2020 has been a decade long seeming year. Since March we have been dealing with chaos, unpredictable and unrelenting converging crises. What we hoped would be a few weeks of inconvenience and staying in, imploded to a near yearlong event. Therapeutics and vaccines are on the horizon but in the US every day is increasing in caseload and hospitalizations.
We are weary. We want some traditions to comfort us, we want contact with the people we love. We need joy. We are anxious. We are sad and depressed. How do we keep going when we cannot see the end?
What we Know
We have endured hard things before. Illness, the Great Depression, enduring injustice and 9/11 did not unravel us. We did not know then how long it would last. But we know the storm ends, the disease gets rounded up, and we survive it. Victory Gardens, USO and rationing for the good of the country helped us end tyranny. Science, technology, and grit helped us stamp out Polio, Measles and Mumps. We found new ways to conquer the obstacles. We pulled together. We believed in the hope and promise of the next day, the new week, the fresh month, and the shining light of the new year.
Manage what You Can
Letting go is hard. Trust and faith can be complicated and difficult. There are things we can manage here. We can reduce socialization. We can wear safe face coverings or masks. We can wash our hands more often. We can avoid areas of close contact. We can sacrifice our near-term needs for our long-term safety. We can help the people in our bubble carry on. We can model strong behavior for our children. We can be calm and focused on the things that we can cling to here.
This year has been unequivocally awful. The world has lost too many souls. The economic is generating unprecedented hardships for millions. But we do have some small silver streaks. Our families have had time together in ways we do not usually have. We are more connected to our children’s education and have found creative ways to keep cabin fever at bay. We have stripped away things we would normally cling tightly to because they are not pragmatic or possible now. The skies cleared some when we stopped going out. Industries became creative and innovative.
The End is Out There
We know hurricanes and tornados play out their fervor. We know wars end. We know illnesses end and health returns. We know economic downturns will up turn and new businesses and innovation will pop up to cope. There is pain now. There is grief now. But we know the shoreline is there even when out of our vision. We will get through this time. We will heal. We will go back to work, visit friends, eat out and celebrate milestones again. We can pull together, pull each other up and along. We can have faith now that sacrifices save lives and time on hold leads to more time with those we love in the future. We know we survive. We know we are from strong and sturdy stock. We tamed the West. We rebuilt what was blown down and we will rise from 2020. Hope, faith, belief, and vision of new and better days will safely guide us to 2021. If you need help to keep going, call a trained counselor. They are online, on demand and will help guide you to keep moving.