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The PPP- Pandemic, Pandemonium, and Pliability

As you turn to this page and begin to read, you’re probably thinking: “Here goes another one…” The articles, opinions and op-eds have been going viral before the ink pad has a chance to dry. One’s perspective. Another’s perspective. A new tip for the home schooling campaign….. Many

ideas have been helpful, others less practical perhaps. Most have been genuine attempts to help us navigate through the insanity. And I am not attempting to do anything of the sort!

I have heard from so many how the past few months have awakened in them a deeper appreciation for life and for our loved ones. The sense of feeling grateful to be alive is no longer a cliché. Nevertheless, let us not pretend that “Pre-Covid-19 life” was always bliss. The reality of life is never so simplistic. Struggles with relationships, emotional and physical health and finances existed long before 2020. So, where has it all gone? Well for some of us, the virus has required us to merely shift gears and refocus our energy to the calling of the times. The new challenges have overshadowed the old. But for others, life in the quarantine has greatly amplified their pre-existing challenges and taken them to new levels. They are facing the daunting notion of having their much-complicated lives become ever so much more complicating. Regardless of the specific trials that each one of us has endured, one thing is certain: We all share the plight of being victims of a pandemonium-causing pandemic.

No doubt, the pain and suffering has affected each of us individually in the most unimaginable ways. So many tribulations with idiosyncratic implications, no one less tragic than the other. Some are obvious, others less evident to the onlooker. While communal empathy and awareness may provide limited consolation to those hurting, what about the silent sufferers? It is on behalf of an obscure population that I have chosen to be the self-appointed spokesman.

Picture for a moment, an individual who’s entire essence is one of routine, decorum, and predictability. This pandemic has given him anything but that! How about the more extreme rigid person, where repetition and certainty is his or her lifeline? The inflexible and less pliable-natured person has had the rug pulled out from underneath, and without a replacement no less! The world is no longer certain and secure. The concept of predictability has lost its merit as circumstances now change from minute to minute. Routine has been replaced with chaos. This profound detriment is not limited to the person individually but radiates untold hardships onto loved ones and family members.

Not all of us can readily appreciate the predicament of the more rigid. While many of us may take the notion of “just going with the flow” for granted, let us not underscore the value of balanced flexibility. The ability to adjust and readjust, calculate and recalculate has always been a virtue, but in our new world it has become a means of survival! Without stretching and increasing the pliability of muscles, one cannot run an obstacle course. Without the flexibility of spirit and logic, one cannot survive the wrenches that life casts upon us.

Despite the overwhelming challenges described above, I have been privileged to see the resilience and remarkable progress that some of these individuals have achieved. You are working hard, and finding ways to exercise and flex every fiber of your being to acclimate to the new realities. This is no doubt a strong testament to your unwavering resolve and self-determination. Even while we attempt to pick up the pieces with the gradual reopenings, you will continue to persevere with superhuman effort as you strive to ride the tide. To some of you- I am forever grateful to have been a small part of this most rewarding process. To all of you- we applaud you with awe. You know who you are.


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