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How Are You?

Updated: Mar 18, 2020

So much has happened in the last thirty days that many of us can't shake the unsettled feeling that we've somehow managed to get trapped in an episode of The Twilight Zone, where reality is both surreal and apocalyptic at the same time. There are so many versions of the truth about the coronavirus, or Covid-19 that it's difficult to know what is true and real, especially since we frequently are bombarded with glaringly contradictory messages about everything from the size of crowds to what's happening to children at our country's borders.

Regardless of our own personal views regarding the origins of the illness spreading across the world, there are some unsettling aspects of our current lives. No matter what the politicians, reporters, store owners, and distributors are saying, most stores, at least in Los Angeles and the surrounding Southern California communities have been out of toilet paper and antiseptic cleansers for almost a week now. Many shelves are bare of basic necessities such as meat, eggs, and vegetables.

Children are out of school and parents are juggling taking care of them, missing work and paying the rent. This is real. As businesses close down, how are people suppose to support themselves? Restaurants, museums, movie theatres, and bars are all closed and each of those establishments have people who are dependent on the opportunity those places provided for them to earn a living. How are we going to help them?

I wish I had some answers, but I don't. All I know is that this is a good time to stay in touch with the people we care about. Tell someone you love them. Enjoy the company of your furry friends. Take walks and enjoy nature. Continue to take good care of ourselves, with good food, exercise, determination, and optimism. That's right. Optimism, because once our psyches succomb to despair, we are all in trouble. These are definitely crazy times, that will not last forever. One day, we'll look back and tell our children or grandchildren about the shut down of so many countries and how we survived it, back in 2020.

I'm encouraged by the many instances of neighbors offering to go grocery shopping for the elderly, stay-at-home mothers offering to take care of other people's children and the food programs set up to feed students who are dependent on schools for their breakfasts and lunches. And there are those people who are going out of their way to support local dining establishments by ordering take-out and food to go. Our common humanity and decency have us reaching out to each other in positive ways, to show that we are resilient and we can get through anything together.

The popular saying, 'and this too, shall come to pass,' has never been more true than now. One day, this will be a distant memory and all the chaos and anxiety will have faded away and life will be back to normal. It may be a new normal. Who knows, maybe we will come out of this with a renewed commitment for all Americans to have free health care. Now that's an optimistic perspective whose time has long been overdue. Maybe this crisis will make it a reality.

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