For most of us, life has become quite different since the arrival of COVID-19. As someone with a higher susceptibility and a significantly higher risk if I contract it, I well understand some of the more negative aspects of these changes. I have accepted the physical distancing necessary as part of my risk management. Between my choices and the community response, much of the meaningful daily work of 2020 Vision Quest has come to an abrupt end while we as a country endeavor to flatten the curve and avoid some of the worst horrors experienced in places such as Italy.
I find some additional sadness in both ends of the spectrum of response by some parts of our community. We are all hurt by the obvious strains on the system as well as emotionally from those who move beyond awareness and planning to a panic-based disregard for the effects of their actions on others. Similarly, those who disregard a preponderance of evidence and education to make choices that increase their own risks and the risks of others do so at the likely detriment of our community, and when they do so brashly and belligerently, they compound the deleterious influence. Perhaps amidst all this, it is not surprising to find many struggling during these times even beyond the possible medical realities.
I’ve tried to take the lessons gleaned from my journey into blindness and apply them to the betterment of my life. One particularly valuable lesson is understanding we have a tremendous amount of accountability in our response to any challenge in our lives. Fortunately, that accountability comes with potential rewards based on the choices we make.
Each of us needs to come to terms with how we incorporate our response to the coronavirus into the routines in our lives. Hopefully we do that with an informed and conscientious approach. Then, within that framework, we choose how to respond such that we are honestly and earnestly making the best of these challenging times. Much as I learned to do with my blindness, I do not focus on what I cannot do but rather on what is it that I can do. Similarly, if there’s something I very much want, how can I creatively find a means to do that within the framework of my educated and appropriate restrictions?
I particularly appreciated the semantic adjustment of “physical distancing” from “social distancing.” It’s one example of a powerful means we have at our disposal to put the emphasis on what is within our means. We may not be able to reasonably gather in our usual social circles and environs. It is an excellent time to reach out by phone, video chat, or whatever your possible mediums may be to the friends you want to reach. I’m finding the opportunities to reach more people and reach them in meaningful ways at this time. It’s my choice to use some of the additional time afforded by the crisis to expand my social connection to friends rather than lose them.
I have similar approaches to many of my work projects as well. Whether personally or professionally, it’s time to rethink all the possible projects in your life which might be managed under the present situation. Is it time for that basement organization? How is that writing project you have been putting aside? Was there a new technology you had been hoping to learn when there was just a little more time? Putting our focus into the positive improvement of our life not only acts as an excellent distraction, it’s a positive foundation for building momentum in healthier directions – especially during a time of crisis.
Ultimately, when the worst of these difficult days have passed, and they will pass, what will we have to show for it? There will be some notable changes and possibly considerable hardships for many of us. We take steps to mitigate this all along the way and one of the best forms is by building positives.
The challenge is taking the first step, identifying the many possibilities available to you when for many it is far easier to observe all that has been lost. By taking the first step, you can spring into action.