So…Governor Cuomo just ordered the closing of all non-essential businesses and New Yorkers must stay at home. (Thankfully, liquor stores are considered essential enterprises.)
This all seems so surreal. Speaking for myself, it feels as if we have become players in some sort of alternate universe, participants in an apocryphal sci-fi movie.
But, this is not a bad dream that will dissipate upon awakening.
This is real, acutely stressful, and flat-out frightening.
We are collectively glued to the round-the-clock news cycle reporting that further rattles our chain as we watch the ever-increasing numbers of documented cases of humanity’s current nemesis – Covid19.
But, it’s not The End of Days.
Yes, there will be a price to pay. Lives will be lost. Financial hardship is, and will, be devastating. But inevitably we will – in the words of Jim Morrison of The Doors, “Break On Through To The Other Side”, and persevere.
And, to quote author and motivational speaker W. Mitchell, “It’s not what happens to you in life that matters, it’s what you do about it.”
How we manage adversity (and we are indeed facing adversity as individuals and as a society) often determines the outcome.
I want to share with you some sagely reflections offered by a wonderfully-worldly and ever-present, in-the-moment lady, my dear, dear friend Marlene. What follows is her spontaneous response to a text she received from our mutual friend, Richard.
Richard’s text was so fraught with angst, anguish, and images of doom stemming from the pandemic, that Marlene immediately responded with the text below, which she forwarded to me:
“I am high risk being in my late 80’s and do what I am supposed to do – washing hands, etc. Beyond that, there is little I can do, so I don’t waste my limited energy with stress and what-ifs.
What concerns me are right now are the people who will be out of work and who had been living from paycheck to paycheck while raising a family.
I wrote a substantial (for me) check for one person – a single mother with three small children whose income has already diminished because of Coronavirus. It will help, but not enough. At 88, I thought I had seen it all:
- WW2: blackouts, air raid wardens, and gold stars in windows designating someone from that house died in the war
- The Holocaust
- Travel to outer space
- Death of a spouse
- Caregiving 25/8 for my only and younger brother and my mom; both died seven weeks apart, one year after the loss of Phil
I have seen so much more, but never a pandemic such as Coronavirus.
Enough? No, too much…stay well.”
Even without the context of what we’re living through right now, I find Marlene’s words to be both calming and inspiring. They are a call-to-action to all of us to be present in this moment of history and to be purposeful in thought. Please don’t worry or lose sleep over the things you can’t control.
What makes this even more poignant is this: I had literally started to compose this stream of consciousness and had typed only the first 9 words when I got a call…it was Marlene wanting to discuss her dental appointment!
Our dialogue morphed into a 45-minute lovefest.
I’m so grateful for the wonderful people my practice has brought into my life.
To all of you, be safe and continue to care about each other,
Michael Sinkin, DDS
Michael Sinkin practices cosmetic, implant, and restorative dentistry in New York City. He is known for the wonderful care he provides to his patients, and for his wicked sense of humor! To contact Dr. Sinkin, click here.