I didn’t know — indeed, I think very few of us knew — back in early March, when I began to self-isolate, how long this pandemic could last. We’re used to quick fixes here in the 21st Century. I get frustrated if it takes more than a few seconds for something to download on my computer.
But here we are, many months later and the number of cases, hospitalizations, and deaths are moving not down, but back up. That bit, perhaps, was expected. As people move inside and crowd together the chances for infection increase. The Flu Pandemic of 1918 peaked during the Autumn months.
Of course, other countries aren’t seeing anything like the number of cases and deaths we are seeing. In many of them, people are mostly able to go about their daily lives without fear of infection. Economies are slowly rebounding. But in those countries, people wore masks, shutdowns were serious, contract tracing and PPEs were funded.
Our best hope is that Joe Biden will be sworn in on Jan. 20th and will begin to focus on prevention and development of a real vaccine. But even if that happens, it will likely be months and months — maybe another year or so — before we have a vaccine and can make and distribute enough of it to make a difference. And, even if your main concern isn’t people, but the economy, remember that the economy can’t really begin to rebound until we have this virus under control.
So that’s painful to contemplate and the more that you’ve stayed home, avoided friends and family, worn masks, not gone out to eat, not been to a concert, given up your weekly dance class, etc., etc., the more painful it is. But that doesn’t change the facts. It doesn’t change the fact that this winter may indeed be worse than what we’ve already seen. More people may get sick. The supply chain may be disrupted, even more than it was last Spring when paper products, and cleansers, and other necessities were impossible to obtain. We may need stringent shut-downs that will keep many of us in our homes for weeks.
And, so, as we move from Mabon to Samhein, now is a good time to figure out what you will do if that happens. And, of course, if you begin now to buy some extra dried beans or to stock up on Vitamins, you can always use those if it later turns out that a miracle occurs and things get back to normal more quickly. If you start now to focus on getting enough sleep, washing your hands more carefully, taking a daily walk — well those things will be good for you even if the virus one day disappears. If you begin to save some extra cash, to learn a new skill or hobby you can do during lockdown, to go ahead and turn that spare bedroom into an office or classroom, well none of those actions will be harmful, no matter what course the election, the pandemic, and the world take.
Please carve out some time for yourself. Take your journal, or the voice recorder on your cell phone, or your sketch book and spend some time envisioning how you can maybe even thrive through this winter. Because, as the Starks say, “Winter is coming.”
Picture found here: https://www.farmersalmanac.com/what-is-hygge-26531