Looking back into the past and around the world, we can all say we come from people who survived famine and war and any number of past epidemics. Now we are all trying to survive and understand the age of COVID-19.
My husband’s father lived through the Nazi occupation of the Netherlands. My grandmother had Depression stories. If you’re lucky enough to have grandparents, ask them (over the phone, please) for their stories.
There was a time when parents knew they’d end up burying several children, and yet they kept hoping and loving. There was a time when medical care was primitive and many illnesses just couldn’t be treated. Believe it or not, we have had antibiotics in our arsenal for less than a hundred years! How many times has such a prescription saved you or a family member?
Most of us have not been called upon to face such harsh realities, and it’s not certain that we will now. But the possibility is there, and we are all worried.
Winston Churchill famously said, “If you’re going through hell, keep going.” He said it when people were facing the possible end of the free world, when they knew they could be hit by a bomb at any moment, and when almost all their men and older boys were fighting. Everyone knew that many of them would never come home.
The odds looked bad when Churchill said that. But he had grit. You have it, too. Reach down inside yourself and find it. I promise you it’s there!
I’m not saying none of us have faced difficulties; we have all had them. But this is the defining challenge of this era, and I believe we are up to it.
Take care of yourself and your loved ones, and if you can help someone else, do that, too.
And keep a journal. Someday, young people will ask you what it was like when the coronavirus hit, and your memories will offer them hope that they can survive whatever challenge they are facing.
About the Author: Michelle Mueller Teheux is a journalist and former newspaper editor and columnist. She frequently writes about health, family and lifestyle.