What The Heck Is Normal?
Do you remember what normal is? Normal is different for everyone. The real question is, do you remember what is normal for you? It's been quite a few months since we have lived what we consider our normal life. Normal is the state of your existence that is consistent too what you routinely do and how you live your life. To say this has been put to the ultimate test is an understatement. Now, as expected, this virus is on the uptick throughout every state in our country. Some blame increased testing, sports, people becoming lax following the guidelines, getting. and our youth going back to school. Many also say it's the second wave. That I am NOT convinced of. The rise is not only limited to the USA, it's is a global occurrence. Regardless of the reason, it is now something we all need to address because the slowing down of this virus first lies within each of us.
We have all seen the videos on the news of people having large gatherings at schools, restaurants, dorms, at home, and the one thing they all have in common is, NO ONE IS FOLLOWING THE GUIDELINES. Guidelines for wearing masks, social distancing, and capacity limits. In some states, businesses have been shut down. Curfews put into place, and more. We have our President stating he will never impose another lockdown. Our President-Elect states he would consider a 4-6 week lockdown. How many of you remember the last one? Is that the answer? Can you afford it? Can small businesses survive? So many small businesses had to permanently close due to the first lockdown. That lockdown was necessary because we did not understand the virus and did not have any tools to combat it. We are much further ahead now. We have therapeutics, we have a better understanding, and we know what we as people need to do to help control it. Are people actually doing that? Well, in some states where the percentage of those tested are lower, I would say yes. In others where the rate is higher, I believe we can assume no. Therefore, it is a logical and reasonable conclusion that we as people, until the vaccine is released, are the first line of defense.
Now, as the Thanksgiving holiday is approaching, the recommendations are for college students to stay at school in the hopes of reducing travel and reducing the spread of the virus. Also, students that come home will not go back to school until much later. Their Thanksgiving and Christmas break will be combined. As this continues, more local schools are switching back to hybrid and virtual learning as well.
It is further recommended that masks are worn, and people sit six feet apart. Is this your normal? December is expected to be the time when the virus peaks. What will that mean for family time during the various religious holidays during those times? Certainly, I believe we all can agree that this is far from anyone's normal. WIth the ever-existing delay of a new stimulus package, small businesses are concerned if they will be able to make the revenue they need to continue to stay open into 2021.
NONE OF THIS NORMAL:
Although this may be called the new normal, it is certainly not any version of normal that people want. The fact is, people are tired of this new normal, which causes them to let down their guard. This action further increases the spread of the virus. Suicide, domestic violence, drug abuse, and overdoses, as well as alcoholism, are all on the rise. Violence and crime are also on the rise. Now add the controversy of our recent election, millions of people still out of work. Many states are cutting back on their reopening plans causing businesses to lay off people they just brought back to work and put this all in a recipe. Put it in the oven, and tell me what you have? Trust me. When you take it out, it doesn't look anything like normal.
A QUICK NOTE ON VACCINES:
As someone who had an over thirty-year career in medicine, all this political rhetoric regarding vaccines is plan BS. I have been a part of many field studies on new therapeutics. The paperwork is insane, as best. I can tell you with complete confidence, these guidelines for these studies and trials are STRICKLY followed and have numerous independent checks and balances along the way. Politics plays NO part in the process other than possibly funding or assisting in the funding. Let me make one statement perfectly clear.
ANY PERSON, COMPANY, OR POLITICIAN, WHO BELIEVES THE FDA WOULD GRANT PERMISSION TO USE A DRUG OR VACCINE DUE TO POLITICAL REASONS OR PRESSURE, AND DISREGARD THE HEALTH, SAFETY, AND WELFARE OF THE PUBLIC, IS SIMPLY OUT OF THEIR MIND. PERIOD!
With all this said, you might think this post seems quite depressing. It will not be. All you need to do is to keep reading. Everything in life is about two things; PERSPECTIVE and PERCEPTION. Unfortunately, those are two things many may try to control. Those that fall into that trap are usually weak-minded individuals, or possibly unable to make decisions for themselves.
I always say every cloud has a silver lining. All you need to do is look at the right part of the cloud to see the light. However, to be able to do that, you must have the proper perspective. We have all heard, and it is a known psychological fact, that when we complain or look at anything in a negative manner, we enhance our negative thoughts, and we portray ourselves in a negative fashion. Over time, negative thoughts can lead to various forms of depression. Depression can affect each of us differently. Some can control it if they recognize it and take measures to break that cycle, and others could be consumed by it because of everyone's situation and mental capacity which is different. Just remember this. Whenever you think you have it bad, someone has it worse. That in itself will not solve your problem, but at least you know you are not alone fighting the fight.
