Kids Boys Bikes For 8 Years Olds 50 And Under 8 Life Lessons Learned From the Coronavirus

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8 Life Lessons Learned From the Coronavirus

Are there life lessons to be learned during this pandemic? You bet.

It’s not over yet, though. President Donald Trump warned last week that the coronavirus pandemic in the US is likely to “get worse before it gets better”. Yeah, I kind of figured it out. The coronavirus isn’t going anywhere anytime soon and, once again, this pandemic is making people stop and think.

Well, maybe not everyone pauses. As states began to lift restrictions on businesses and public spaces, photos and videos of people gathering en masse began to appear in the news. Not only was I upset as an older American, but I felt that people in their rush to get back to “normal” were missing out on learning valuable lessons about empathy and self-sacrifice.

In fact, the attitude of some people shocked me. For example, I heard about Elizabeth Linscott and her husband Isaiah from Kentucky who were placed under house arrest last week after Elizabeth tested positive for the coronavirus. The couple refused to sign documents agreeing to quarantine at home for two weeks.

“There is no pandemic,” Elizabeth declared firmly. Really? A pandemic is defined as the worldwide spread of a new disease. With more than 16 million people worldwide diagnosed with COVID-19 at the time of writing, doesn’t that qualify?

“If you’re scared, stay home, because I can’t put my life on hold because you’re scared,” she added in an interview with Good Morning America. I was stunned. What about the people on the front lines – everyone from those in the medical field to grocery store workers – who are scared but forced to go to work? They have no choice but to “stay at home”. The more vulnerable still have to go out for basic tasks like buying food or medical appointments. I want to say, hey Elizabeth, we’re talking about 14 days out of your entire life when your actions could mean life and death for some people. What happened to self-sacrifice for the common good?

However, I fully understand that some agree with her statements.

Even after the restrictions were lifted, a “normal” life was still impossible for some. Older baby boomers and those with health problems were still advised to stay home. And for those grieving the loss of a loved one, things would never be the same. Indeed, once vaccination is available and we get to the other side of this pandemic, will our “normal” look the same for any of us? I don’t think so. Here’s a thought. When that happens, before we run to reclaim our lives, maybe it’s time to acknowledge that the pandemic has changed us forever—and some of it is worth preserving.

Ryan Seacrest joked, “If I start the New Year’s countdown, will 2020 be over?” Funny joke, but maybe because I’m older and know my days are limited, I wouldn’t give up precious time, even with its trials, to rush forward into the future. If we use this pandemic as a time for reflection, there are important and unique life lessons to be learned.

Not that the coronavirus pandemic was fun. I don’t want to be a Pollyanna here. Admittedly, it was painful and overwhelming at times. As the death toll rises every day, the news is heartbreaking. I miss the hugs of family and friends, traveling to new exciting places, and the blissful freedom of attending a raucous, packed concert. The dystopian scene of empty store shelves, cities that resembled ghost towns and people wearing masks was shaken when the pandemic began. I was forced to see the uglier side of humanity as some people hoarded food, toilet paper and hand sanitizer. Fraudsters tried to take advantage of the panic. There was also the cruel phrase “boomer removal” that started popping up on Twitter, aimed at us baby boomers who are more vulnerable to the virus.

On the bright side, can we talk grooming issues? As the weeks went by and it became apparent that a visit to my hairdresser was out of the question, I thought maybe now would be a good time to see what I look like with gray hair. I was horrified. My husband, who at 60 was lucky to still have a lot of hair, looked like a mad scientist. So there it is. A bottle of Revlon and some clippers did the trick, but not quite with the same results as a pro.

Some days I felt productive and creative while tapping into reservoirs of strength and inspiration. But there were also days when I struggled with depression and anxiety, hated being cooped up in my house, ate a big bag of crisps with a glass of wine to comfort myself, felt overwhelmed by the news and struggled to cope. It felt like it was all too much – and it was. The world hasn’t faced anything like this in over a century. In addition to all the tragedies, there was also a devastating economic impact as small businesses struggled to stay open. Then protests and riots broke out in the fight for racial justice.

It’s okay to not be okay sometimes.

And yet, in the midst of all the turmoil, the pandemic demanded that I be quiet and still. To be satisfied with my company. Slow down and think about the more important aspects of life. With that in mind, here are some valuable lessons I’ve learned so far and changes I want to keep, even after the pandemic is over.

I learned to:

* Embrace my spirituality

My spirituality and reliance on God became more important than ever. The coronavirus has reinforced that life is uncertain and unpredictable. As a result, I learned to rely more fully on God to maintain a sense of hope, strength, patience, and endurance.

* Appreciate your loved ones even more

Along with the rest of the world, I learned the value of human connection in a way that was not possible before.

