Updated: Jan 11
Whatever your views on Covid 19, all viruses have the potential to show us our vulnerability. We may be of different races, sexual orientations, religious/spiritual paths, political parties. We may live near each other or so far away from each other we will likely never meet. However, any of us could get sick from something as miniscule as a virus. The virus, and the fear it is bringing up around wellness, mortality, and even financial survival, are common denominators for most of humanity.
I’ve seen evidence of how Covid 19 has brought people together in my local community. Free meals being made and delivered, activists donating resources and risking their health to help homeless people have ways to wash their hands, and have places to sleep when many of their usual options are closed. I see people offering to run errands for elderly people, and help them with projects- making it possible for at risk people to stay safely indoors. People do grocery shopping for the homebound, asking nothing in return. These are just a few of the acts of kindness I have witnessed.
At the same time, Covid 19 has brought up much disagreement and divisiveness. Should everyone stay at home to keep everyone safe? Or should we be able to resume going out? What if staying inside means not being able to make a living to pay for even the most basic expenses such as rent? Or to support our families? What will happen to the economy as we continue to stay indoors?
Then there are disagreements about masks, and medical information. Are masks necessary on an isolated bike trail, or on a walk through town where not many people are out and people are keeping safe distance? What kinds of masks should we wear or not wear? Just how serious is Covid 19, anyway? Are we being lied to? Will there be a rise in mortality if we go back outside too quickly?
These questions are natural. We want to make the best choices to stay safe, and protect others. The difficulties arise when we cannot know the answers for certain, or we think that we do, and we turn our frustration out towards others in the form of angry outbursts, insults, name calling, wishing others to suffer and die, and even threats. Really, people?
Whether our concerns are about our health, the health of our loved ones, how we will survive financially, the loneliness of being inside alone for months, the relationship challenges of sheltering with partners or family, the vitality of our community, or any of the other concerns that this virus is bringing to the forefront of our awareness, deep inside we are all susceptible, and we are all connected.
We may get angry, lonely, overwhelmed, bored or afraid. We may have differences of opinion on whats going on and how to best resolve it. But through this all we have the choice to either treat each other with compassion or to tear each other apart. We can choose to act from our interconnectedness, or from a sense of separation. This separation, and our resulting actions, is the bigger virus, the bigger threat, and it is something over which we have control. What will you choose?
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