You’re probably thinking I’m flipping out right now with this pandemic, but in a surprising twist, I’m not. In fact, quite the opposite. I feel calm. And no I’m not sedated, (honest).  I’m just making a conscious decision not to give into the fear of this time in our history.

It doesn’t mean I don’t take COVID-19 seriously. Believe me, I’m not going to do anything to jeopardize my own health, nor that of my family because of a ridiculous notion that I’m invincible. I’m not. No risk taking here. No false bravado that coronavirus won’t get me, either. It very well could. I’ll deal with that if it comes and I’ll be swift to do it. But I won’t allow myself to get run down with worry, lack of sleep and obsessive fretting. It is said, what you fear you create. I’m not creating more mayhem for myself or the people who love me.

When I lose my perspective, I think of my grandmother who survived two World Wars. She understood fear. She witnessed the fragility of life and the linger of death for years, not weeks. She lived on rations and went without for years, not months. She must have been on edge every day and every night. But she was tough. She was resilient. What choice did she have? She coped with a magnitude of anxiety and loss that I cannot comprehend. So, I figure, I can wait in line for groceries and keep some hand sanitizer in my pocket, and then go home to my warm, dry house and snuggle under a blanket to binge watch television. Let’s face it, that’s what most of us blessed with good health are doing. It’s hardly horrible. Goodness knows I have toilet paper.

You may think that’s an over-exaggeration, not comparable, but I would argue the reason we’re all freaking out is because we realize most of us are incapable of coping without the comforts of the world we’ve created. We’ve become spoiled by the luxury of convenience and consumerism only to be reminded that life doesn’t depend on your debt load or if you can buy your coffee through your car window. Life doesn’t care. A virus doesn’t either. All of sudden, this lesson got very real. It had to.

Reality hit me an hour before I started this column. The Carpenter called to tell me he will be laid off this week. Next week will be his last full pay-cheque. Will we make another month of bills? Maybe. Barely. We are a two-income family for a reason. It’s not a choice. Do we have savings? We’re a pay-cheque-to-pay-cheque family. So be it. We’ll figure it out. Or we’ll go without. Or we’ll run away and not tell the banks where we went. Whatever. We’ll play the cards we’re dealt. This is life.

Still, I will consciously choose to see the good around me and focus on the amazing acts of kindness and community all around me. I’ve seen such immense goodness in my neighbourhood, my town, my county. I love where I live. I’m going to keep the faith in my fellow humans and the power of kindness and compassion, because what you focus on is also what you create.

Let’s take care of one another. Let’s check in. Let’s help out. Close the door on the virus but open the window of hope for how incredible we’ll be when we can say we got through this together.

WriteOut of Her Mind