The headline in our newspaper yesterday told the bad news – COVID cases and hospitalizations are on the rise in our county.
Despite over a quarter of our population being at least partially vaccinated, after weeks of declines, the trends are going in the wrong direction.
As every runner knows, you must actually cross the finish line before you begin to celebrate. Here are some thoughts about crossing the finish line.
You’re Almost There
Ask almost any runner to list their top three pet peeves. You will find items like “Manufacturers changing my favorite running shoe“, “People referring to any distance as a marathon“, and “Runners jumping the porta-potty line“. (Runners have a lot of pet peeves.)
Included on most runners lists, however, is hearing “You’re almost there” from a race spectator when you’re really not almost there.
Hearing it at mile 20 of a marathon is the worst.
Yes, relatively speaking, you have completed a large percentage of the racecourse. But 6.2 miles is a long way to run, especially when you have already run 20 miles.
You’re allowed to yell “You’re almost there” as encouragement when you are standing within sight of the finish line.
We are not almost there in the pandemic.
Yes, we have come a long way, and yes, we have made some good progress, but the finish line is not in sight. The finish line will be in sight when we can see evidence of herd immunity beginning to happen in our country and across the world.
We still have some distance to cover before we celebrate.
“You Do You” Is NOT OK
A few weeks ago, I wrote a post about each person finding their own way to emptiness. Or to beginner’s mind. Or Shoshin. Whatever you want to call it.
The method you use – meditation, prayer, birding, yoga, running, the list goes on – is not important. To be rid of unhealthy ego-driven thoughts, use whatever method works for you. Lots of paths will get you there.
It’s a kind of hippy-dippy philosophy, I admit.
To end the pandemic, though, we cannot have a “You do you” mentality. We must follow the science. All of us.
The decisions and actions we make today do not affect only ourselves. They affect our community. We must do what is best for the greatest number of people.
Let’s Be Compassionate
There is a phenomenon occurring both on and off social media that I call “COVID-shaming“.
It occurs when people try to outdo each other with their virtuosity, pandemic-wise.
One person will mention they have not traveled since the pandemic began. Another will top that by stating they have not eaten in a restaurant for over a year. Someone else will announce they leave their house only for grocery shopping at 3:00 a.m. while double-masked. “I haven’t stepped foot off of my property since March 2020,” yet another will declare.
When you make good decisions, pat yourself on the back. Silently. You don’t need to announce it to the world, and please don’t try to one-up your friends and family by showing off your responsible nature.
Let’s give each other some grace.
Unless you are one of those people partying as part of a huge maskless crowd at Miami Beach over spring break.
In that case, you should be ashamed.
Hey, even compassion has its limits.
“Hope is important because it can make the present moment less difficult to bear. If we believe that tomorrow will be better, we can bear a hardship today.” – Thich Nhat Hanh
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