Not being able to see my family makes them even more precious to me. I don’t miss going out to dinner and traveling to exotic places as much as I miss holding my two-year-old granddaughter’s little hand.

I’ve even become grateful for the technology – with which I normally have a love/hate relationship – that allows us to stay in touch with our loved ones. I’ll admit it’s not the same though. I’m an introvert and not really a people person. However, I realize now that I used to take my friends’ hugs for granted.

On the plus side, with kids home from school and parents working from their homes, families got together, enjoying backyard sports, playing board games, riding bikes and solving puzzles. That’s nice to see.

* See the good in people

It’s true what they say. The worst times can bring out the best in people. In the midst of all the chaos, I saw brave and selfless heroes emerge.

My husband’s colleague, Art, explained how his nurse, in her 60s, who treats his health problems, bravely responded to New York City’s call for help in April and flew to the epicenter of COVID-19 during the worst of the outbreak. “I don’t know if he’s coming back,” Art said soberly. Thousands joined her.

Medical personnel are still on call for help in the areas hardest hit by the virus. Recently, doctors, nurses and other medical professionals have been sent to work in California hospitals, including Eisenhower Hospital near my home, to help with the spike in coronavirus cases that is straining the health care system.

Delivery drivers and store workers are willing to put their lives on the line to serve us. Many restaurant owners donate food. Communities and neighborhoods encourage each other with signs and teddy bears in windows or positive messages written in chalk on sidewalks. People foster dogs to help shelters. No one is immune from this virus and in a way it unites us.

* Enjoy nature

Although I have always appreciated nature. I became more aware of the beauty of the hibiscus flowers blooming in my yard, the peaceful sounds of the cheerful birdsong, or the desert night sky revealing all its myriad glory.

With the reduction of air pollution in our cities, the sky has never looked bluer. Wild animals have begun to repopulate areas once dominated by humans.

It has never been truer – nature is calming.

* Be grateful for my life and health

The pandemic has taught me how precarious life can be and how vulnerable we all are as humans. Life itself should never be taken for granted – even when you are suffering hardships. It was a sober reminder to take care of my health.

I have to admit that keeping snacks under control when I’m at home is a challenge, but I’ve developed some healthy habits that I want to keep.

For example, desperate to get out of the house and into nature, I never walked or biked again. Now that it’s too hot to exercise outdoors where I live, thanks to a friend, I discovered the FitOn app with free exercise videos. After all, exercise not only helps our immune system, but it can also reduce the extra anxiety we’re all feeling right now.

I also learned not to stress over the little things. The pandemic puts smaller problems into perspective.

* Become more empathetic

During the initial panic, some couldn’t afford to stock up on food and toilet paper, which made me even more aware of those out of work living paycheck to paycheck. Some people had to make the terrible choice to stay safe or risk their lives and go back to work to keep a roof over their head and food on the table. Some chose the latter and died as a result.

I think of the helpless and vulnerable elderly who are terrified in nursing homes and those with mental health problems who struggle, even under normal circumstances, to overcome their fears. This gives me perspective. I know that the anxiety and discomfort I sometimes feel cannot be compared.

The coronavirus has taught me the value of sacrifice, which includes keeping a safe distance from people and wearing a mask for those more vulnerable than myself. While there are exceptions, fortunately, most people seem to feel the same way.

I always knew, but the pandemic reinforced the fact that giving back and focusing on others not only helps others but also provides a sense of well-being and peace.

* Live with less

When the pandemic started, I was literally afraid to go shopping, I started buying only essentials that lasted two weeks. My husband and I were surprised to find how well we survived with the basics on hand. We learned to decipher needs and wants and saved money.

As I mentioned before, I learned to dye my own hair and cut my husband’s hair. We looked good. Fancy clothes and shoes became irrelevant. We ate more at home and tried new recipes. And can we talk about saving money on gas by not running around unnecessarily?

Important financial lessons can be learned here.

* Laugh more

Keeping a sense of humor is important, especially during difficult times. When I saw my husband’s worried face as I clipped his hair with scissors, I never laughed harder. I appreciated all the funny memes and tweets about the bizarre ways we found to entertain ourselves while stuck at home and our obsession with snacks. The truth is. Laughter is the best medicine.

I know we’re all burned out by now and rushing to live a “normal life” again, but let’s not forget all these life lessons. In reality, we know life won’t be the same after this pandemic is over, but as I’ve pointed out before, maybe that’s not all bad.

I hope we have learned to never take for granted the hugs of loved ones, the store shelves full of food, the excitement of a packed concert, and every deep breath we take.

I hope we will continue to make our spirituality and spending time with loved ones a priority.

I hope we realize how little we really need to survive.

I hope we remember how strong and resilient we can be in difficult times.

I hope that we will come out of this pandemic more grateful, kinder and grateful.

And I hope we never forget how to find light in the midst of darkness.

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