I always prepare for good luck. Now, we are all truly preparing for good luck. My fear, aside from loved ones becoming sick with COVID19, and an even more unmanageable situation in hospitals and throughout, is that we begin to fear one another even more than we did. I fear that the virus will be a brand, like HIV-AIDS was. Despite the more ubiquitousness of COVID19, people who are not (yet) sick, may have a false sense not only of security, but of ability.
I fear that people may begin to regard those who are sick and not in the most vulnerable demographics as being worthy of condemnation or suspicion, merely for becoming sick. I fear the original usage of social distancing. I fear our loss of compassion just as we were beginning to find some.
There is much to fear at this moment, as so much is beyond our control. While attempting to stay informed, I confess that I protect my fragile psyche with not entertaining thoughts about the looming disaster while still doing whatever I can within reason to ensure comfort and endurance, at least for the next couple of weeks at a time. It’s all I can do. (That, and utter gratitude for all that I have.)
I have always felt incredibly lucky. That doesn’t mean that there has never been effort or challenge. Of course there has been plenty, like anyone else, and I know that pain and suffering—physical and mental–are debilitating. Too often I have been fearful, which is its own form of pain and suffering, and exacerbates all conditions. It distorts and diminishes possibility. It infects on top of infections. And when fear arises within me, I feel powerless.
I am not unafraid of the possibilities of bad luck in this time of COVID19, but I am not particularly afraid. That could change at any time, of course, but now I am mostly afraid of fear (thank you, FDR), and what suffering it causes.
Much has already been acknowledged about how much has been laid bare as we are scrambling to prepare for good luck across the globe, but especially across the USA. The crisis will not be forever, but who knows how long temporary is? The dire prospects are most unsettling, even imagining the aftermath. As we have seen before, the possibility of compassion and responsibility redefining us as we meet this novel virus is upon us. There is also the possibility of being overwhelmed by fear and losing our greatest strength, our compassion.
We are social beings who can’t be social right now. Our social distancing is, ironically, a way to be social while attempting to mitigate exposure to the virus. As we are beginning to meet this challenge and be prepared, prepare to dig deep to mitigate fear. Be compassionate to yourself and others, and prepare for good luck.