By Flora Posteraro
3 weeks into the quarantine, who knows how many more weeks to go? A deadly pandemic has sickened the world. Stress. Fear. Anxiety. More than a million cases. Tens of thousands dead. Businesses dying. Millions filing for unemployment. When will this nightmare end? How will this nightmare end?
You see it everywhere and I’m not immune to it. I worry about my family and my relatives in Italy. I hear the panic in my friend’s voices and I’m also dealing with a financial hardship. Families are isolated from elderly relatives who may be alone. A dark cloud called “coronavirus” has cast an ugly shadow over the world but is there a silver lining? I believe there is and I see it everyday.
Empty sidewalks in neighborhoods are now blooming with families walking, talking and going for bike rides. There’s joy in the sounds of children playing outdoors. Families are having dinner together, playing games together, watching movies together. The hustle and bustle of life is extinct. No more running from soccer to basketball to music lessons. Faces tattooed with stress now filled with smiles. In an odd way, people seem happier, more relaxed, more at ease.
I am not for one moment ignoring the seriousness of the situation. Families are losing loved ones to covid19. Doctors, nurses, healthcare workers, police, first responders and so many others fear what the day will bring. Will they be safe? How can they protect their families? People quarantined from their families. Mom’s at their wits end with restless kids at home. This is real. This is the ugly side of the pandemic but there’s also a beauty in it.
There’s beauty in families being families again. There’s beauty in parents playing with their children and laughing. There’s beauty in communities bonding to help each other, feeding hungry kids, the elderly and healthcare workers on the front lines of this war. Yes, it is a war against a deadly enemy and I’m convinced we will win but will we learn?
I often hear, “I can’t wait for things to get back to normal”. I too want things to go back to normal but I pray it will be a new normal. A normal where we slow down, have time to talk and have dinner together, a normal that embraces family and brings us closer together. We will triumph over this tragedy and when we do, I hope we don’t stray from the silver lining of this dark cloud.