I think I’m going to fare poorly when it comes time to fully return to a post COVID-19 world. I’ve been faithfully wearing my masks and gloves and staying home, using the bank and pharmacy drive thru, and staying away from people in the grocery store. I haven’t been shopping since March 15, and I canceled all deliveries, repairs, cable and telephone upgrades. When I say I have been sheltering at home since March 15, I mean it, and I intend to continue.
This weekend though when my children and their families came by for the first time in almost two months, I hugged them for dear life with no regard for my safety or theirs. I had been perfectly fine praying for them, talking to them on the phone but not seeing them, until I saw them. I was on auto Mommy pilot and I couldn’t stop hugging and holding them.
My heart has already gone out to the families who aren’t able to visit the hospitals and nursing homes to offer comfort and support or say farewells to their family members who are ill or dying. I know from personal experience those words of love and last breath-good-byes are precious and indeed are part of the grieving and healing process.
Funerals are tough and the new, safer way to have them takes some getting used to. Funerals are as much a part of living as they are of dying, and I pray that all the families who’ve had to postpone public funerals will receive the support they will still need when planned memorial services are held.
While we don’t talk about it much, most of us have given a thought or two to our own funerals and who might come, who will sing or have nice things to say about us, but most of us are expecting family and friends to come and celebrate. I suspect nobody envisions 10 carefully selected people and a promise of more to come.
We’re expecting a lot more than this virus is allowing. The one graveside service I attended last month was short and attended by six masked and gloved people. Further, I’ve seen very little news or other coverage about the long-term sociological and generational effects of this virus on family stability.
A disproportionate number of nursing home patients, health care workers, young people, people who were minding their own business and didn’t seek or choose COVID-19, have all succumbed to this invisible enemy as it’s been called. Their wisdom, influence, and presence will be missed in big and small ways for years to come.
I am deeply saddened that this pandemic has become politicized and is more dangerous than anything we have known. Consistent and clear messaging about re-infection, causes, treatments, testing, incubation, risks, what’s happening at nursing homes—there are so many moving parts it’s hard to know which thing to fret about or what to protect yourself against.
In the days ahead, let us pray for a vaccine, support our neighbors and friends who are laid off, out of work, and hurting physically, financially, and mentally. If there’s a way to hurt, somebody’s feeling it. Continue to be patient and respectful of social distancing.
I asked the customer behind me Saturday if she’d mind stepping back because she felt a lot closer than six feet. As my grandmother would say she had a word to hand back and kept standing there. When she didn’t move, I did.
This new “normal” will take some adjustment, so be flexible and safe, and, if you can, stay home until we know more.
How do you see your personal identity changing during these uncertain times? Do drop in a line to me at #drbondhopson on Twitter and Facebook!
Looking for inspiration, empowerment, uplift, straight talk, an encouraging word to brighten your day? You’ve arrived! Meet Dr. Cynthia Ann Bond Hopson, best-selling author, educator, inspirational speaker, sistergirl–she’s all that and more. All the way from Stanton, TN (you can’t get there from here) to 50 states, six continents and everything in between, she’s wise, witty and altogether wonderful. She enthusiastically invites you to slow down, sit a spell, and share a giggle or two.