by Dr. Chip Benight
I am going to make a bold statement: “We have not recovered from the pandemic!” Lately, I’ve been talking with many people about this idea. I’m surprised by how many resonate with the message. In regular disasters, there is typically a clear beginning and an end with a more defined recovery period (think about a wildfire when the rebuilding starts following the dousing of all the flames). But the pandemic, in reality, is very much still with us. In fact, we are currently experiencing a new surge of the current variant of Covid-19. I’m guessing many of you just felt a little sick reading that. Indeed, people are tired not only from the years of struggle with the pandemic but also just thinking or talking about it. It is important to recognize that the way our country processes horrible events is to create a memorial and then move on as quickly as possible. The emotional toll from these events is often left in the wake of the speed at which we trek forward showing incredible resilience, yet for not a small minority, the wounds remain fresh. Thus, my primary point here is that the pandemic is different and many of us are still dealing with the losses, the disruption, the sadness, the political fallout, the health effects, the family effects, and the impact on our futures that this health crisis has caused.
My second point: WE NEED TO COLLECTIVELY HEAL!!! As a community, be that your work group, your family, your neighborhood, your city, etc., we need to recognize that this healing is necessary and will help us to come together and move toward becoming more resilient. Without this, we will remain more isolated, more lonely, more frustrated, and less able to truly put the pandemic in the rearview mirror! So, I call on all of you to think about this for yourself and for the people you are connected to every day. Let’s do this!