Thinking about COVID, I do what I always do when I see hardship and tragedy that is bigger than I can understand: I become philosophical and a bit new-age-y and try to see what lessons I can take from it all. And … I did what any free thinker in this day and age would do: I googled the question, “what can we learn from the pandemic?” I thought there’d be several thousand articles to leisurely peruse. Actually, there were 675,000,000 results. I guess the pandemic is a very prolific teacher, as adversity most often is.
I could never read all those articles, so I leaned on the practical, the Capricorn in me, and didn’t read any. Instead, I made lists, lists of the things I’ve learned, some positive lessons, some more difficult.
First: Toilet paper is a most valuable commodity. Who knew?
Second, third, fourth, fifth and sixth: I am much more privileged than I’d ever imagined.
I’m also less outgoing than I’d ever thought. I enjoy quiet time alone and extra space.
Six feet of space feels just about right.
Billionaires venturing into space doesn’t.
Which leads me into some of the difficult lessons made so clear over this past year and a half:
We need to care more about people in nursing homes.
We need to care more about the marginalized.
We need to care about the whole state of health care—and about health care workers—from doctors, to administrators, to nurses, EMTs, aides, housekeeping staff. All of them.
We need to care about science.
We need to believe in science.
We need to stay clear of bleach.
Mostly, I’ve learned to be grateful. Truly grateful. For little pleasures, like TV and all the old series I’d missed the first time around. For wine. For Zoom. I’ve met so many wonderful people from across the country and the globe. I am grateful not to have school-aged kids—I can’t imagine parenting young children during the pandemic. And I am incredibly grateful to have my health and that my loved ones are healthy too. That I have more time and, always, more lessons to learn