Editorial: Life after COVID-19

Editorial: Life after COVID-19
April 01
15:11 2020

Putting the pieces of our lives back together

By Judie Holcomb-Pack

Right now, most of us are focusing on day-to-day survival. It’s hard to look beyond the struggle to find necessities such as food, toilet paper, antiseptic wipes and hand sanitizer, to even think about what life will be like when the virus finally recedes and we can once again hug our friends, go to church and work, eat out at restaurants, and do the everyday things we took for granted.

When I was growing up, my family often had a puzzle out on a table and when we had time, we’d sit down and put a few pieces together. We would start by dumping all the pieces out on the table, turning each piece face up so we could see the colors and designs. Next we would find all the flat-edge pieces and fit the border together. Then we would study the picture on the box and move pieces with similar colors or designs in different piles before we started to fit pieces together. Sometimes at first glance, pieces would look like they would fit, but when we tried to put them together, we found there was just a slight enough difference in shape so that they did not fit snugly.

Life today is like that puzzle. The pieces of our lives are scattered all around us – pieces that represent our family, friends, church, work, play, shopping, dining, travel, movies, theatre, concerts. We are all searching for those “flat edges,” the things that help us to feel safe, connected, loved. We’re wondering if we will ever put all the puzzle pieces of our lives back together.

One thing is certain: when the pieces are finally put together, the picture won’t look like the one on the box. We will never go back to how our lives were just a few short months ago. What I believe, however, is that the new picture will be a better one. There are already many stories of people helping their neighbors by picking up groceries or a take-out order, donating food to the needy, walking a senior’s dog, strangers coming together via a Facebook group to make masks for our healthcare workers, writing notes to shut-ins, and more. I believe these acts of kindness and service will make us all more mindful of how connected we are to each other, our community and to our world, and how much we need each other to survive and prosper. Our priorities will have changed and things that we once thought were important will not be so significant after all.

And when the crisis ends – and it surely will end – we will be more compassionate people for it.

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