It is unarguable: As of March 2020, our lives changed. When we knew COVID-19, this new novel coronavirus, was in our country, life changed as we knew it. And I believe that this pandemic has exposed how people really are. Some inspire me, and some frighten me. These are strange times, to be sure.
I don’t expect you to hold to my spiritual beliefs, but there is scripture that is apropos at this moment. It is in the New Testament, Ephesians 5:15-16, that states, “Be very careful, then, how you live — not as unwise but as wise, making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil.”
(Full disclosure: A sermon I heard recently inspired this column. It really got me thinking; we have stepped into a moment. How we respond to it defines us. It is our Kairos — an ancient Greek word meaning the right, critical or opportune moment. Some define it as a propitious moment for decision or action.)
What I have seen in our long-term care setting is one of inspiration. We have responded with grace, dignity, mercy and love. While hospitals sent back the Federal Emergency Management Agency personal protective equipment sent to them, that FEMA then sent on to us, we made the best of it.
We in our long-term care communities cared for this nation’s most vulnerable elders with cloth face masks, skeleton staff, bottles of bleach and whatever else we could scramble up.
We’re figuring out how to help our elders thrive, including those who are giving up with this unending physical distancing, which continues to be in place because ignorant, selfish people who are showing the worst of society won’t sacrifice enough to put on face masks and physically distance from others.
We’re dealing with more regulations and penalties and scratching our heads wondering why, at this time of crisis, can’t our government guide and help us instead of smashing another hammer down? But we’re dealing.
We show up, we work countless hours, we figure it out, we won’t give up. All the public hears about is horror stories, but we know the truth.
Yet I have this hope, in the depths of my soul, that one day instead of constantly being villainized, we will be recognized as the ones who have stepped up to this moment, did the best we could with what we had and made the most of the opportunity.
And if the nation never does, your creator knows. This was your moment and you inspire me. Bless you.