As of writing this article, some 400,000 have passed due to Covid-19 alone. 3.2 million in total, if you count the cancer patients, heart attacks, car accidents, drug overdoses, and all others perished of various causes, making 2020 the deadliest year in US history. To put it in perspective, imagine all inhabitants of a city the size of Tulsa, OK, and Minneapolis, MN gone without a trace just from COVID-19 alone. Chicago has 2.7 million. Los Angeles, 3.9 million. Imagine these cities as ghost towns. Imagine walking the desolate streets, empty buildings towering around you, closed shops, no one in the park. Wind blowing through empty alleys. Your lonely footsteps echoing off concrete facades for miles!
For many, that’s how their own homes feel as they bury multiple members of the family, one after the other. How can someone wake up in the morning to an empty house, hearing the voices of the departed in their mind and feeling their absence? Every person lost is a storyline interrupted and a forced conclusion on those left behind—children without mothers crying over photographs. Grandparents – gone too early. Friends – lost forever. Neighbors – missing.
With so much death, how do we keep on living?
Rivers of tears through mountains of suffering. It shouldn’t be difficult to help each other. Wear your mask, and if you want to make a political statement, print it on the front. We’ll read it and thank you for not making things worse. Stay six or more feet apart. Remember, you don’t like people anyway. If you want to keep your business open, then set it up to be safe. We all want to survive financially. But how many lives are you willing to sacrifice to save your bottom line? The government is throwing free money at you every which way. Get some. Above all, stop yelling at people who go out of their way to keep you safe. Perhaps, they have a loved one in the ICU. Be patient. Be understanding. Be helpful and useful. Get vaccinated.
Hopefully, this pandemic will be over before our humanity runs out. We’ll have to clean up the mess, pick up the pieces, and try to rebuild life. We’ll grief individually and collectively for a long time. It will take longer if we don’t stop being selfish, causing more damage, and inflicting unnecessary suffering.
Perhaps, we’ll be compulsive hand-washers forever. Maybe, we’ll tell our grandchildren of the lockdowns and the fights about masks the way our grandparents saved shoestrings and talked about the devastation of the Great Depression. Most certainly, the staggering loss of life in the past year will alter our society’s fabric forever. I don’t think we know exactly how just yet. But we’ve seen sides of each other we never knew existed, and what’s been seen cannot be unseen. Hopefully, it will be forgiven.
Peace to all who’ve left us – your smiles will be missed forever.
Love to the families left behind.
Source: Associated Press, Dec 22, 2020 “US Deaths in 2020, top 3 million, by far most ever counted.”
John Hopkins University, The Covid Tracking Project
Valentina Petrova has been helping people with life, health, relationships, financial, career, professional, and business challenges since 2015. She has a Master’s in Psychology and is a certified life coach and certified mediator. You can reach her at www.valentinapetrovaconsulting.com. She does not take insurance.