Gosh, we are 3 months away from a new year and who thought we would be where we are today? Can we agree that the year 2020 has challenged us in many ways?
From the start, the rapid spread and threat of the novel coronavirus demanded the world to respond strongly and quickly, challenging many public health systems like they have never been challenged before.
One of our north stars and icons, Ruth Bader Ginsburg said, “anger, resentment, envy, and self-pity are wasteful reactions. They greatly drain one’s time. They sap energy better devoted to productive endeavors.”
We must recognize the lessons we have learned from COVID—the optimistic silver lining if you will. And there is one! In fact, there are multiple—7 of them to be exact.
Our New Normal Lesson 1: Life is Unpredictable
If you did not know this already, you were abruptly reminded this year that life is unpredictable and we are not in control of everything. Even after the virus crossed our borders, the path and destruction was still unknown.
It has certainly taught us that our healthcare system has thresholds and westernized medicine cannot overcome everything.
Our New Normal Lesson 2: Working remotely Works!
We have surprised and impressed ourselves along with ourselves when it comes to working from home. Although there might have been a learning curve, the benefits definitely outweigh the struggle for all parties.
Employers have less overhead when they do not need to provide office space. Without the commute to work, you are less stressed, get more sleep and are thus more productive at work.
Our New Normal Lesson 3: Human Vulnerability
Just as we discovered with lesson 1, we are not invincible. Take one walk through any Emergency Department and you are very much aware of your mortality. When it was evident that people with underlying conditions are more susceptible to becoming ill, that was logical and therefore easy to understand.
But when it was evident that it does not matter whether you have a pre-existing condition or not, well, that is when the human vulnerability complex really sunk in. Even superheroes have their kryptonite.
Our New Normal Lesson 4: Brutally aware of germs
This might be an obvious lesson. We have each been told a thousand times to wash your hands and that was before the pandemic. Lesson #4 is that there are germs everywhere and although most won’t kill you, we are very aware of just how much contact we have with foreign surfaces and foreign bodies.
Our New Normal Lesson 5: Hygiene and Habits
As we come out of lesson #4, we step right into lesson #5, where we learned that our hygiene and habits need to improve. Have you counted the number of times you touch your face without washing your hands first? It must be at least a few times.
Judging by how much liquid soap flew off the shelves in the supermarket shows just how much our hygiene has improved!
Our New Normal Lesson 6: Teaching is a full time job
Gosh, this lesson has perhaps hit us the hardest. Where do we start on expressing our gratitude toward our educators? We have seen and felt the home schooling path and it is certainly not for the faint of heart.
It has made us cognizant of the fact that raising children, working, and teaching are all separate professions. Those that continue to do more than just one astound us!
Our New Normal Lesson 7: Human Resilience
As we adapt to our new lives fighting COVID-19, our resiliency as well as our vulnerability (lesson #3) is proven. Perhaps this isn’t a lesson but more of a realization and positive reinforcement for you.
We have proven to ourselves that we are very resilient and can overcome multiple hardships. Well done! Consider this a virtual pat on the back from us. We know it is hard and the unknowns feel very frustrating and overwhelming but as uncomfortable as it may be, you can and will get through it.
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