The fight against COVID-19 is not like Vietnam. The fatality comparison is a poignant illustration of the magnitude, but the trauma is not the same. Vietnam was man against man. Governments colliding. National division.
And sure, there’s division and bureaucratic mishandling of the pandemic, but ultimately our enemy is biological. It’s doesn’t scheme or behave in human ways. It isn’t trying to profit. It needs us alive so it can multiply.
We quarantine and self-protect, but there’s no protective gear for our hearts and minds. The virus has replicated in anxiety and fear. So, we surrender and lay low, waiting for the fallout to settle before we emerge from our shelters, weary and disturbed.
But some comforts and new rituals will endure. Family walks and dinners. Backyard campfires. Movies we agree on. Being quick to settle grievances. Reading together under a shade tree.
The paradigm has shifted, and there’s no going back. I know it. My kids know it, too. They’ve become nostalgic — scrolling through old pictures of the places we’ve been and things we’ve seen. Snuggling up and wondering when we’re going to do it again.
I imagine the new normal will be made one decision at a time. And while I hope this is a chance to be better than we were, I know that the opportunists are ready to capitalize on this fragile ecosystem, seizing more than their share.
We’ll leave one battle and enter the next, hopefully with a clear vision of what matters the most.