Covid, a Tough-Love Teacher
Mother Nature Brought Us Covid by teZa Lord
Harsh, calling Covid anything but a scourge. Yet along with misery and deprivation it has brought light to our conflicted world. The pandemic has given us a “pause” in which to ponder. Time to assimilate “the new-normal.” Some of us resist or fall into depression. Others decide to re-align ourselves and be glad for this opportunity to better ourselves.
Covid has brought more than death, economic hardship, and radical changes. Many of us have come to see the Covid-era as an opportunity to re-set our lives. Instead of falling prey to dismay, we choose to interject a ray of light into the gloom cast over the entire globe by this horrible sickness. Except for the influenza of 1918, which killed millions, there has not been a comparable threat to humanity’s determined economic mania in my seven-decade lifetime.
Covid Is Unlike the Flu of 1918
My immigrant grandfather survived the previous century’s worldwide plague, thanks to a folk-remedy. Upon first feeling ill, from his omnipresent backpack he ate his Lithuanian family’s all-purpose remedy, a plain sandwich. Made out of onion, a natural antibiotic. When he awoke, his entire Army barracks had died, literally overnight. Or so the family legend tells the gruesome facts of Grandpa’s miraculous survival.
Now, we are facing Covid, a next deadly, invisible enemy. But, unlike the previous pandemic, we in the twenty-first century are creatures more prone to worldly influences, due to the ubiquitous nature of the internet. What before took decades to disperse and become part of the worldview, is now done in “Likes” of viral videos. Ideas, true or fake, riling up passions of vulnerable folks, spread lightning-speed faster on the web than books or published versions ever could. Faster, by far, than the drumbeat of our ever-evolving collective consciousness, as YouTube and social media spread novel ideas like wildfire.
This digital age we are in affects everyone, from most sophisticated to most unexposed.
Take Bernadine Garcia, an Acoma Native American Indian. My friend lives on the reservation outside Albuquerque. Before the pandemic, she had to travel miles to use a communal computer. As soon as the lockdown started last March, enforced by their own reservation police, private homes with school-age children receiving devices and a WiFi connection for virtual teaching. Bernadine has four children. Suddenly, this isolated woman was “plugged in.” Overnight, she became “plugged in” with an expanded knowledge of the world, accessing instantly that which used to take an hour’s trip to use the only computer she had, at the Res’s library.
This sudden improvement the pandemic brought did not stop the heartache, however, that she suffered, losing two adult cousins to the virus. Strong, warrior-type men who farmed the land around Sky City, providing for their families, have left behind a deep hole that can never be filled. The virus brought tragedy, yes; but a blessing, both, to this one Native American family. Just imagine what losses, and what benefits, others are experiencing due to Covid.
Covid Helps Us to Focus on Life’s Pluses
Along with internet streaming that brings entertainment into our houses, we’ve had to say “good-bye for now” to massive extravaganzas of sports, shows and other crowd gatherings. Many of us thought the need to “be entertained” had reached over-the-top proportions, before Covid. The all-male performers accompanying the Weeknd at this year’s Super Bowl halftime show, said, without words, that people are sick and tired of gratuitous bump-and-grind in their faces. With young kids sitting on couches beside us, we want to watch and celebrate the epitome of what America has to offer, not only in high-level sports but in genuine, creative showmanship. The present Covid-Zeitgeist has changed us. It began with the #MeToo and #BLM movements. Now—Covid has re-set us in living, full color. Instead of denigrating women by too-much too-much, this year’s choreographed musical fiesta presented an equal but opposite swing of the pendulum from last year’s über femme-sexuality … with its all-male, fully clothed, masked and Black-themed dance-and-song exuberance.
I’m sure next year’s performance will demonstrate another swing-back of the pendulum’s popular opinion. Maybe an all-inclusive, s/he/them, all-races, all-people performing to spread love with their talents. Celebrating joy, not dwell on life’s sorrows. Yes, we all have losses. But we can choose to focus on life’s pluses.
What has Covid taught us? Mother Nature brought us Covid. With scientists’s help we must wait out her ravages. This “pause” is a good time to ask ourselves some serious questions. Such as:
- Am I noticing the many positive changes Covid’s brought? The slower pace, smaller crowds?
- What can I do to help uplift my suffering brothers and sisters?
- Am I spreading love, not more fear?
Look ahead and see the bright light of vital possibilities that need our nurturing to maintain the momentum of positive changes. As my pal Bernadine has, after properly mourning her family’s irreplaceable losses.
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