March 16, 2021

We have now officially surpassed the one-year mark as a community dealing with COVID. Time sure flies by. It is hard to believe that a year has passed. It has been a year of holidays around a computer screen “seeing” and “spending time” with family. A year of birthday drive-by celebrations. A year of hand sanitizer and masks. A year of virtual events. And so many other aspects that we could not have possibly known that would become so commonplace we don’t really give it a second thought.

As some people reflect back a year ago, they may feel that this past year has been a waste. So many experiences were lost. So many opportunities were missed. Let alone all of the people who have died or suffered is horrible and heartbreaking.

I don’t want us to ever lose sight of this last statement. As a people, we will forever be changed by what we have gone through. However, there are people we know whose lives will be even more different from ours because they lost a family member, friend, loved one, etc. to this illness. While those who have not been personally affected may be able to leave their experiences, the inconveniences, behind them, those who had someone in their family die or is critically ill, any mention of COVID will remind them of the ultimate loss they experienced.

It is important for all of us to acknowledge this loss as we reflect on this past year with COVID playing such a central part in our everyday life. But, I think it is also important during times like this, that we look at things we have learned during this crisis. As a society, we have seen both the best and worst in people as our entire world has struggled to get to where we are today.

Take a moment and think about what insight you have on what this experience has shown or taught you. It won’t make what we have experienced this past year go away, but rather allow us a chance to look at our experiences and put a different spin on the past year.

For me, this past year has shown me how adaptable people can be…even those that struggle with change. I also have come to appreciate the time I spend with others and how much I value the power of community. And of course, how interconnected we are as a planet.

With each vaccine injection administered, and as more restrictions are lifted as the infection numbers continue to decrease, allowing more stores and restaurants to open, we are getting closer and closer to our lives being able to return to some sense of normalcy. However, this can all change if we do not understand the important fact that we are truly are in this together.

Every one of us needs to understand the powerful role we play in and for our community. We need to internalize the notion that our choices and actions can and do affect not only ourselves but also those around us, including people we may not know in our community.

So, be a good neighbor, and please continue to do your part. We are all counting on you.


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