This February

This February

Happy Valentines Day!

February is a month with fewer days and many observances.  For the American Heart Association, it is Heart Month.  February also includes Black History Month, the Lunar New Year, President’s Day, National Cancer Prevention Month and Valentine’s Day. This February, we could all use a little extra love and compassion.   Just over a year ago, the first cases of coronavirus disease were identified in the United States. By February, community transmission impacted all 50 states, the District of Columbia and four US territories. In March of 2020, the World Health Organization officially declared the disease a global pandemic.

Last year brought immeasurable pain and hardship and the challenges continue.  Over 450,000 Americans have lost their lives, as millions lost their loved-ones, health, employment, income, housing and, in some case, their hopes and dreams.  We have endured stay-at-home orders, business closures, product shortages, zoom meetings, virtual schooling, testing lines, and political bickering. We missed birthday celebrations, holiday gatherings and religious services. We went from the three W{s}- wash your hands, wear your mask and watch your distance, to a fourth W- wait to congregate.  Additional protective measures include ventilation, air-filtering, reframing from non-essential travel and now, home tests kits and double-masking.  

After a year of tremendous pain and profound uncertainty, the approval, distribution and administration of effective vaccines signaled that the end may be in sight.  Just as we were becoming optimistic, we encountered vaccine shortages and learned of the arrival of several new variants that may require new vaccines or boosters.    

Twenty-Twenty was one of the most difficult years we have faced as a nation and a world community.  Truly, to borrow a line from a popular song, “What the World Needs Now Is Love, Sweet Love.”  Whether by speaking a kind word, sending a greeting card, volunteering at the food bank, being patient with those whose views differ from ours, sharing our resources or phoning an isolated friend or neighbor, we need to support each other. 

For the spiritual, the “good book” commands that we love our neighbor.  For the practical, this pandemic experience had confirmed that our collective physical and emotional health and our financial well-being are tied to our collective response.  We are in this together. During these times, at a minimum, we can be intentional about love by practicing kindness, patience, perseverance and goodness.

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