By David Joel Miller, MS, Licensed Therapist & Licensed Counselor.
Has the coronavirus changed your life?
When I think about the coronavirus, the picture that comes to my mind is a giant storm, like a hurricane, moving slowly towards us all. I sat down yesterday to write a post about how the coronavirus had altered my life. I live in California, and because of our early sheltering in place orders, many of us got into our safe places before the storm hit. When you’re in that safe place, it’s easy to forget the magnitude of the hurricane that is still coming your way.
It was easy for me to rattle off a list of ways in which the winds of change have altered my life. It’s been stressful, but somehow, I’ve been coping. It would be easy to feel overwhelmed by all that’s happened.
And then I turned on the news.
I watched what’s happening around the world. We could see pictures of the coronavirus storm coming ashore in New York City. The casualties are mounting. It would be reassuring if we could find something different about those people who have died. When the news told us that it was only very old people, people with underlying health problems, people locked away in nursing homes, I could fool myself, believe that I’m healthy and active, I’m at low risk. But now we see that healthy people, strong people, first responders, doctors, and nurses – the coronavirus is getting them now.
Just because the hurricane came ashore a few miles down the road doesn’t mean you’re safe. Sometimes infections, like hurricanes, pass by and leave people unscathed. But this storm doesn’t appear to be losing strength. It seems to be standing in place, growing in intensity.
You can’t start recovery when the storm is still raging.
I don’t think that at this point, anyone can tell us with any accuracy how long the coronavirus will ravage our country. We know for a certainty that more people are going to die. But what we don’t know yet is whether our safe places, our hospitals, and homes can withstand the epidemic. Our medical system has been seriously overloaded, and the strain is showing. There are not enough doctors and nurses for those people with insurance coverage, and certainly not enough capacity for those who are uninsured.
For a long time, we have blamed those people who were homeless or unemployed, and as a result, didn’t have medical coverage, for their own suffering. For the last 50 years or better, we had a common myth that if you wanted a job, you could find one. The popular belief was that if the government threw enough money into the storm, businesses would thrive, and anyone who wanted to work would be safe. There aren’t many people alive now who lived through the Great Depression when able-bodied people couldn’t find work. The coronavirus storm calls into question many of our fundamental beliefs.
So, what do I think is ahead?
I think there are going to be some dark, rainy nights ahead. More people will get sick, and more will die. The worst of the coronavirus storm has not reached us. Our medical system will be battered, and in some places, will break. We may repair the system, or we may leave it the way it used to be where some people get treatment, and others don’t. That means accepting that the homeless and unemployed will continue to be health risks to those with jobs.
I don’t expect to live long enough to see our system return to the way it was before this storm. Some businesses, many small businesses, even some large corporations, won’t weather the storm no matter how much bailout money they get. But other businesses and jobs will spring up to take their place.
We will recover. Granted, there will be scars from the trauma and the people we have lost. Somehow humans go on. As a result of our experiences, people will develop some new skills. I think there will be a major expansion in online education and working from home, as people adapt to this new way of being.
I’m also quite confident that as a result of the stay at home orders, nine months or a year from now, there are going to be a lot of babies born who will only know about the coronavirus from what their parents tell them. The question in my mind is, will the world those children inherit be a better one as a result of the lessons we’ve learned, or will they have to repeat the same experiences this generation has?
Would you like to share your thoughts?
Staying connected with David Joel Miller
Six David Joel Miller Books are available now!
Bumps on the Road of Life. Whether you struggle with anxiety, depression, low motivation, or addiction, you can recover. Bumps on the Road of Life is the story of how people get off track and how to get your life out of the ditch.
Dark Family Secrets: Some family secrets can be deadly.
What if your family secrets put you in danger?
Letters from the Dead The third in the Arthur Mitchell mystery series.
What would you do if you found a letter to a detective describing a crime and you knew the writer and detective were dead?
Casino Robbery is a novel about a man with PTSD who must cope with his symptoms to solve a mystery and create a new life.
Planned Accidents The second Arthur Mitchell and Plutus mystery.
Sasquatch. Wandering through a hole in time, they encounter Sasquatch. Can they survive?
For these and my upcoming books; please visit my Author Page – David Joel Miller
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