Community in the Face of Coronavirus Isolation

Wednesday, March 18, 2020

These are trying times.  Obviously.  And we will continue to be challenged for some time.  With this faster-than-ever newscycle, there is much to process.  Part of my processing keeps bringing me back to the importance of community -- finding it, feeling it, and building it despite isolation and distancing.  

I anticipate having more to say on the subject, but for now I want to send love to some folks who I know need it.  I wish I could do more.  I wish I could offer more than support via a blog that few people ever see.  But in the spirit of community, I want to say to these people that I see you, I feel your fear, and I hope you can draw a bit of strength from knowing that I care.  And for anyone reading this, I ask that you please send these people some love as well:

Those who have lost loved ones to the virus.

Those battling the virus, who are sick and hoping not to make others sick.

Doctors, nurses, and medical professionals, who put others first even when it increases their own risk.

Scientists working around the clock to develop a vaccine or treatment, or mitigation strategy, knowing that it cannot happen fast enough or be effective enough.

Hospital administrators, who are are trying to make the best of numbers that simply don't add up.

Pregnant ladies facing birth during a time when our healthcare resources will be stretched so thin.

Parents of newborns, who are terrified both for their babies and themselves.

Parents of toddlers and young children, who are struggling to maintain some sense of normalcy when nothing feels normal.

Single parents, who know that they cannot afford to get sick.

Parents of school-aged children who suddenly find themselves in charge of educating their children.

Parents of teens.  Enough said.  Trust me, I know.

Parents of kids with special needs, who worry about the availability of resources to help care for them.

People undergoing chemo, or dialysis, or any sort of medical treatment that requires ongoing care, where continuity of care is critical.  

People needing surgery or any other sort of medical procedure at a time when the risk feels so much higher.

People with compromised immune systems, who know their bodies will struggle more than most if faced with a new virus.

Elderly people, who have lived through so much yet now face a moment like nothing they've ever seen.

People whose medical situations put them in a high-risk category.

People who rely on prescription drugs, who worry about their ability to continue getting them.

People without homes, or with less ability to isolate themselves.

People who lack sufficient food and grocery resources and wonder how they will manage.

People for whom staying at home means facing violence or other harmful conditions. 

Law enforcement, first responders, and community members whose jobs of tending to our safety cannot get put on hold.

Community leaders and officials, who are making hard choices in the midst of so much uncertainty.

Janitors, custodians, and community members who are on the front lines trying to eliminate the virus before it can spread.

Teachers, school administrators, and others who are working hard to revamp our education system to ensure that our children keep learning and don't fall behind.

Business owners forced to make drastic decisions, knowing that the bills will keep coming.

People whose livelihood is threatened or suddenly gone, who wonder how they will make ends meet.

People without health insurance, who know that getting the virus could be devestating.

People with no financial reserves, who felt one step away from financial ruin even before all of this.

People with mental health issues, who are struggling to deal with the extra uncertainty and challenges associated with this virus.

Counselors and therapists, who are trying to manage everyone else's anxiety during this scary time.

People (including kids!) who are mourning losses of important events -- weddings, proms, graduations, sports competitions, funerals, etc.

People with loved ones in any of these situations, who are so worried about what could happen.

And anyone else I missed -- I know there are lots of you out there who are feeling this consequences of this pandemic especially acutely.  

Take a good look at that list of people who are hit extra hard right now.  Even if you are not the list, you are connected to someone who is.  And if you are on the list, you can be sure that others around you are too.  These are your friends, your neighbors, your colleagues, your family members.  Think about reaching out to folks more than you ordinarily would.  Check in with people to see how they are doing.  Keep empathy and compassion at the forefront of your mind and remind yourself to give people the benefit of the doubt.  While we're working hard to distance ourselves from each other physically, let's also work hard to close that distance in other ways, so that we can maintain a sense of community and connection.  We need that right now.  We're all in this together. 

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