FEATURE — Church is canceled. The NBA is canceled. My son’s middle school production of “Newsies” is canceled. Heck, even Broadway is canceled. As in, THE Broadway.
I’m not complaining about the cancellations. I get it – it’s all about flattening out that curve so when COVID-19 comes to our communities, our health care systems won’t be overwhelmed.
It doesn’t mean I’m not disappointed. I was supposed to be on a romantic getaway this weekend in New York with my husband. We were going to waste hours at museums, see “To Kill a Mockingbird” on Broadway and eat deliciously greasy pizza at a little spot under the Brooklyn Bridge.
And it doesn’t mean that the young people in my life aren’t disappointed.
One of my boys doesn’t get to perform in the play he sacrificed every weekend since Christmas for. He spent the afternoon crying about it with a friend.
Another boy doesn’t get go to the Olympic Training Center in Colorado, even though he earned a coveted spot on the U.S. National Gymnastics Team.
OK, maybe I am complaining a little bit about the cancellations. Maybe you’re complaining a little too. It’s OK. We’re human.
A friend once told me she loves herself a good pity party. She simply puts a time limit on the festivities.
The way she sees it, you can’t move on from something until you’ve seen it clearly – until you acknowledge the reality of it.
So, COVID-19, I see you. I see you disrupting the world financial markets. I see you clearing out every Walmart, Costco and Harmon’s of toilet paper, Clorox wipes and ramen noodles. I see you shutting down entire cities and countries. I see you making some people very sick – and even killing them.
But I also see you reminding me that life is precious. Every day of it. And I need to be grateful.
I see you enabling children in industrial parts of China to see a star-filled sky for the first time, maybe ever.
I see you reminding us all of basic hygiene practices. Washing hands is a very good thing.
I see you helping me re-evaluate my own emergency preparedness. When did I buy those cases of tomato sauce and black beans anyway?
I see you showing the world that we can use the technologies at our fingertips to reinvent our workplaces and intuitions of education.
I see us asking important questions because of you.
And I, thanks to you, I am reminded once again how important my human connections are because you are making social distancing a necessary thing. For now.
Yes, COVID-19, you are a major problem. But I think you’ll help make us better in the long run.
And if not, maybe COVID-20 will do the trick.
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