In times like these…..

I really can’t recall every “disaster” I’ve been alive for, and I’m not even that old! Multiple hurricanes, the earliest I can remember was Elena in the early 80’s. Several stock market crashes, a bucket full of viral outbreaks, more hurricanes, two wars, recessions… I think you get the point. COVID-19 is another in a series of these once in a lifetime events that those in my generation have been gifted with. But I can say with certainty, it won’t be the last. However, after each one of these events, we have rebounded. We pulled on the lessons taught by our grandparents, who came from far worse times, and pulled our bootstraps up and went to work. This time is no different.
If anything, this forced pause on life should give us a moment to reflect. Reflect not only on what is important to us, but what is important to all of us. Whole before the self, and no this isn’t a plead for socialism. In a pod cast with Joe Rogan, Congressmen Dan Crenshaw said ” We have to do not what just feels good, but what is good…” What he was saying in this is that just because something feels like the right thing to do, doesn’t mean it is sustainable, or that is has good long term consequences. To carry that a bit further, it may seem that these recommendations/requirements to close establishments and distance ourselves from each other are extreme and they will no doubt affect the way our lives are lead in the short term, they are purposeful. So please heed them! Limit your travel, stay put, if you’re sick, stay home.
Do I think this event has been a bit over blown in the media? Absolutely, but has that been necessary to convince people to change their habits, even for a short time? Probably so. But what can we do with this forced pause on life if everything is closed down?
What we can do is be mindful of the people who are still trying as hard as they can to keep their staff employed. Some places have gone to alternating schedules. Some have enacted takeout orders. Some vendors are setting up open air pick up spots where you can come get your produce. Some stores are limiting the number of customers inside at a time, or offering curbside delivery of product. All over the place, the market(s) are being forced to be creative in how they get their product to customers not only because they depend on these customers for their livelihood but because customers depend on them for their diets and health needs.
We as producers will continue to work to produce and deliver no matter what. Business owners will continue to try to find ways to employ staff, even if it means coming out of pocket. So do what is good, and feels good, and support your local shops, stores, and food producers. Be mindful in your choices.
Some other ideas to consider is how prepared were you for an event like this? Some will say ” no one was prepared…” but that isn’t true and not I’m not specifically referring to the “Preppers” on A&E or the History Channel. I mean people who keep a stock of food in the house at all times. Those who have gardens that produce some fresh foods for their homes. We can’t all do it all, which is why we have an economy. But keeping a week or two of meats, dried goods, and even some canned foods on hand is never a bad idea. Veggies are always a challenge to store, but keeping some seeds on hand and planting your own little lettuce leaf pots isn’t a bad idea. What other ways can you think of to be a little more prepared should something like this occur again, and it probably will in our lifetimes.
In the end, not to be cliche here, but this too shall pass. Life will come back to normal, if not just a little different because our eyes have been opened to what could happen. Maybe some people get better about washing their hands, or others become more mindful of when they aren’t well and being conscious of others and not infecting them. Maybe they check on their neighbors a bit more and offer assistance to some one who is struggling. Maybe it’s giving a roll of TP to a stranger. ( I still haven’t figured out the run on TP.. maybe I’m just dense.) Life will return to normal, even if that is a new normal. Don’t panic, be mindful, be kind, keep the lessons we are learning now close to heart for the future.

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