THE SILVER LINING:
I have just told you about most of the negative things we are all facing. Let's look at a few parts of the silver lining.
You are not in this alone. Everyone is being affected by it.
Each day that passes is one day closer to a vaccine that will put an end to this.
You are alive and living as best as you can under difficult circumstances.
Things can always be worse, and we thank God they are not.
We have learned a very important lesson. That lesson is, we can beat this.
These are only a few points and the tip of the iceberg of the silver lining around this cloud. Many of you have heard or read the phrase I like to use.
"It's all in how you perceive things."
That is true for everything in life. Let's take me, for example. Just prior to the pandemic, I was seeing someone, and we broke off our relationship. I, as well as many more, are not presently in a relationship, and during the pandemic, dating was certainly not an option. There were limited, if any, places to go to meet someone, and very few people actually meet in a grocery store. Others were already in relationships or had an existing family situation at home. I receive emails from people all the time asking what they should do. In my case, it gave me the opportunity to write, go through my house, and get rid of things I don't need or haven't used in years, and probably never will, and it gave me the opportunity to take my time to do these things as I prepare to relocate. It sounds like it worked out great for me, right? Well, not so much, because I am a person that loves companionship, and this has put my relocation plans on hold. becuase flying down to Florida multiple times to look at boats and have to constantly quarantine is really a pain, and can get very costly.
I choose to look at it from a positive standpoint, meaning now I don;t have to rush the process. I could take my time to really go through my things and actually came up with a better plan to move when the time comes. Of course, these things are different for each of us. However, my point is, it's all about perception. I chose to take the time and try to put it to its best use rather than sit around stuck in front of a TV endlessly watching Netflix. Of course, this process hasn't taken months to complete, but you'd be surprised the other things you find to do once you get started. Do I have my times when I'm bored out of my mind? Who doesn't? On those days, I may get in my truck and take a nice ride. For me, rainy days are worse.
The purpose of this blog post is to tell you all that there is a way to MENTALLY overcome this. Each of us has experienced trying times in our lives for one reason or another. When you look back, isn't it true that you survived them? You found a way to see that light and stay focused on it. Besides some additional modifications, Is this really any different? Two of my three children and my two grandchildren live out of state. I will miss seeing them this holiday season, but the silver lining is, we can Zoom, Skype, or Facetime. Now, many might say, that's not the same as seeing them in person. This is where HOW YOU PERCEIVE things come into play. Is your glass half-full or half-empty? My perception is simple. I am fortunate, as we all are, that we have the technology for me to be able to see them at all. Therefore, I'm blessed to be able to say my glass is half full. It is oftentimes said, "Don't worry about the things you can't control, and focus on the things you can control." That is the power of positive thinking. Look to the day when these times pass and focus on what you need to do to get through these times.
I do not claim or profess to be an expert. Frankly, there is NO SUCH THING AS AN EXPERT. What gives someone an edge over another in a respective field is experiencedon'tbecause. No one graduates from college in any field with tons of experience. Experience comes from doing it hands-on. Actually, there are many people that have a ton of experience that is better at something than someone with a degree. Clearly their field of study prevalence has to that statement. What I do have is an education, and tons of experience, along with a great deal of common sense and understanding. In medicine, the most difficult thing to cope with is those lives that were lost that you could have saved. You must learn that that's a part of life.
I said earlier the two things in life most prevalent are PERSPECTIVE and PERCEPTION. Most do not know how young those concepts begin to take hold. Let me give you a basic example. Think back to when you were a child and were sick. You were devastated because you did not feel well, but more so because your friends were outside playing and you could not be with them. Later on, you get a call from another friend. You find out they are also ill and cannot go out and play with everyone else. All of a sudden, a miracle occurred. You no longer feel quite so bad. YOU HAVE NOW REALIZED YOU WERE NOT ALONE. Get the message?
This is my blog post message to everyone this week and through the holiday seasons. Think positive, stay positive, support those in your life, and do not be afraid to lean a bit on those you love to help support you when you need it, or in reverse, support them if they need it. These are the things that bring and keep families and friends together. These are the things that allow us to make it through the difficult periods in our life. These are also the things that will set an example for others to follow and our children and grandchildren to learn from. Everything in life is catchy. Would you agree that passing on good positive thoughts and actions is better than the alternative? Stay well, stay safe, and never take your eye off the silver lining around the cloud.
Thank you ... Caesar Rondina
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