Staying Positive

Staying Positive

The news reports are full of growing infections and deaths. Retail stores are hiring as many people are stocking up wanting to ensure that their freezers and refrigerators are full and their bathrooms properly stocked with reams of toilet paper. We hear from public health professionals, politicians, athletes and others in leadership positions, telling us to wash our hands, use proper social distancing, that there are masks and ventilators, a vaccine on the way.

Recently I was let go from my job, joining millions of others applying for unemployment benefits. Now is not the time I want to be looking for employment, but nonetheless there are myriads of stores hiring temporary employees which will ease the burden for those who need work.

My spouse, Yasuyo, and I went to Trader Joe’s and Sprouts yesterday to shop for my parents. Before we entered Trader Joe’s we were greeted by an employee who sprayed alcohol on our hands. The store was fairly well stocked and there weren’t many people inside. After shopping I realized that the employee was also maintaining people in a line outside the store so that there wouldn’t be too many shoppers inside. 

I don’t want my parents shopping. They are 91 and 87. They are used to shopping every day, buying one or two items so that they can get out of the house. Friends are willing to help them. My parents seem to sense that this is a crisis, not to be taken lightly.

The change in the world economy has been waiting to happen for some time. The virus is forcing us into changing. But, what happens as millions of us become unemployed throughout the world? We need a new way of thinking or maybe just using what we know works in other countries. Maybe we can’t be rich while others, most of us, have few resources. Maybe socialism, that is, ensuring that everyone has a basic level of what they need so that they can live happy and healthy lives, is not as bad as many people think. After all, using the above definition, it is about taking care of one another.

During this time, I am spending more time with my spiritual self. Physically we cannot go to our churches, synagogues, mosques, etc. But we can spend time online with, in my case, a meditation group. Through this I’m also connecting with many throughout the world. Can this help us to further realize that we are all in this together? I certainly hope so.

This is a time of uncertainty. We like routines, but I know that being able to adapt is key to defeating this virus and others that will come. We cannot focus only on our fears, but must think about how we can change our lifestyles integrating others into our lives. There will be many who will waiver at this idea, not wanting to change, thinking about going back to what they had.

Ultimately it is up to all of us, not only our “leaders,” to ensure that human beings survive. I enjoy days with no pollution and wonder how we can continue to make this happen, how we might save the planet by making concessions and reducing climate change. I feel that this current virus is one result of climate change, of us infringing too much with the natural world and the natural order of things.

Think about how we can help our elderly neighbors so that they don’t have to go out and expose themselves unknowingly to becoming infected. Think now as to how we are being considerate of others by keeping our distance. Think now about our future and how we work together to ensure that there is one for all.

Michael Rosenkrantz



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