Dr. Mike Obsatz, Professor Emeritus at Macalester College
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Making Lemonade Out of Lemons
My son is moving three-and-half hours away today. I talked with him by phone. He was driving a big rental moving truck.
I haven't hugged him or his wife or their two kids much these past 18 months. I miss hugging my kids and all my grandkids, my friends, and people at church. There's a lot that I have missed during the last 18 months. But, I have kept busy, kept in touch with many people by phone or at a social distance wearing a mask outdoors at my home.
We are fortunate to have several outdoor spaces to meet with people. It is wonderful to see people, and still feel safe from COVID. It is not ideal, however, and this "masked" marvel experience gets old and tedious.
Every time I think we are getting a grip on this pandemic, there is another surge. Hospital beds and ICU's are in short supply again in many parts of the country. The variant has taken its toll. Death rates and infection rates are rising again. However, many people are tired of being masked, distanced, and quarantined. Some are convinced it is actually over.
It is understandable that some people are impatient to return to "normal." We are still having large, spreader events like rallies and state fairs, with no distancing or masks. Millions of unvaccinated young people are returning to school in the next few weeks. Some will be masked, others will not. Some schools mandate distancing and masks. Others do not.
This pandemic continues to invade and change our lives. I have begun to wonder if this will ever be gone, or will it linger on for many years because we have not taken adequate precautions. Keeping oneself safe is a nuisance.
We have been told by scientisits that there is a way to "beat this." Some people don't trust science and don't believe in vaccinations, distancing, or masking. It is a political issue. It is a social issue. It is a moral issue.
If we have to live with this forever, I will grieve not having the opportunities I wish I had. But I will continue to be grateful for what I do have, and reach out whenever and however I can. I need to stay healthy so I can live longer than my last 80 years. I need to stay healthy because despite the hassles and frustrations, life is good and worth living. I am trying to make lemonade out of lemons, something I was taught as a child.
I continue to live in wonder and gratitude. I want to protect others and live with compassion, empathy, patience, and discernment. I pray that others can grow in oneness consciousness, where they see love for all mattering more than freedom for one.