At times of great uncertainty, I used to say, “Just walk another 10 feet and you’ll know more.” How I wish that were true now. It’s more like 200 feet or more in this unprecedented time in world history.
The information overload of the COVID-19 pandemic is overwhelming and scary. The continuous statistics and reports pouring in from too many sources of the worldwide suffering and death is difficult to ignore. Operating within a global context has clearly become a dangerous threat to the world over. Humanity’s common and invisible enemy has changed the landscape daily, taking away regular life, family gatherings, events, socializing, restauranting, business opportunities, fundraisers, projects, travel plans, dreams, the freedom to just go out and so it goes. I have this strange feeling that life as we knew it just a week or two ago will never be the same. I am already different and oddly, much more present.
Our economy is in a downward spiral, yet I can’t help but consider that the capitalistic treadmill is not necessarily exercise that promotes good health. At times, free enterprise seems like an endless pursuit of production and profit with no pre-determined end. Always more to feed that voracious appetite that wrongly holds hostage our self-worth and maybe even our true purpose on Earth. What is it about western culture that we readily accept this idea that wealth equates to happiness and a person’s intrinsic value, that money, achievement and fame are more important than culture, art, inclusion and connectedness?
My blood boiled when I read a tweet by the worst of humanity proposing that the economy and commerce must continue regardless of the expense of human life in the wake of COVID-19 and to sacrifice the old and the weak. This deplorable position is not a virus, but a terrible sickness just the same.
My elderly mother resides in an assisted living facility that has been in lockdown for several weeks. My heart breaks at the thought of her confined to her room for days on end with few activities, no visitors, eating meals on her own. All winter she has been looking so forward to spring and getting outside. Over the weekend, the sun finally arrived and the facility suddenly decided to allow some movement. My mother’s alert and determined friend who struggles with painful mobility issues made the long slow heroic journey down the hall to alert the troops, just so my mother and others could feel the warmth of the sun outside for fifteen minutes.
Even in the midst of this pandemic, there is inspiration all around. We are fortunate that Prince George has many strong leaders who have provided valuable information and guidance. It is incredible to know that first responders and essential workers, all workers and volunteers for that matter, bravely face this crisis locally and beyond. Prince George is a spirited community that has complied with the challenge to practice social distancing and isolating with The Hearts of PG.
I love how many wonderful citizens rally around UHNBC nightly in a car parade to encourage and honor those inside with honks and cheers. The same is willingly given to those celebrating birthdays. Small businesses are soldiering on, many giving generously to the cause. Teachers, students and parents alike are facing a very new normal. People are truly working together, supporting and protecting one another.