Monday, December 28, 2020

How intensely will we appreciate the most mundane things once "normal" returns?

Back in 2012, Hurricane Sandy blew far enough inland to affect Northeast Ohio, where I live.

It is the only time I ever remember a hurricane reaching us, even if it had significantly weakened by the time it got here. Trees were blown over, rain came down in buckets, and we lost power for something like five days.

We had never before (and haven't since) experienced a power outage anywhere near that long. It spanned Halloween and lasted until Nov. 2, the day Terry and I were scheduled to leave our kids at home and fly to San Francisco. Fortunately, the lights came on not long before we were supposed to leave for the airport.

At the time, I said I would never take electricity for granted again.

Within two weeks, I would say, I started taking electricity for granted again.

Which is understandable, right? We should always be grateful for the many blessings in our lives, but it's difficult to consciously think about everything on the list all of the time.

Which brings us to the COVID-19 pandemic.

This is the most disruptive event of our collective lives, right? Individuals undergo all sorts of trials and tribulations that are worse every day, but as a people, this has changed our lives as much as any other event since maybe World War II?

At some point we'll be able to go to stores without wearing a mask, visit our loved ones in nursing homes, and eat at restaurants like we used to.

When that day comes, I really want to make sure I appreciate every bit of it. The most inconsequential errands will be a least for a time.

The reality is, it won't be long before we all proceed with our lives as they were and actively try and forget about coronavirus. Again, this may not be that bad a thing. It's very human.

But can we at least make a point of thinking more often about how fortunate we are? I don't know that we need a "COVID Remembrance Day" every year, but rather just a small change in mindset.

It's that "attitude of gratitude" you sometimes hear about.

In the meantime, man, what I wouldn't give to be on the P.A. mic for a basketball game where the stands are packed with maskless people.

It's coming.

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