Point for Discussion
As we continue to experience the Coronavirus pandemic, and unprecedented events are happening all around us with every passing day, when we discuss this experience with others (and we do, but from at least 6 feet apart, and wearing a mask), what word or words are we using to reference this incredulous time in our lives?
Points of View
The most common word that I have been hearing (and may have used myself) is “crazy.” This seems to mean “beyond our imagination.”
Who would have thought just about a month ago that we would be…
- Bartering health supplies (“I’ll trade you a bottle of hand sanitizer for a face mask”)
- Hearing from a colleague via text from an ICU (thankfully, he’s doing better)
- Re-washing disinfecting wipes to re-use them (with fresh alcohol) so we don’t waste the material
- Hearing “I like your mask” from someone walking by from a distance in a hardware store
- Receiving a car insurance refund due to little driving (Allstate and American Family so far)
- Thanking grocery staff for “just being there”
- Being extra grateful for any semblance of ordinary life (like going through the drive-thru at Burger King)
- Receiving backordered Kind bars through Fed Ex (without asking or paying for)
“Crazy” indeed. I could go on and on, and this is just in the past 24 hours of my life!
As a researcher, I’ve also been closely watching how companies/brands are advertising, and if they are advertising. It seems that the consensus so far is that it is ok to advertise because people still need things – albeit a narrower set of things. And it is interesting to see how companies are adapting their messages to the current situation (e.g., “contactless” pizza delivery, car deliveries beyond Carvana, disinfecting product efficacy – though we are not able to buy those products just yet).
Whatever words or messages companies – and our family and friends – choose to describe this current situation, we will be forever changed by it . . .
Crazy is definitely one word we can use to describe the current situation, but there are so many more.
We can start with “gratitude”.
- We are grateful for the first responders including, EMTs, doctors, and nurses who are working in overcrowded hospitals, fighting for PPE needed to help us get through this if we are unlucky enough to catch this virus.
- We can also thank our grocery workers including cashiers, stocking personnel and cleaners for making sure we have access to the things we need. I still don’t understand the run on TP though!
- We can also be thankful for our friends and neighbors that stay in touch in new ways to let us know we are loved and the cable companies and ISPs that help make that happen.
We can move on to “unprecedented”.
- Who would have thought we would be stuck at home to keep ourselves safe and healthy. I am generally a homebody but even I am struggling with the stay at home order here.
- We are wearing face coverings in public now to protect others from a virus we may unknowingly be carrying.
- We see shocking numbers everyday related to the spread of COVID-19. This is serious. We all must be aware.
And how about “social distancing”?
- We are not able to be physically close to family and friends outside of our homes. Before this started, we were getting together with family almost every weekend. We look forward to doing that again soon.
- I miss my book clubs too. I may not always fully appreciate the book selections for the month, but I love getting together with my fellow readers to discuss them.
- Working from home has become the norm for many. Staying in our pajamas all day while earning a living is now a thing!
- Thankfully social distancing doesn’t mean we can’t get some fresh air. Now that it’s getting warm outside, at least we can leave our homes for a bit of freshness as long as we keep our distance and wear our face coverings.
We can’t forget about “appreciation” for the simple things.
- Fresh air. Today will be warm so all of the windows will be open. The house could use a little freshness.
- We also took the convertible out the other day. It was so liberating after three weeks in the house. We were on a critical TP delivery mission so we made the best out of an “essential” outing.
- Around here, we are doing puzzles and playing board games. I wish I could talk my hubby into something other than Monopoly (he wins most of the time!), but we are spending time together just being silly.
- Hobbies are important too. Knitting and weaving are my calm these days. I now have the time to finish that blanket I’ve been working on.
- We are cooking dinner at home. Every. Day. It does get old but we are trying new recipes to use up what we have in the freezer and pantry. Today it’s herb baked chicken wings. Who knows what we’ll try tomorrow!
“Knowledge” is definitely power but we don’t need false optimism any more than we need doomsday forecasts and we have received both in the past few weeks.
- We have learned quite a bit about viruses, how they spread, containment strategies, etc as we watch the news and comb the internet for even more news.
- Containment efforts could have been started earlier, but we are finally seeing progress from these mitigation measures. Without the daily explanations for why we need to do this, it would have felt more like prison than the reasonable request it is.
- The last bit of knowledge we will need is data on how many of us had this virus without knowing it. Antibody tests are almost ready so we should be able to get a nationwide picture.
Which brings us back to “crazy”.
- The Federal government is passing bills more quickly than we’ve seen in recent years. Congress has finally remembered that we are all Americans and we are in this together. These bills will provide supplemental resources for individuals, small business and large corporations. While the economy may not recover as fast as we’d like, maybe most will find a way to survive this.
- We hear a lot about our “new normal”. While we don’t fully understand what that means, we are discovering that each one of us plays a role in all of this. We are all important and must do our part. That starts with wearing a face covering when we go out. It provides an opportunity to express ourselves and our personalities with fabric.
In 50 years when we look back on this point in time, what will we remember? With any luck, we will recall this period as a time when all Americans came together to help and protect each other while the greatest minds worked tirelessly to find a cure and/or vaccine to combat COVID-19.
For now, stay home, stay safe, save lives. ☮️
Our Question for You
What word or phrase are you using, hearing, or thinking of that could adequately describe this pandemic we are experiencing?