A Silver Lining in COVID-19

Do Pandemics (like Clouds) Really Have Silver Linings?


AN EMOTIONAL ROLLER COASTER
So far, the year 2020 has certainly been different than what anyone could have imagined. The world seems to be on pause as we have been battling this monster known as COVID-19. The news channels have shown devastating statistics for illness and death and the spread is faster than we could have ever dreamed possible.  It is natural to feel overwhelmed, scared, anxious, or depressed during a time like this… I know that I have felt all of these emotions at different times throughout the last few months. Uncertainty has replaced any sense of normalcy and it has caught us off guard.  However, in the midst of these challenging times, I have also seen humanity step up.  I started noticing it in the simple things. While I was out for a walk, people smiled and waved. In those moments it hit me that I was surprised by this. I wasn’t used to everyone’s friendly hellos. Blinded by my usual hustle and bustle, had I been missing these smiling faces?  Or perhaps now that we are all forced to social distance, everyone is just happy to see another kind soul walking by. 

LIGHT IN THE DARKNESS
It seems that almost overnight, people became professionals at sewing facemasks. I saw friends and family donating to humanitarian causes and supporting our overworked and exhausted healthcare and frontline workers.  Pizza deliveries to hospital staff and shift change cheer groups made the difficult and long hours a tiny bit easier.  Communities banded together to support the small businesses that managed to stay open.  Weekly family game nights became “a thing.” FaceTime and Zoom became household names and the lifeline of communication. Connecting regularly with those I usually talk to only a few times throughout the year, I started to see some positive to this otherwise horrific time in our world.

TIME FOR A GOOD HARD LOOK
I recently read an article by Julio Vincent Gambuto called, “Prepare for the Ultimate Gaslighting.” The article discusses how after this is over and things go back to “normal,” we have a chance to bring back only the things that we need to. Gambuto had a different perspective on the whole situation, calling it “sacred” and highlighting that we will never have another opportunity like this to press pause on life as we know it and take a good hard look at how we have been living. 

GOD AT WORK
I began to see that God can use this as a time to help us see what is truly important.  It is true that countless people have suffered loss so profound that there are no words to describe their grief.  Although, we may never be able to fully comprehend the losses that everyone has experienced on different levels, we can, in time, begin to look forward and refocus. God promises us in Joshua 1:9 “Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be discouraged, For the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.” He will walk with us through this valley and bring us through to the other side. 

OPPORTUNITY BECKONS
I challenge you to try and see the silver lining. Ask God to help you take something good out of this time period. Continue to call and connect with your people. Look out for one another and be there to support each other.  Know that it is okay to take time for yourself and check in to see what your own needs are. Use quiet time to have conversations with God, to pray, and to get into the word. If you haven’t opened your bible in a while, this may prove to be an ideal time to start. Take this as an opportunity to choose kindness over busyness and love over judgment.  And above all else know that Jesus will hold us during this time and He will bring us through.  

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Eden Althaus, LCSW, received her Master’s in Social Work degree from Fordham University and a BA in Applied Psychology and Human Behavior from Pace University in Pleasantville, NY. She has certification in PAIRS (Practical Applications for Intimate Relationship Skills) and in Prepare Enrich for couples. In addition, Eden is trained in SafeTALK Suicide Prevention and in motivational interviewing. She currently works as a Social Worker at the Northport VA Medical Center and runs the Young Adult Ministry at Garden City’s Lutheran Church of the Resurrection. Mrs. Althaus counsels children, youth, adults and couples at LCC’s Dix Hills site. 

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