Greetings to you and yours,
We often greet each other with a “hello” and “how are you?” Lately, I experience that pause, that hesitancy, because do we really answer? Do we talk about the struggles in our families or at work? Do we talk about the physical and mental challenges of being ever vigilant during these trying times? Do we feel guilty to talk about the good stuff like the garden or the project we completed at home? Do we talk about the friends and family members that have COVID or those we know that have passed away from it? Do we talk about the huge divide amongst our family and friends, the tensions in the world? Do we discuss what is yet to come? Many of us are feeling the “COVID Fatigue.”
I get it. I am with you; I am there too.
In my life, I have had to face some pretty tough times as I am sure most of you have too. I have found that the best way to get through things is to acknowledge that we can’t give up—that isn’t an option. So…let’s get through this holding on to each other. Please realize that each of us (no matter how loud and offensive some may be) are tired, afraid, angry, and just want this to be over. I challenge you and ask that we practice our own personal responsibility with compassion, patience & empathy. I believe those things are more contagious than COVID-19 and could help us do a better job of turning the recent surges down and help us get into a better place with COVID and with our economy.
When you do things, as we have for three months: washing our hands often, wearing a mask, physically distancing, and going out in the world with a sense of caution and concern, we can become complacent or act on autopilot. I challenge you (and myself) to recommit to this effort: pull up that mask up over your mouth and nose, wash your hands that whole 20 seconds and make sure you are limiting your interactions to your bubble. Please follow our local health orders so that we can get through this.
This is all about personal responsibility. Each of us needs to do our part. That means protecting yourself AND protecting others.
Personal responsibility is also needed these days as we have entered fire season. It is important that you are looking around your home and clearing all fire dangers whether you live in an apartment, a house or even out on a ranch surrounded by acres of land. Have you removed those flammable things that during this heat could cause a fire? Have you checked your smoke alarms and added carbon monoxide detectors? Have you mowed or somehow cut back the tall grasses around your property to make a defensible space?
Have you thought about possible power shutoffs and the possibility of an evacuation? This week we had a community that was evacuated for a short time. Are you ready for that possibility? You should be ready no matter where you live. Do you know where your important papers, your animal crates, & your emergency kits are? Is everything updated just in case?
There is something empowering about doing something to be prepared and actively practicing your personal responsibilities. It gives you a sense of peace to be prepared. It also helps you to be prepared to help your loved ones, your neighbors and your friends. It also helps those that serve us as first responders as they run towards the dangers, those same people that are taking the brunt of all COVID is wreaking on our community while trying to protect themselves and their families.
This week, I will commit to updating my earthquake kit, check my smoke alarms, clear debris around my house and talk to my family about evacuations. I will make sure my phone stays charged and that I keep my gas tank full. I do that to protect myself, my family, my neighbors and my community.
We are all in this together and we will get through this together.