November 1, 2020
Pandemic Reflections #7
Don't be in such a hurry.
When you are impatient
You only start to worry. . ."
Did your mother ever sing that song to you? Given the
persistence of COVID-19, it makes one wonder if we are all being
called upon to be patient as we await a possible vaccine and are
urged to continue wearing face masks and practicing social
distancing. Individuals' impatience is becoming more and more
obvious as time goes on as evident in their words: "I am so over
this covid thing!" and "I am sick and tired of wearing a mask and
not getting to go do whatever I want!"
Being asked to be patient insinuates there is an expectation of
a change to come. In the therapeutic world we work with what is
called first order change and second order
change. First order change is the simple, albeit not always
easy, changing of one's behavior and or attitude in a given
situation. First order change is not to be dismissed as
ineffective. It is a good step in the right direction, but rarely
is it enough, in and of itself, to bring about a lasting,
life-altering change. Second order change is accomplished through
the intentional attempts to change one's perspective and
expectations that will continue to guide the way they interact with
the world around them. Let's face it, the 2020 coronavirus dilemma
will require that we all adapt to some necessary second order
change at some level that will forever impact our routines and
change the way we interact with our world. If there is any chance
that we, as a society, can defeat this virus, more of us are going
to have to remain patient while we change the way we view its
impact, and to take the recommended and necessary precautions to
slow its spread and its way-too-often consequence of devastating
death of our loved ones and neighbors.
May we all find it in our hearts to instill a bit more patience
and do our part to help curtail the spread of the virus. Let us not
fail to show our appreciation for those on the front line - the
doctors, nurses, hospital staff, lab technicians, administrators,
scientists - as they work exhausting hours to find a way to defeat
this horrible virus, and to treat those who have become infected.
If we don't do our part, we will continue to send sick people to
the hospitals to be cared for by those who are already taxed beyond
belief in their commitment to help.
Please be safe. Be considerate. And be patient.