Health experts and government officials insist social distancing is necessary in the fight to slow the spread of coronavirus from potentially swamping the nations’ medical system and leading to more deaths. Because the symptoms of coronavirus will not affect everyone and may have less than severe effects for 80% of those infected, many are willingly staying at home, knowing their efforts may primarily benefit others, especially our parents, grandparents and those with chronic illnesses. Social distancing is an example of altruism, the willingness to suffer in the service of someone else.
I try to keep this space, my column, sacred, positive. I refuse to write if I’m too frustrated or too hyped up about something, preferring to take a deep breath or a walk around the block before tapping a finger against the laptop. This week, I dunno. I’ve been starting our talks each week with a Mayberry-esque “I’m sure by the time you read this” optimistic opener. Alas, the world is still upside down. My awesome mom jokes aren’t working (and they are AWESOME). The memes aren’t helping, not even the one with the baby’s foot and an arrow pointing at the 2nd toe with the “be like this little piggy” tag line. Get it? This little piggy stayed home. See, not helping. Pictures of munchkin kittens aren’t helping. Babies dressed up like old people aren’t helping. I’m struggling to make sense of any single thing. Yet, I simply refuse to think one more negative thought, struggle through one more sleepless night, or suffer with one more minute with a stuffy, tear clogged nose. See, you and I – we can’t control much about the world. That’s an understatement. Know what we can control? Us. I can work on my headspace and you can work on yours. Let’s put our figurative heads together and, like John Lennon requested of us in 1971, just imagine.
As we navigate this lingering health crisis, the needs of some families can be so unique they escape consideration of the general population. As a teacher, I have encountered children who live with Autism who have very particular quirks and preferences related to food. In a season where securing any type of food for one’s household has been a trying experience, families who live with Autism are affected significantly by the lack of selection at our area grocers.
It’s become more and more clear over the last few weeks how truly interconnected human beings are in today’s globalized society. A vital part of education is helping students understand their place in the world so that they can succeed wherever they go and with whomever they meet. One of the great things about the Foundation’s teacher grants is the opportunities that it gives FISD teachers to broaden the horizons of our children’s education.
Good day, friends! Last week I told you we would be visiting and revisiting the means and ways that we can constructively deal with life’s tragedies. We’ve talked amply about the current Coronavirus. We talked about the first days and months following the death of a loved one. And, yes, we will broach other trying subjects relating to coping mechanisms and how to find our new normal. But today, let’s relax a little and open our mental toolbox. Digging around in our psyche and confronting the realities of the world as it stands today makes anxiety and fear way too comfy as bedfellows. How do you deal when you can’t deal anymore? Alarming stats. Countries in peril. Voluntarily sequestered from loved ones (I write forward by at least 2 weeks, usually, so while I pray we are back to normal activity when this is published, we could be even more isolated than anticipated). In the words of Taylor Swift, we need to calm down. As someone who has been in a few angst ridden situations in her day, I dare say I have a tip, or ten, up my sleeve. Some are tried and true, while some definitely have that crunchy woo woo vibe about them that I’m famous for promoting. Consider trying a woo woo. As my momma says, “Can’t never could do nothing.” It might just work.