The adage, “hindsight is 20/20”, is never more apropos to describe 2020 A.D. and the #COVID-19 global pandemic than anything else.
For me the death of friends and family, the lingering health issues for those that survived, the lockdowns / quarantines, the massive cleaning effort, the business closures, and so much more provided a moment of clarity. The power of clarity that was more inspiring than any #TEDTalk.
The clarity was this: In life, there are priorities and excuses.
A couple of years ago a friend ( a “bro”) lamented to me about a woman he was interested in. He grumbled, “I text her, but she hasn’t replied in hours. I wonder if she’s busy or ignoring me.”
I suggested, “Oh, I’m sure she is busy but can prioritize to hit people back. She hasn’t reach her level of priorities yet. In life, there are priorities and excuses.
“Excuse me?” he fired back.
“Yeah, bro,” I answered. “You are either a priority or an excuse to her. If you’re an excuse right not, that doesn’t mean you won’t cycle up to a priority. We all have 86,400 seconds each day we’re alive. How we spend those seconds is different each hour, each day, each week, and each month as we shift priorities. Perhaps you’ll take some solace in the fact of being shuffled to priority status sooner than later.”
He stood there for a moment to absorb that, and mull it over. “I suppose so,” he muttered.
He broke up with her a week later. He wanted to be someone’s priority more often than someone’s excuse to ‘deal with’.
I Can See Clearly Now
As soon as Washington State Governor Jay Inslee imposed stay at home orders i.e. self quarantine, I knew that action needed to be taken. I need to list my priorities. Then I was labeled an ‘essential worker’ of an ‘essential business’ (Costco) I knew I wouldn’t worry about gainful employment unless I did something terrible or drastic.
It was clear: unemployment will soar as businesses closed, drug and alcohol use will increase, perhaps even divorces would increase. Humans are just not accustomed to crisis management.
And folks … that’s essentially what the global pandemic was: an exercise of crisis management (see what I did there?)
So it was a priority to stay employed as I’ll need my house more than ever, especially if this pandemic escalates to an apocalyptic level.
Then gyms closed, such as the Monroe / Sky Valley Y.M.C.A. I have yet to return, as the only reason I paid that money was to dance to Zumba with friends.
Next the museum I volunteered at closed, I decided to use my time differently.
Bars and clubs closed, so I wasn’t paying money for beer and food at those businesses. The power of clarity was starting to focus my mind … My priorities were work, maintaining my dance skills, and as silly as this sounds, #Geocaching for the self-care aspect.
No longer was I spending my time on tasks, and priorities that I THOUGHT I needed. I look back over the past year and an half, I stayed disciplined to those priorities.
Many folks were worried that the ‘new normal’ would incorporate mask wearing until we perished. I wasn’t worried, or even convinced of mask wearing beyond an effort to vaccinate the population.
Now, in June 2021, many states, businesses are operating as they were prior to the global pandemic known as COVID-19. It seems like the media, and general populace regard it as a bad nightmare that we are now waking up from.
Except those that have contracted the Delta variant of COVID-19. And those still very ill from the COVID-19 virus in hospitals now.
Ya know, people are still dying of this disease. 352 people died from it yesterday. 352 families effected by their loved one’s passing. They were mothers, fathers, brothers, daughters, old, young, in-between.
We should still focus on prevention as part of our clear path of priorities.