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What We're Following Today March 20, 2020

Coronavirus continues to push our sanity - we're in our homes trying to do our part to slow the spread of the virus, but we're also surrounded by information - social media posts with accurate and inaccurate information, news reports that report the facts along with a slew of opinion that serves no other purpose than to divide people. There are times when it almost feels like there are groups of people who are "hoping" for massive failures so they can be right, and there are others who seem to want to make others feel like they shouldn't distance themselves and give way to this virus because this is all just an overreaction so they can be right...

The truth is none of us wants this to be as serious as it has the potential to be - we'd all LOVE to say this is an overreaction. None of us should "want" to be right if this thing goes full on explosion because that could mean hundreds of thousands of lives could be at risk...but the quibbling over it is antiproductive and all the uncertainty out there is just causing an angst that feels like it did after 9/11. Only this time, it doesn't feel like the country is as unified - but it is still early.

Reports are now surfacing of amazing acts of kindness, solidarity in a world of social distancing, innovation that are helping businesses stay afloat when so much is in turmoil. There really are so many stories out there about citizens going above and beyond to help and there are new ways that technology is being used to keep life "going" until we come out on the other side.

So today I wanted to call out a few of those examples.

Our daycare has an app that is meant for teachers to share pictures and updates with parents throughout the day. It's always good to see those pictures come through - but now that our kids are home while the school is shuddered, we have created a chat group that allows us to share pictures and updates with each other so that our kids can see their friends who they miss. Plus many of us will be sending each other mail or facetiming each other now so that our kids can still see each other and talk...we'll see what their attention span will be :)

A distillery in Litchfield, CT called "Litchfield Distillery" is now making hand sanitizer and making it available to locals. They are re-purposing their distillery in order to create a new product that can benefit the public.

Random acts of kindness are springing up all around the country like impromptu concerts, singing in the streets, tips to pay for employee wages, restaurants who are serving as makeshift retail outlets for items in short supply, stores with Senior Shopping times, etc. :

10 ways to ease anxiety during the coronavirus outbreak..., but here's what can also be looked at - in addition to staying connected, you can use this time to also do some serious introspection. We live in a distracting world, but Bishop Barron in Word on Fire talks about using this time to dedicate to bible study and other deep topics - but it is a good time for inner reflection on meaning and purpose.

Online platforms for education, communication, etc. As the world shudders into their homes, they can still connect and learn. Online learning platforms are scaling up quick to meet the demand - and while there will be plenty of hiccups, there will never be a quicker way to improvements and new ways to teach/learn than this - what comes after this will be a wealth of knowledge that can be applied for years to come...

Through all the stress, angst and disruption, there will be positive outcomes. This article in Forbes puts some perspective on the "positive" side - healthcare and education will likely be reshaped in so many ways - perhaps even bringing more equality into lower income communities and around the globe...

I plan for the worst, but hope for the best. We'll all get through this. No one can predict the future, but we should ALL hope that we come through this closer and more in tune with our fellow man. There are times that I feel the anxiousness, it's part of any event that causes uncertainty in our lives. But the key is to recognize it, and then note that we are by no means at a place that warrants that level of anxiety. When we look through history, there are MANY examples of where times were MUCH MORE dire than they are right now - let's remember that we succeed when we think of others before we think of ourselves - offer a hand to a neighbor and accept help when offered.

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