Publisher's Letter May 2020 Charleston SC
May 12, 2020 12:41PM
By Toni Conover
“If there’s one thing we know for certain about this pandemic, it’s that we know almost nothing for certain about this pandemic.” Mark Manson from “Nobody Knows What is Going On.”
Being in the middle of both a health and economic crisis has brought out the best in us, and it has also brought out some of our less attractive qualities. Stress, grief and uncertainty can do that. On the one hand we have seen many acts of kindness, sacrifice, creativity and bravery. Yet at the same time we have also seen a lot of contention, especially on social media. People are all over the place with theories, and when opposing world views collide, well it hasn’t been pretty. It can be downright exhausting.
In the words of my fellow publisher and COVID-19 survivor Kelly McGrath Martinsen, “We must stop bickering on Facebook (yeah we really must-it is so **** annoying to read) we must realize we are stronger when we are together! The virus, the bad times, the darkness, they want us divided…the light, the goodness in the world, it knows we are better TOGETHER!”
Here is my theory. We don’t know much. Those who have the most certainty are particularly suspect. What we are told one day (no need to wear a mask) may well change the next day (you must wear a mask). Numbers keep changing. Some say we are underestimating the scope of this, others say the numbers are grossly exaggerated. One thing IS certain, we haven’t had wide spread testing, so guess what? We don’t know. We don’t know how it started, how to best treat it or how long it will last. We don’t know the full, long-term economic impact. We don’t know what the new normal will look like.
So how can we best cope with this kind of uncertainty? We can choose what we focus on. We can choose how we spend our precious energy. We can focus on what we can control.
We can count our blessings. You can’t be afraid and truly grateful at the same time. I don’t know who said it originally, but it is true. Test it out for yourself.
We can focus on our health. I saw something on Facebook the other day that said we are basically house plants with complex emotions. Funny, but I don’t think that is too far from the truth. Sunshine, clean air and water, proper nourishment (physical, mental, emotional and spiritual nourishment that is….)are all key. Add enough movement and plenty of sleep and you have a great recipe for fending off this virus and all other nasty interlopers.
We can take time for self-examination. What lights us up? How can we serve? I think they are typically related. We can focus on our relationships, near and far. We can get outside. I relate to the words shared by one of my favorite authors, Barbara Kingsolver: “Here where I live, I’m shaken to my core but I am looking to the trees, watching the world wake up to another spring. Every living species other than people is carrying on, untouched, undaunted. It helps.”
We can strive to be fully present in the moment, knowing that this moment is all that we ever really have.
We can be kind to one another and to ourselves.
The world is changing. I for one am holding out hope that it will ultimately change things for the better. I do not mean to diminish the suffering that so many are enduring. I grieve the loss of life, health, jobs and businesses. But I have hope that the lessons we are learning in making sacrifices for the greater good, and re-examining what we define as essential will help create a healthier, more just world for people and the planet.
Thank you to our loyal readers, advertisers and distributors. We exist to serve the community and are grateful to have the opportunity at this time. We hope you enjoy this issue, delivered later than usual since things are just starting to open up. We look forward to keeping you company through the coming period of discovery and rebuilding.