First task: get a calendar

Then, in the next (last!) weeks of this terrible year, scrape together small amounts of time as often as you can. During these times, allow yourself to look ahead and anticipate. Plan. Think. And plan some more. Write those plans on your new calendar with expectations of fulfilling them.

The Covid-19 virus cannot disrupt our lives forever. We have a moral obligation to those we’ve lost, and whose absence we feel most keenly, to continue the fight for a vaccine, a preventative by other means, a better testing system (AI holds true promise with a computer app that can detect the virus by listening to a simple cough) and support for the families and friends left behind.

We also have a moral obligation to not curl up our toes and die, even figuratively. We must move forward and reclaim our lives. The world can’t stop turning, and we can’t let it try to do so.

So we have to reconfigure college campuses and balance in-person learning with remote learning. We can do that. The same with pre-K and upwards through high school, community college, nursing school, vocational training, all the trade schools.

We need to ascertain what’s best for the very elderly and frail among us and give them safe, deeply caring environments and ready, regular contact with their loved ones, whether by Skype, Face Time or something as yet not invented.

We need to hear all our voices, try every avenue, keep searching for answers to questions that have haunted our nation from its inception and destroy racism, sexism, ageism, and every other ‘ism’ that rears its many ugly heads.

This pandemic has affected every corner of our entire world, from the smallest hamlet on a wind-swept rocky island off the coast of northern Europe to the lush tropics of the South Seas and the cities, towns, farms and tiny houses providing shelter to a handful of people. And we can’t forget those who have no shelter, however humble.

Also let us not forget those who feel they have no voice: they do, and they must use their voices to tell us what they need. We must be sure every person on this fragile planet has clean water, food for the entire family, honest work, good educations, safe places to work, play and sleep. Include dignity and the right to vote, to succeed in a career or vocation, to have health care on an as-needed basis rather than determined by how much you can afford to pay for treatment. Farm animals shouldn’t live in misery, nor should companion animals be untreated for diseases because the cost is far beyond their owner’s capacity to pay.

These ideas are just a quick sketch of what can happen, what should happen, what we may do. As you look at that calendar, be bold enough to write in birthdays/anniversaries you want to observe, holidays that have special meanings and traditions, perhaps a quick vacation to somewhere you’ve always wanted to visit. It’s been proven repeatedly that what you envision can come to pass. Don’t let the days of 2021 slip past without making a true effort to stabilize your life and regain a sense of purpose in your life. You owe that to yourself. And if you need purpose, these huge goals will demand every pair of hands, every heart, every mind thinking clearly and deeply to achieve them.

Someone said the best revenge is a life well-lived. That would also be the best revenge against the unseen enemy of the coronavirus.

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