon in my hair and hand me rosary beads to place in my tiny white purse. Then my parents, brother and I went to church. I had been too young to understand the importance of the day. All I cared about was getting home to my basket of chocolate and toys. After mass we’d go to my grandmother’s house for pasta with simmering tomato sauce cooking on the stove and a rack of lamb with fresh garlic hot in the oven. It filled the room with a delectable aroma. Year after year we continue the same food tradition, not the wardrobe, and spend it with family. But this year may be different…
I’ve seen movies about it and even wondered if it could happen, but to live it, is surreal. Easter is April 12th. Will we be with family? Will anyone be able to spend it with their family or go to church? With Covid-19 aka Corona Virus across the world, who knows?
As America wages a life and death battle against the skyrocketing spread of novel coronavirus, the critical importance of preserving Obamacare is more relevant today than ever. This is particularly true as more litigation to cripple the landmark law is pending at the Supreme Court.
In case you missed it, May 23 marked the 10-year anniversary of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), more commonly known as Obamacare. The ACA signifies one of the most groundbreaking and comprehensive healthcare laws in history, along with Medicare and Medicaid.
There is no question, flattening the curve is the need of the day. It is a critically important action on the part of every individual, inside and outside the medical system, to slowdown the COVID-19 pandemic. The purpose of flattening the curve is to ensure that we can deal with this outbreak within the current medical system capacity we have in place.
Flattening the curve, however, has flattened the economy by shutting down businesses, industries, mobility, education institutions and, extremely concerning, taken the ability from people to make a living. It is relatively easy for a small percentage of privileged folks to go in a lock down mode and work from home… but not for the first responders, the healthcare community, grocers and folks required for critical systems and industries. COVID-19 has created a crisis scenario for a vast majority of Americans who were already living paycheck to paycheck – many of whom would find themselves in a crisis mode should they run into an emergency requiring mere $400/-.
Real life, as we all know, is full of polarities: mountains and valleys; highs and lows; peace and war; happiness and loneliness; success and failure.
Though we, Earth’s human beings, are considered to be the wisest and the most powerful creatures on planet, there is a domain of control that we are incapable of. That domain is the control over the physical world. An Earthling like you and I can only control his or her inner self but not external dominions such as the direction to which the wind blows and where the current underneath the oceans flow. When the Earth sways and quakes rig off houses, when the sun blows its fire onto barren lands, we humans get physically hogtied and pushed to derangement IF WE ARE NOT WISE.
I’m not the only soul who’s discombobulated by the coronavirus pandemic. Heck, it’s got me twisting, turning and loading up on toilet paper without the foggiest reason why. But on the upside, it’s made me reflect on the inconveniences the virus has heaped on us and, strangely enough, how we should perhaps “relish the inconvenience.” Case in point is a trip to Germany years ago.
You see, it took me 25+ hours to go from Dallas to Germany, double the time it took me on previous flights. But, inconvenience aside, that trip turned out to be one of my best ones ever. That’s why I suggested then and suggest now that we make “relishing the inconvenience” a health and wellness priority, a core competency in a global economy.