By Tobi Ash
COVID-19 has changed all of our lives. There is hardly anyone who has not been deeply affected. There have been dramatic changes in employment, transportation, shopping, education, and healthcare. As of this writing, more than 3 millions individuals have tested positive for the disease and more than 133,000 people have died of it just in the past few months in the USA.
These past few months have all been so intense and most of us have lost the sense of time. People who were working from home didn’t have to be at work by 9 am. Kids didn’t have to wake up to get the school bus. Flights were grounded. Everyday became “blursday”.
The amount of people who lost their jobs or were furloughed was astounding. In May, the figure was 20.7 million individuals. All food distribution agencies, including Joshua’s Heart Foundation, became overwhelmed as the number of people requesting food grew and grew exponentially.
Farmers, food purveyors, distributors, and truckers all were deeply affected. We all struggled to find toilet paper, cleaning supplies, alcohol, and masks. Nurses and doctors held online fundraisers to pay for their own personal protective equipment. At Joshua’s Heart Foundation, we were lucky to have such good friends that were able to donate hard to find shields to protect staff and clients.
We don’t know what the new normal will be. At this writing, the numbers of COVID-19 positive individuals and hospitalizations in Florida, and especially South Florida, are surging. We are all trying to figure out what the best options are. Will kids go back to school? Will beaches be open in the summer? Will restaurants reopen and hire their staff? Will the tourism industry rebound? So many questions! So few answers!
While scientists, health professionals, public health officials, and researchers work on preparing a vaccine and treatments for the symptoms of COVID-19, many are trying to figure out the “lessons learned” from this terrible virus.
What lessons do you feel the quarantine and social isolation have taught you? I would love to hear your responses! Please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.