March 15, 2020

Day 2: Semi-Quarantined Against CoVid-19 BRAVERY

Hallo Leute.

Let's briefly mention how 2020 has basically kicked us in the face. I'm not totally ready to give up on this whole year that still has a solid nine months of positive possibility to it, but we've had a rough start.

My original blog background from 2011,
for those of you just now joining the blog party.
I was so upset by the Bryant helicopter crash in California in late January, I actually got the flu then. I have delightfully found out that if I cry in the evening, I usually am sick in the next day or two. Some doctor can feel free to explain that science to me when they have a lot less to do than now.

February seemed sort of OK, but as China's health situation worsened, we were all a bit wary. It's the rapid level of contagiousness that CoVid-19 displays that concerns us the most.

I don't think any of us have ever witnessed a world health pandemic, since it seems like the last one was in 1918. So MAYBE there is a super, super +102-year-old person out there who had firsthand accounts of that flu outbreak. But I think it's generally safe to assume we are all new to this.

It is going to change us.

In many ways, it already has. We are all thinking and planning differently than we were one week ago (at least in Germany, it's that way). We are warning our friends and family in the UK and USA that it will get worse before it gets better and Germany is ahead of the UK/USA on the timetable for how CoVid-19 runs its course.

There are going to be some ways that this pandemic changes us that we cannot control. We cannot fully define these things yet, and probably not until another six months, when we can actually look back and see how we are now inherently different.

There are going to be other ways this pandemic could change us, and some of us will come out better, and some of us will come out worse. I hope we can all strive to be better after going through this, however long it wears on us.

The CoVid-19 pandemic is going to be one of the defining events of our generation. 

I'm broadly talking about "our generation" as everyone aged 25 through 45. I know we don't have a lot of power in world governments or whatever, but we have power in our physical health, emotional strength, and mental hope that we can get through the worst of the pandemic and come out on the other side into our lives again. Many of this age group are parents, all of us are working, and we generally expect to live another thirty to fifty years in an uncontaminated and still social society.

I think the worst reaction or attitude we can adopt would be to blame others.


Therefore, ALL of us are just doing a combination of what we have all always done, plus trying to adapt to the current situation with a whole batch of decisions we have never tried before. So, when we blame the government, the airlines, the health care, or even the kid who didn't know they had CoVid-19 and went to school and exposed everyone, WE BECOME PART OF THE PROBLEM.

Sure, we will hopefully be looking back on all this swirl of crazy someday soon and say, "This could have happened then, and like this, and it would have worked better," and blah, blah, blah. But we are all trying to navigate a dark and stormy ocean, and our only "answer" currently is to wash our hands. Maybe we can toss in the other "solution" of stay at home.

Reminder: it's a dark and stormy ocean, so good luck with the washcloth and foam noodle.

We hope these seemingly arbitrarily and basic ideas actually work.

There is a TON of soapboxing on the internet right now. Some would say I'm a part of that. But I want to say, while it is important not to panic, of course, it is also important to take what is happening very, very seriously. I don't personally mind the jokes and memes, but some people might, and it does bother me when the joke is followed with something like, "Why is anyone even worried?!"

We are in emergency mode. Yes, I realize that a lot of people, when faced with an emergency, fall into panic. That's why we learn how to help people deal with shock in extreme situations. However, there are also a lot of great people, when faced with an emergency, who rise to HERO MODE. This is not some propaganda for dudes to be macho.

"Hero mode" is being brave even when we don't necessarily want to be or even feel it naturally.

On Wednesday, when my teammate texted our group that she had been in contact with a coworker who tested positive for CoVid-19 on Monday, I nearly lost it. This was too close to home. I was concerned for my teammate. I counted the days since I had last seen her and felt relief for myself mix uncomfortably with worry for her. I was working out at the fitness gym when I read the messages and had to say to myself out loud, "Keep it together." I took a deep breath and made a plan.

On Friday, when my pro volleyball player client who lives in Vilsbiburg, too, and I were scrambling to find her a flight back to the USA for Saturday morning, everything was tense. On my way to meet her at the club office to close her contract, I wanted to burst into tears. All the tasks the past days were so daunting and challenging, and, yes, we were trekking through it all, but I was getting tired. Another deep breath, and I leaned forward into my walking with purpose toward the meeting.

These moments of what some might call "emotional suppression," in this world right now must be deemed BRAVE.

I didn't cry both times for two main reasons. First of all, as I mentioned earlier, I tend to get sick if I am crying a lot. I am not going to open my immune system to that kind of liability right now. Secondly, I did not cry because, frankly, the world does not need more people freaking out. I do not need to be a physical or emotional victim of a pandemic. I need to be a responsible, healthy, and strong adult who can stand up and handle situations and help people in the face of the Zombie Apocalypse.

[Side note: If you have ever watched the Jane Austen spoof movie Pride and Prejudice and Zombies, you will understand why I am continuing to refer to this as the Zombie Apocalypse. I only recommend this movie to diehard Austen fans who will be able to mildly appreciate it.]

When we have been faced with difficult and upsetting situations in our lives, yes, we find our own ways to grieve and move through it. Some of us move more quickly and efficiently than others, but no speed is long as we continue to move forward.

I will not be "peaceful" and "relaxed" during a global health pandemic. I can be calm, but I will be intense and direct when someone is pretending like nothing is happening. I can make fun workout plans and give people ideas on how to spend their newly found free time, but I will be intentional and serious when my players need to get on ever-disappearing-flights to return to their homes. I can answer questions about the future to make someone feel better, but I will be brave enough to realize that the future on The Outside is going to require more of us than it has before.

Government cannot singlehandedly save us. I believe Jesus is our only Savior, but I know not everyone feels that way. Politics, religion, economics, and recreation are just some of the many things that just cannot divide us anymore when our global health is at risk. Ultimately, no matter what we believe or who we trust, we do have the chance right now to do our part in saving each other.

We need to be brave.

We need to do the right thing.

We need to share our supplies.

We need to share our money. (Donate to WHO here.)

We need to connect with each other.

We need to love our families and friends.

We need to pay attention, not to ignore.

We need to help, not to blame.

We need solutions, not more problems.

We need heroes, not victims.

The CoVid-19 pandemic is going to change us. 

It is up to us if that is for better or for worse.

I'm going to go eat some cereal. *Maybe* I will vacuum.

You can follow all of my daily updates during the CoVid-19 quarantine here.