Riding the COVID-19 Wave

COVID-19 is back and with a vengeance. We anticipated this second wave. We knew it was coming. And yet we all feel somewhat surprised by the breadth and depth of it.

Every person now knows someone who has been infected with or exposed to COVID-19. We also understand that not everyone gets horribly ill as a result. In some ways this makes the current lockdown more difficult. The gamblers among us are apt to feel like taking more risk, not shutting down. They understand they have a good chance of getting away with a mild to moderate illness. Most of us will never even see the ER. On the other hand, we all know a friend of a friend who had a terrible time; or someone that ended up in the ICU, or worse died; someone who didn’t seem to be at high risk at all. It is the randomness of this virus that makes it scary.

High risk folks have good reason to be afraid but healthy, normal folks have the fear of God in them too. And those folks aren’t crazy. This virus is greedy. It’s not content to pick off only the weakest among us. COVID-19 keeps us on our toes by periodically (much more often than we would like) finding someone young and vital to strike down. This inconsistency is maddening and creates anxiety for many of us.

Children understand this feeling well. When parents are inconsistent setting rules and following them, letting them off the hook at times and harshly chastising at others, kids get very anxious. The uncertainty and lack of reliability of the rules and guidelines wreaks havoc for them.

Adults it turns out aren’t all that different. The randomness of COVID-19 has unsettled all of us. We want order and predictability, just like our kids do. Unfortunately COVID-19 doesn’t bend to our needs. We have to adjust. We have to wear our masks, find fun in the ‘quiet’ of our homes, limit our contact with others, and create order out of the chaos of this moment in time.

Finding little routines each day will help calm the waves this COVID-19 storm is causing. Instead of fighting the wave, ride it like you would a white water rapids ride at an amusement park: finding the thrill and joy just this side of the fear.