An ode to the people of the pandemic.
I have touched upon this theme before, but I continue to see the resiliency and kindness of people during this pandemic. The idea of a jaded and uncaring “I come first” attitude that we sometimes attribute to our current social environment continues to be challenged in real time.
For instance, when I ventured out to Shelton last week for my first COVID vaccination, I was understandably apprehensive - not only because I was going to be injected with this new vaccine, but also because it was another important thing that I’m now forced to do alone.
Angela, my late wife and I would have driven there together with she acting as co-navigator — a role she assumed whenever we took a trip. When I got out of the car and entered the large facility which was filled with people, I was immediately met by a smiling person who offered simple directions for my assimilation into the queue waiting to be processed.
Another quiet and pleasant person directed me to the next available intake person and then I was able to single out the vacant vaccination station. She was also friendly and smiling, and “jabbed” me in the wink of an eye.
The really nice thing about the whole process which only took 10 minutes, was that I felt as though I was part of an important event and all the others felt the same. Everyone did what they needed to do without complaint or questioning the process. It made me feel really good to be there with all these others who were joining a strong effort to make it all work. I don’t know why, but I felt as though we were all doing something for the good of the order.
Even as I drudged back home in the darkness, without my copilot, I had a nice feeling of accomplishment and one of pride in my fellow citizens who had all been willing to do the right thing.
Now, as I meet people, we talk about the process of rolling out the vaccine to all those who are waiting quietly for their turn. Even though so many want to be waiting in line right now, they understand that their turn in line will come in time.
I discovered that a number of people I know are cooking for others, people who either are alone, or who are challenged to manage to put a meal together. These are the quiet givers, those who just do things for people and don’t talk about it.
I was so pleasantly surprised as I watched an intimate video of Lidia Bastianich the other day, showing us her own kitchen at home, the place where she cooks meals for herself and her 100-year-old mother.
It’s a lot simpler than you imagine and sort of ordinary. As she showed us what she had in her pantry and refrigerator, she casually mentioned that she has been cooking for others in the neighborhood, people in need. She brushed it off, but I was impressed that she would make that personal commitment to help some people who need help right now.
I smiled, and imagined how nice it would be to get a take-out delivery from her kitchen. I know of others who may not necessarily share her culinary skills, but who cook for a crowd every day, and pass it on to friends and neighbors.
My ode continues with a reference to all those who are just being careful, and being thoughtful of others — people who are not minimizing the value of following the rules for safety and who understand that in the end, it’s the collective effort that results in the collective benefit for us all.
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