It was March 2020 that much of the United States went into a lockdown due to COVID-19. During these past eight months we have all experienced challenges. Businesses, schools, churches, sports teams and governmental agencies have all gone through the pendulum of being open, then closed, then opened, then…

Everyone has been touched by this pandemic. Friends, family members and acquaintances have tested positive. In my experience, to date, all that have tested positive have not been hospitalized. But for others this had not been the case. People close to them have been hospitalized, and some even have died as a result.

There has been a toll on the mental health of so many. Feelings of isolation, uneasiness of the unknown end results. Economic hardship and a moving end line. No one seems to really know when this will be over. Will it end with a vaccine? Or readily available treatments? Will we simply learn to live with this as we have the variety strands of flu that have emerged over the years? No one has clarity on this.

However, as with most situations, there are always things we can learn. There are positives to be mined from even this. I do believe that in America we show resilience, humor and adaptability no matter what we encounter as a people and a nation. And I am sure each of us, has, at different times, muttered, “stupid COVID!”

Here are a few of my observations in regards to the “stupid COVID!”

  • Mask have become fashion statements
  • Hand sanitizing has become popular
  • Hand washing can become a time to remember blessings. Many experts suggest singing “Happy Birthday” to ensure you meet the 20-second threshold in hand washing. I have, instead, taken to singing “This is the Day the Lord Hath Made.” It gets me my 20-seconds and reminds me who really controls the day
  • People (who choose to) become aware of those around them. Regardless of my perspective on mask wearing, I will defer to others out of my concern for them
  • People can, and do, adapt. I have admired the restaurants (and many other businesses) that have rethought how they do business to continue to serve others and stay viable
  • Friends and family and the support they bring has been heightened
  • Recognition that we really are in this thing together
  • What is really essential in our lives has been identified

I am sure you can add to this list. Bottom line: Regardless of the challenges we face, we have the capacity to grow, adapt and learn. The post-COVID future can be bright because each of us can choose to make it so.

Dr. Phil Stevenson is district superintendent of the Pacific Southwest District.