Please, I want to hear good news. I want to know that this year was not a series of Covid-Horror and despair. I want to hear the Really Good Stuff. And so I asked. And guess what? People responded. Unbeknownst to me, the year had an intriguing twist. There were valuable insights from the era of Covid.
My husband and I had positive Covid tests in December. That is just one of the positives that we discovered. And yes, we were the careful ones. The annoying friends that wouldn’t see anybody no matter what! Our arrogance convinced us that we would beat the awful virus at its game if we abided by OUR rules. Result: Virus 2 points – Vickie and Mitch – 0 points.
The Covid-19 year started with questions that led to fear, leading to immobilization for many individuals, including me. But it also opened up a door to awareness and discovery. As the adage goes: “When life gives you lemons, use them to make lemonade.”
So sit back, relax, take a deep breath and enjoy some lemonade with me.
I conducted an informal survey and asked people to tell me the good stuff from the past twelve months. What did you learn? The result is I learned a lot about human nature. People were able to distinguish through the dark days to see the sunlight.
The responses below were varied and ranged from tangible fun items to epiphanic and life-changing insight.
Family Good Stuff
- Believe it or not, some people moved across state lines and bought a new home during the Pandemic. And to my glee, those people are my daughter, son-in-law, and family. They realized the need to be closer to family. To our delight, our in-laws also moved to Buffalo to escape the chaos of LA for a Pandemic break.
- Alex R. wrote- “We had a positive pregnancy test in May and a baby in January, so good things come to those who stay home and quarantine! My family says that Callen is the very bright light after a very dark time.”
- Some, like Julie W.., reported having their grown children at home and the new opportunity to bond and appreciate the blessing of family. Denise K. and others said the recognition of the love and family and friends resonated among many of the replies. Joyce included her fur-children with four legs.
- Another Denise said that took this time to learn how to slow down and teach valuable life skills to her children. And now her young children insist of doing their own laundry!
Zoom and Face-Time
- A few baby boomers, my friend Lori N. included, spoke about learning to play interactive online games of Maj Jong and Bridge with friends while face-timing and keeping the connection (internet and relationship!) One grandma called herself “Zoom- Bubbe” (Bubbe is the Yiddish word for Grandma)
- Rose H., revealed that she is learning to play a game on her IPad with her son Andy, who lives in a Group Home! After so many days without face-to-face contact, this family found another way to connect.
- Zoom was a common theme from 1980 Law school graduates, including Ruth S., who have Zoom happy hour every Thursday. Others spoke about the delight of seeing beloved family and sharing holidays from a virtual distance.
- Sheryl M – “I can stay in touch with my mom (age 98) every day on FaceTime, and let’s not forget learning to drink wine on a patio with a heater, so you don’t lose touch with your best friends” (yes, that was a reference to me!)
- Jane K. wrote that she and her husband took their camper on a two-month-“masked and socially distant trip across the USA. The beauty of nature, the mountains, plains were astounding, and an experience my husband and I will never forget! We even bathed in lakes and found we could ”do without” some of our daily conveniences…life was simplified and appreciated…I will not forget this time.”
New Business Good Stuff
- Another young friend, Anna S., started a new business. Borderline Bakery – she revealed that she “never thought this was a possibility.”
- I started my Blog at the time the world said, “Don’t go out!!!”
New Personal Insights
- “The most positive thing is I made a great new friend who I knew and loved for all her life.” My Dad wrote the previous statement. What started as daily calls of “how are you doing?” resulted in a blossoming love and friendship.
- Carol M. and her husband reclaimed their sense of humor.
- The gift of TIME with my family. Julie Wisel. shared- “Pre-pandemic my husband and I were in the rat race of business travel. Two ships passing in the night. Covid forced us to slow down and stay put. It was such a gift for our relationship and the deep connection of parenting our boys during a critical time in their childhood. I am so grateful.”
- Ellen P. started exercising in June of 2020 and since then she has walked at least 120 miles per month. Ellen recently sent me the Meme below
- A friend who has been through many hurdles the past year wrote, “That I am a survivor of anything, G-d throws my way.”
Good Stuff from a Dedicated Caretaker
- Lisa B. is a dedicated caretaker and shared the following: “I’ve been a residential hairdresser for dementia care homes for 20 years. During Covid, I was not allowed to do hair as I was classed as a none essential visitor, but the home asked me if I would help them out on direct care as so many support workers were off with Covid. It’s been the most rewarding job I could have ever imagined. I’m nearly 50 years old, and we are opening up fully for me to return on 12th April for hair 😍, but I’m going to still help out with direct-care 🥰🥰”
From a Nurse
- Betsy K. showed her courage and devotion to patients: “I faced my fear of getting COVID. I thought long and hard about retiring from a 41-year nursing career. Understandably, this period would have been the ” appropriate ” time to wrap things up and go into lockdown. I thought about my Parkinson’s and aTTP patients [Acquired thrombotic thrombocytopenic purpura]who depend on me and count on me to be there for them. I realized I would regret giving up a rewarding career that doesn’t feel like ” work” most of the time. Somedays required more courage than others and I was extra, extra cautious with my PPE and followed the employer’s strict guidelines by avoiding any non-essential contact with anyone ( to protect my patients from me). So far, I have managed to work without getting the virus. And, I admit I feel empowered and a bit more courageous and braver than I ever thought I was.“
Lessons from the Past Twelve Months
Chris M., my philosophical friend, wrote – “When life comes to a screeching halt, we learned to stand still! And that’s oK too…
Personally, when I look back on the era of Covid-19, I hope that I will apply the valuable lessons learned during a dark time in history. I am ever so grateful to see family and will never forget when we were unable to be together. My takeaway from this year-plus is that family, friends, and connections are the power of survival.