2020 is almost over - do I hear your sighs of relief? Though the year is ending, begging for reflection, the pandemic doesn't adhere to such artificial milestones, and unfortunately continues to loom over 2021, too.
This year we faced a common biological enemy, COVID-19. Back in March, we expected maybe 3 long months of difficult seclusion, with people panic-buying supplies so they could stock up. Now, 10 months later, and with many more similar months ahead, we must try to remain steadfast in our resolve to isolate, and slow the spread of the virus into the next year.
Having been in this so long, it's easy to become numb and blasé about exposure; taking precautions is fatiguing and intrusive. It raises our levels of anxiety, which can be draining, and unhealthy. The virus' demands on our lifestyles is soul-destroying and wearying, but dropping our vigilance will nullify all hardships and suffering we've endured up till now.
Like a literal war, the pandemic affects ALL our lives. It has demanded sacrifices from each of us in different measure - it impacts all religions, cultures, genders and geographic locations - even the remote research station in Antarctica is affected; that blows my mind! Unlike a war, though, we have a certain amount of choice in how the pandemic affects our lives, and how we respond, and not everyone is willing to contribute. (This week I encountered 3 people casually pumping gas without masks on, and within less than 6 feet of each other, - what???)
If we can't come together in fighting a common foe (mask compliance for starters), our adversary will not only continue to cut down our loved ones, but also cause more insidious, longer-lasting damage, polarizing society further in our time of need and rebuilding. Fighting amongst ourselves dooms us to failure at the front lines.
Our continued futures are linked, and success depends on us responding as ONE. May that be the goal we carry forward into 2021.