It is hard, isn’t it? It is difficult to isolate for yet another month. We’re headed into our fourth month of this uncomfortable, uncommon, and unfamiliar situation and it is taking its toll on us.
CNBC reported, that as of “Wednesday, the nation’s seven-day average of daily new Covid-19 cases was 31,172. This number has increased more than 34% compared with a week ago, according to the analysis of Johns Hopkins data. Cases are growing by 5% or more in 31 states across the U.S., including Arizona, Florida, Texas, and California.”1
It’s hard to be careful every single day. It’s challenging to remember your mask every time you run into a Caribou for coffee or dash into Target for toilet paper. But, it is still important; as important as it was on March 18th, when we all got sent home.
So what do you do with all the whining that happens in your head? The voices that say, “But, it’s the fourth of July, I’ve got to celebrate!” – but do you?
If you don’t know (personally) anyone who’s had the virus, it is really easy to thing it has gone away! If it hasn’t hit close to home or seriously harmed anyone in your family, it’s dangerously alluring to imagine that you’re immune. It can’t happen to me, can it?
It can happen. It is happening.
MPR news quoted Kris Ehresmann, Minnesota’s infectious disease director, noting that our early sacrifices to limit COVID-19’s spread “will be undermined if we don’t get cooperation from all Minnesotans, especially younger Minnesotans, who are most active and social. . .We desperately need younger Minnesotans to take it seriously.”2
But all of us have experience with acting against our own best intentions. Speaking purely for myself. . .
- I know I should choose the salad over the donut, but sometimes I just cave-in to the gooey satisfaction of a salt-sugar-fat hit and all that it does to my brain chemistry.
- I know I should be getting up off my butt and be exercising every day, but days go by and I’m tired of walking around my own neighborhood, so I binge-watch TV instead.
It is just so easy to quit on ourselves, on our own resolve to act wisely on our own behalf, and on behalf of others. It’s easy to give up, to cave-in rather that give each action, each choice-point, our best.
I can’t speak for you, but I know that for me, my self-righteous-indignation kicks into high gear when I notice how many people in the grocery store haven’t bothered to bring, let alone wear, a mask.
Or when I do venture into a public space like a restaurant, I see families who barely bother to corral their members as they wander mindlessly close to me as if the words “social distancing” form a phrase they’ve never heard before.
It is hard not to be judgmental; to give into the ever-so-human tendency to say to myself, “I’m right – they’re wrong!” But that’s definitely NOT the person I want to be. So, what to do with the messages that swirl in my brain and defy my best intentions to be my higher self? Well, I’ve come upon two strategies that seem to be working for me:
- I repeat the mantra, “They’re doing the best that they can!” – (just as I am) and offer grace.
- I turn my attention toward the many things going on around me that are amazingly well done (and there’s always something to notice that warms my heart and encourages my soul).
What will you do to keep on going, to be your best self, to be true to your values and your highest intentions? It is a daily, conscious choice to live your best life, especially in the midst of COVID-19. Will you choose to do it with me?
- Kim, J. (2020). Record spikes in U.S. coronavirus cases push up hospitalization rates in 16 states. https://www.cnbc.com/2020/06/25/record-spikes-in-us-coronavirus-cases-push-up-hospitalization-rates-in-16-states.html
- MPR Staff (2020). Latest on COVID-19 in MN: Number of confirmed cases climbs past 35,000. https://www.mprnews.org/story/2020/06/27/latest-on-covid19-in-mn