Living through history: Words of encouragement in troubling times

March 16, 2020

by Patti Rowlson

The night before many businesses in Whatcom County were closed due to COVID-19, I was in a restorative yoga class – something I do for myself as the weekend winds down and a new week begins.

At the start of the class, the instructor shared something that felt very grounding. She talked about how we are all living through history.

She reminded us all how resilient human beings are and how we have lived through other challenging times. We will get through this.

In the midst of so much anxiety, fear and uncertainty – for individuals and for businesses impacted by the new coronavirus – I found those words to be encouraging and comforting, so I wanted to share them with you.

We are truly living through history right here in Whatcom County.

Yes, living through this pandemic will mean that things will look different on the other side. Human lives are being lost; we may lose someone we love. Some of our favorite local businesses may close. People may lose their jobs; the economy will suffer.

Those things are all part of life on this planet, regardless of the new coronavirus.

Living through COVID-19 will give us a chance to learn and grow and pull together as a community. I bet that you think about handwashing, germ transmission, stocking emergency supplies, and the bravery of healthcare workers more now than ever before.

Living through a crisis can also help individuals and organizations gain experience that will guide them in the future. For example, business owners may work to put a crisis communication plan together or they may establish policies and procedures that will help them respond differently next time.

At the end of the yoga class, the instructor reminded us – in these times of uncertainty – to stay in the present moment and to not brood on what may come in the weeks and months ahead. That, too, is good advice considering how quickly daily living has changed recently.

Eleanor Roosevelt, diplomat, activist and former First Lady of the U.S., was quoted as saying, “With the new day comes new strength and new thoughts.

That is great advice. Remain strong. Take each day as it comes. Learn, grow and adjust based on the information you have on any given day. Be well.

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