Scranton: Ready Yourself
For the Craig Press
Months have passed, COVID is still hanging around, Fall is right around the corner, and we still have no agreement on how to wade through this viral minefield. Summer has been great! People are still getting tested, but so many are traveling and vacationing and just getting outside to enjoy life again. Cases pop up and some immediately slip into COVID paranoia all over again. What have we learned? Depends who you ask. What should we do? Depends what you read. How do we get back to normal? That ain’t happening, so we might as well accept that pandemicmonium is here to stay for a while.
Let’s quit trying to “get back to normal” and take a few insights gleaned over the past 12 months so that we can get on with the business of living. Maybe we need to realize that no matter what we do, life is still very much out of our control. The more we all try to manage things, the more the law of unintended consequences plays with us. Uncertainty is about the only thing we are going to be able to count on as we move into Fall. The only two things we can control are our mind and our choices.
Informed readers of this column know that there are some pretty big questions surrounding the way we have managed this pandemic and from some parts of our culture a cry for shutting down opinions that don’t follow the mainstream line of thinking. This is commendable, we want to be safe. Maybe it’s necessary, people are gullible. But how do we get serious questions answered if serious people aren’t allowed to ask?
We can try to get things working again but every single one of us has been forever affected by the last 12 months and we aren’t going to forget about it anytime soon. Vaccinations aren’t a cure-all and science can’t save us from future pandemics. Other health issues such as anxiety, depression, substance abuse, and sleep disorders have people seriously questioning lockdowns, constant mask-wearing, and social distancing. Maybe we need to coddle ourselves a little less and try to build up some resilience?
Won’t we be forever vulnerable if we think that we can do things for a little while and then get back to normal? Restrictions make us feel like we have a handle on things we can’t ever have true control over. We all want to be healthy and live our lives with some confidence that we can be safe. Too often though, we exchange things like freedom and privacy thinking that we can get things back when things are normal again. But that’s not how it works and we each have to confront the elephant in the room at some point: We gotta figure out how we want to live. Do we simply add years to our life and live in constant fear or do we add life to our years knowing that nothing is forever and we aren’t guaranteed anything?
I just want to live again and be able to make some non-COVID memories. Summer has been great with all the freedom to have concerts, travel, go shopping and see people’s smiles, not worry about giving someone a hug or a gentle touch of affirmation. We gotta be careful that we don’t forget the things that really make life worth living. We each need to ready ourselves to be flexible, be resilient and hopefully embrace some joy!
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