In some ways, 2020 has toughened us up for this year, but has also absorbed a lot of our energy, resilience and optimism. With the challenges we have faced, you feel like you’ve aged years since COVID-19 hit.
It’s more than a feeling. According to final data released on December 21, 2021 by the National Center for Health Statistics, the pandemic has reduced life expectancy in the United States by two years. For black men, it is three years. It’s time for a new game plan in 2022.
COVID-19 seems to be our worst enemy, but it only does what viruses do. He’s trying to stay alive. In order for it to live, humans become collateral damage. Although a virus is not a living cell, it is a parasitic organism that seeks to find a living host. The longer viruses hang around, the more reinforcements they can summon. That is why we now have Delta and Omicron variants. More of their buddies are waiting in the cup.
The two main reasons COVID-19 is alive and well are human ignorance and political stupidity. They feed an environment that allows the virus to continue to hang out with us.
We are unlikely to change the attitude of a governor who wants to prosecute a city or school official for pushing mask warrants to save lives.
We haven’t convinced enough parents who are reluctant to have their children vaccinated against COVID but were ready to approve the vaccinations required to protect them from childhood illnesses.
We must continue to educate and agitate those we love and those in positions of authority who make decisions about our lives. We only control our own actions and hope that they influence the actions of others.
We must find the strength and the hope to resume as much life as possible safely. There are places to visit. Diplomas to attend. Grandmothers to visit. Gardens to grow. Children to love. Books to read. We missed a lot.
There is a world that needs our attention. Racism did not sit down because of COVID-19, injustice still abounds. Moping, frustrated, or angry with the world is not going to change this situation. It is a possible mission.
The first phase of the mission is to prepare for the long term. As the pandemic progresses, it could take another two years of vaccinations, incessant hand washing, social distancing and face masking. We need to have a sleep routine, eat plenty of fruits and vegetables, and exercise regularly.
There will be stress ahead, so take a deep breath and meditate. Get grounded so you can’t be knocked out of your game. Bring positive people around you. Laugh more. You are developing your stamina for your spiritual and mental health. You cannot scold with “Rona” if you are weak in mind, body and spirit.
A new year must bring new ways of living. This is the change that COVID-19 is forcing on us. Many couldn’t do it on our own, but here we are.
Our shields against the virus are a healthy lifestyle, determination and information. We must be the winners of this deadly fight, not the statistics. Let’s move on to live and love!