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Happy New Year Three-and-a-half Months Later

Hey there.

I know you are probably thinking “Why has it been so long since your Happpy New Year Post?” and yes I could come up with excuses but, suffice it to say, I’ve been very busy and now I’m back! Wow, what a difference it is since January 19, 2020! On that day, the United States of America–the place where I wrote about in my New Year’s Day post, “the land of the free and the home of the brave”, on that third Sunday of the new year–was COVID-19-free.

The next day the first Coronavirus case was detected in Washington State, and on February 1 there were 8 cases reported, with no deaths. On March 3, our great nation found 122 cases with 7 deaths, and by mid-March we were staring at 2,726 cases with 54 deaths. By the end of March, we were just under 150,000 cases and over 2000 deaths. Today, April 11, 2020, the total of cases at the beginning of today was 459,165 with 16,570 total deaths. Think of all the loss and heartache the above scenario has caused.

Additionally, our citizens are doing things we would never have thought possible in a million dreams: Quarantining our families in our homes; unable to go to work; our kids can’t go to school; limited recreation; we can’t visit our sick family and friends in hospital; we can’t even go into a Walmart through a door of our choice; and I could go on and on. Happy New Year indeed!

So what, FD? Well, my ‘so what?’ is the Seven Vital Lessons we must take away from the Coronavirus experience.

1. Respect your situation! Don’t think for a second that humans are off the hook for dealing with the situations life hands us, just because they may be hard or out of the ordinary. A corollary to that is ‘Take care of your business! Like Aretha Franklin sang in her song titled RESPECT, “Take care, TCB!” right before her backup singers cranked up ‘sock-it-to-me’ over and over. (TCB=Take Care of Business) Business is a metaphor for life. Never take life for granted , since yours just may be the one you’re giving up.

2. Hold the people around you close. Though the humans closest to you may bug you the most, your first order of taking care of business is within yourself, and it’s hard but crucial for your family. A typical personal dynamic is to get away from the house, ie., the kids, the spouse, the pets, or whatever. That is why not getting to go to work because of the pandemic is so tough. The pandemic doesn’t allow for ‘getting away’, since the whole concept revolves around the adults in the house stepping up and being the adults! Duh! That means embracing and interacting with a family in need because it is family–now the hard part–and loving it!

3. Promote the concept, ‘we will survive individually and together.’ There are no fail-safe positions. We win or not, and the risk of losing is hardly palatable. So we turn to a positive attitude, one that says ‘regardless of the situation, we will make it.’ It’s like the M. Night Shyamalan movie Signs. Mel Gibson’s character was the opposite of a positive role model, but his kids changed that dim picture he had of himself to one of hope: A hope that they used to overcome an extraterrestrial foe, which they did.

4. Show deference to a higher power than yourself. In other words, let faith in something, or someONE bigger than you help you to cope with what is happening. I hope you have a faith in something or someone that is bigger than you are. I was raised to believe in God and his Son, Jesus and the Holy Spirit. I can’t imagine my life, especially when being tested with trials beyond imagination, without my Lord. You may have a totally different concept of someone bigger than you, but whatever it is, stop and think about how necessary a higher power is for all of us.

5. Have courage to step out and do the out-of-the-ordinary. When I was in the United States Navy Band, I toured with a big band that regularly played for Sparky Anderson at Cincinnati Reds Riverfront Stadium. I had to go out with a huge lollipop singing The Candy Man, a feat not suitable for any human, but I did it. Every time the Reds won, but what a price to me. It didn’t matter. The Reds won and the band got to sit up in the press box with the big Whigs. When you do your job, regardless of its personal cost, that is what is important. Just do it!

6. Show up, rain or shine. We all have to do our part in this pandemic. I look at the jobs of first responders, doctors and nurses and, of course, our leaders in the federal and state governments, and I am awed at how stressed they must be, but yet they keep doing it. They get little time away from the front lines of this pandemic and yet they keep doing it. Why? Money? Power or prestige? No. It’s their jobs. Not the job they get paid to do, but the job they feel the need to do. What a marvelous example of showing up, rain or shine.

7. Give thanks!

Bye for now.

FD

By floyd123

FD Sutherland is a family man, a Minnesota public school educator, and a self-published author.

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