Wall mural East Village
Wall mural in New York City

Only God knows how much I love you.
Gabriel García Márquez from “Love in the Time of Cholera” 

This amazing spirit of human solidarity must become even more infectious than the virus itself.
Dr.Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus
, World Health Organization

Who could have imagined the current state of the world? Our capacity to be resourceful, vigilant, and compassionate is being tested just as it is surely exceeding anything most of us could imagine. The times are alarming and full of hope as we draw in and reach out. Wanting to hold loved ones close no matter how far away they are.

COVID- 19 is new territory.

Part of that territory is the everyday vocabulary now centred around protection and containment, trying to keep that sometimes unspoken word, fear, at bay.

Difficult times bring the gems in life into sharp relief and inspire new ways of being. One of those gems relates to the words we can include in conversation and which may inspire us to act.

Connect, compassion, comfort, ease, support, reflect, forbearance, kindness, strength, gratitude (there are many, many more) -and that word that embodies all others- love.

This is the time to love while we live life in the slow lane and enjoy the pleasures of hibernating at home with good books and food and a walk outside. This is the time for a deep dive into narrowing social distance; expanding generosity; and demonstrating the abundant expressions of joy that are in plain sight. This is the time to simply be for awhile. We are all in this together!

Breaking news COVID-19

One of the effects of the pandemic is the way it has freed the creative spirit in new ways. I love the stories, poetry, and innovative ways to connect online that are burgeoning forth. Imagine an online group sing-along, a mindfulness session, and a Pilates class.  It’s all happening.

Music is another way to touch the heart and connect people. Yo-Yo Ma is doing that through his initiative, Songs of Comfort.

https://www.pbs.org/newshour/show/yo-yo-ma-on-encouraging-songs-of-comfort-amid-global-crisis

And in the midst of an unimaginably difficult time, the Italians celebrate the human spirit while under quarantine.

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2020/mar/14/italians-sing-patriotic-songs-from-their-balconies-during-coronavirus-lockdown

May all the ideas to connect us spread everywhere!

And let us give thanks to the heroes and heroines in our midst – ordinary people doing the extraordinary to keep all of us safe and make it possible for us to manage our daily lives. There are too many to mention: transit workers, first responders, cleaners, garbage collectors, postal workers, small business owners, everyone in the service industry. All are doing so much. And of course, all those working in health care. THANK YOU!!!

Love – and vigilance in following public health measures- will get us through. It’s easy to give into fear, but I try to remember:

Where there is great love, there are always miracles.
Willa Cather

My thanks to the friends who shared links and ideas for navigating this pandemic. Special thanks to S. 

3 thoughts on “Love in the Time of COVID-19

  1. So beautifully expressed, Audrey! In a time when we have to be separated for the good of all, it’s heartwarming to see how we can all be more connected than ever. Thank you❤️

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  2. Thanks, Audrey – Funny the things that come up when we are more idle than usual. I started sorted my books and found a favourite book of poetry by the French poet Jacques Prévert and started reading aloud. Plan to schedule a Zoom session with one francophone and one francophile friend to take turns reading the poems, in French, to improve my and the other anglo’s rusty pronunciation. I never would’ve imagined this a week ago.

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