“The coronavirus has transformed all of our lives. When it’s over, here’s what I hope we remember.“- Meg Nyberg, Iowa View contributor
This reflection was written One Year Ago- March 2020 by Meg Nyberg- an American School teacher in Quito, Ecuador- and published in the Iowa View Contributor.
It is so timely now as we appear to be ending this Pandemic- as it speaks to the hope of lessons learned during this past year.
Meg Nyberg States:
“This pandemic is unlike anything most of us have seen in our lifetimes. We’ve seen the world shrink as we watch the spread, and even more as we begin to feel the isolation and limitations on freedoms we’ve always known.
Whether you are from small-town USA or a big foreign capital, this is impacting all of us and creating a worldwide common experience. As a mother, teacher, and person trying to fight off anxiety from it all, I can’t help but be hopeful for what will come from this disaster:
- I hope that when this all passes, we appreciate how technology has allowed us to remain connected to loved ones, but we realize that it is no replacement for personal connection. I hope to see more people at restaurants without phones in front of them.
- I hope we all have a greater appreciation for teachers and the time and effort and energy care and love that goes into helping not just one child, but a classroom full of them. I hope to see societies and parents be less critical and more supportive.
- I hope we don’t forget the risks doctors and nurses have taken, the sacrifices they have made, and the crazy demand placed on those professions. I hope more people stop to say thank you to those who keep us well.
- I hope after doing it alone, parents value the village they have in helping raise their children, be it a nanny or day care provider or grandparents or friends who help in big and small ways.
- I hope everyone will realize that maternity leave is not a vacation and that stay-at home moms do in fact have full-time jobs. Maybe we can all just stop expecting of each other and ourselves that we parent as though we don’t work and work as though we aren’t parents.
- I hope those reluctant to vaccinate see the value in modern medicine and the horrors that can happen when we don’t have herd immunity to protect the most vulnerable among us.
- I hope we recognize the critical role nature plays in our well-being and stop destroying mother nature. I hope to see more kids choosing to play outside over playing video games, and more people making time for walks outdoors.
- I hope we appreciate travel, both near and far, for all of the ways it enriches our lives. I hope more people choose to spend money on experiences rather than things after feeling the void of being isolated with all of our belongings.
- I hope we begin to understand the importance of electing officials at all levels who we trust with life-and-death decisions, who listen to experts, and make difficult calls while taking full responsibility. Politics do matter, and they do impact all of our daily lives.
- I hope we all make more of an effort to understand numbers, statistics, and data and stop relying on TV anchors to interpret it for us. I hope we seek out valid and reliable sources of information for all things in the future. Let us begin to listen to experts in science about tipping points with climate change and see that we can and must act, in whatever ways we can.
- I hope we start to see workers in the food and supply and cleaning and maintenance industries as vital and worthy of a living wage. Perhaps in the future, more of us will advocate for policies that serve others rather than ourselves.
- I hope we understand that paid sick leave and a right to health care are actually in the best interest of all of us, and begin to demand those things from our governments.
- I hope we remember the fear we felt about not having our basic needs met, and the desire to flee (despite laws and risks telling us not to), and stop persecuting refugees for making choices we would undoubtedly make as well.
- I hope this pace of life allows us to slow down, find quiet, and find balance when we come out on the other side. May we all take from this time the importance of long conversations, meditation, time in the kitchen, the sound of birds outside, dancing to music, reading, writing, and making art.
- I hope we carry with us the acts of kindness we have heard of and witnessed during this time. May we remember the resilience of the human spirit and try to emulate those who have been a light in dark times. I hope we remember that our actions really do matter. When this is all said and done, let’s cherish the beauty of “normal.” Stay hopeful, friends.”
Meg Nyberg- Thanks for Sharing with All of Us!-
Mark Elliott, MD, MBA