I am struggling this time with what to write. What is appropriate to write when we are in the middle of a pandemic that has left the country feeling a mix of emotions?
Personally, I have a sister-in-law who is a surgeon in NYC, a good friend who has to go in and clean up COVID sites, another good friend who is a pilot and has to fly, multiple friends who are nurses taking care of COVID cases, and dearest to me, a high-risk husband with restrictive lung disease.
There have been a million headlines out there recently: “This is a time to grieve”, “This is a time to re-evaluate your life”, “We all must band together”, “Millions will die”, “Relax, it’s not that bad”, etc.
I’ve seen so many people arguing on social media and defending their thoughts and beliefs, but I do feel like we are missing one huge point: No one is right.
Everyone can be looking at the same facts and still have different reactions. The problem is—we are treating our own experiences and feelings like they are gospel truth.
Hypothetically, two doctors could be at the same hospital where 20 people have died from COVID-19. The first doctor thought they were going to lose 50 people, so they tell all their friends, “It’s not as bad as I thought.” The second doctor thought they were only going to lose 5 patients, so they tell their friends, “It’s so much worse than I thought—be careful!”
Those friends then go and tell all their friends. Pretty soon you have 20 people arguing about how good or bad the current situation is.
It’s the exact same experience, but completely different perspectives. It’s natural that we are all going to react differently to this pandemic. Even in everyday life, we react differently. Right now, we need to give each other the space to breathe and the grace to have different opinions without getting upset with each other.
There is no right or wrong.
Everyone is experiencing a different way of life right now. Some people are safe and protected, some are vulnerable and scared, and some have loved ones fighting for their lives or may have even lost a loved one already.
If you have a friend who doesn’t want to talk about it, give them the space to do that. Don’t be mad or feel like they don’t care—that is just who they are. If you have a friend who wants to talk about it all the time, don’t get mad—that is how they cope. If it’s too much for you, tell them nicely that you need to talk about something else, but don’t judge them for how they are handling this new territory.
Let’s love each other through this and give everyone the grace to be themselves. Personally, I am choosing to be thankful for Facetime, Skype, Teams, Zoom, etc. to keep me connected to the ones I love, helping wherever I can, and trusting God to take care of the rest.
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