By: Sarah McCormick
COVID-19 has been the most talked about, researched, and discussed topic across the globe since news of the impending pandemic broke in Wuhan, China, back in December 2019. Since then, the virus has managed to infiltrate the world with such fierce velocity, taking us all by storm, and affecting hundreds of countries and lives worldwide. As of April 7th, 2020, there are over an estimated 1,400,000 cases across the globe, with over 81,000 deaths pertaining to the virus.
As of yesterday, 43 states had enacted mandatory stay-at-home or safer-at-home orders. For those who have been stuck at home for some time, they’ve no doubt come up with creative ways to entertain their children and themselves during this change of pace.
With that, one might find themselves wondering if it’s even possible for any good to come from this ‘hidden enemy,’ as President Donald Trump calls it. Even in the midst of fear, there is much to be appreciative of throughout the course of this pandemic.
The almost total shutdown of our country is, in retrospect, one of the best things to happen to America in recent history, because it has afforded families and individuals the gift of time. There are plenty of things to be said about the state of humanity during this uncertainty, and the way Americans are coming together is unmatched by any event in recent history.
Very soon, we will all look back on this moment in our lives – and although it was a difficult, trying time full of sadness, grief, and fear, we will have emerged on the other side stronger than ever, because we are Americans. As Americans, we rise from the ashes no matter the hardship or adversity we face. Americans are proving to the world just how strong, resilient, and incredible our country truly is.
Says Mother of 7 and Grandmother, Jacqueline Grandy, of Massachusetts, “I’ve been thinking a lot about it, and I think this time has given me the chance to appreciate my family more than ever before. We are all spending more time together, and this virus has made us all rethink the way we treat our families.”
Nursing student Amber Fontaine of Florida says of the pandemic, “Hopefully, we can slow the spread of sickness in general after this is all over because it seems that people have begun to recognize the impact that good handwashing has.”
We see communities coming together in this time of crisis in creative, inventive ways, even while practicing social distancing. Churches are organizing food drives to help those in need. Neighbors are standing outside of their front doors, cheering on the Medical professionals in their communities off to another hospital shift, a mere 3 hours of sleep later. Entire neighborhoods in the inner city are singing from their apartment building windows songs of hope. We see our brave grocery store cashiers fighting on the frontlines the same way our police officers do, risking it all so that we can have the things we all need. Our Construction workers are still handling business to ensure homes and roadways are in tip-top shape, ensuring our safety. Restaurateurs are offering free delivery and curbside pickup and doing their best to stay afloat.
Americans have been finding all sorts of ways to participate in positive activities throughout the unfortunate current events. From being able to indulge in more sleep to tackling the cleaning out closets or home improvement projects, to reconnecting with family via Social Media, there are so many ways to view the current situation in a positive light.
Perhaps you find yourself participating in hobbies you forgot you even had – things like painting, reading, baking, or gardening. Maybe you’ve even developed a new workout routine whereas before, you hadn’t had the time.
Many cities across America are seeing bluer skies, less pollution, and the people are genuinely enjoying the beauty of nature like never before. It’s as if this virus has had the opposite effect many people have anticipated, and it has, instead of instilling fear and panic, caused the people to find reasons to be happy and celebrate life. People see life through new eyes and thanking God for the breath in their lungs each morning.
The virus seems to be allowing mothers to spend more time being mothers and fathers more time being fathers. It’s proven to be a much different way of life over the course of the past few weeks than anything we as Americans have ever faced or witnessed before.
While it’s true that this virus should be respected for what it is, and people should undoubtedly take it very seriously, we need to remember that this too shall pass. The best thing we as Americans can do is to stay level-headed and calm, stay positive, and do as much as we can to help others – especially our elderly neighbors and family members – throughout this time.
It can be hard to see the light at the end of the tunnel, but with each passing day and with the advances in medicine bringing us closer to a cure, we can expect to see an end to this invisible battle before we know it.
America, the land of the free and home of the brave – the land of opportunity, resilience, and strength. We will get through this together, and under no circumstances do we need to succumb to the fear or uncertainty of this virus or what the future may hold.
Surround yourself with positivity and set your mind on things above. Enjoy this time with your children and families. Hold them a little tighter tonight and let them know just how much you love them and how much they mean to you. There’s no better time than now to rectify relationships and be at peace with the world and within. Together, as a nation, we will win this fight.