Even as we hit a giant marker nationally in the number of known COVID-related deaths, our local officials in Austin, where COVID has disproportionately impacted the Latino community, warn that for many of us the virus seems “not yet real.” It’s hard to wrap my head around both realities, though in the world of this pandemic, I know both can be true. What to think? Here are some perspectives from around the web for your consideration:
*This hopeful read was a somewhat encouraging look at statistics in Georgia a month after re-opening as we crawl along in these mysterious new waters.
*This interview with physician and public health researcher Asaf Bitton directly addresses specific scenarios and questions, and is helpful as we try to parse out which activities feel safe to engage in and how.
*If Dr. Bitton’s interview doesn’t offer enough clarity, this to-the-point list of summer activities and their associated risks, assessed by experts and compiled by NPR, is extremely helpful.
*On our Tuesday call, the theme and importance of self-compassion was prevalent. One of the folks from the Collective spoke of the importance of language in self-compassion. One example offered was noting that many of us are not “working from home,” but rather, we are “trying to work from home during a pandemic.” This pretty much sums it up for me (emphasis on the trying). Along those lines, this hilariously headlined piece from the New York Times does a great job of naming the pressure to be “all things” during this stressful time in the lives of parents. I found her point about achieving “flow” while working at home with kids (spoiler alert: NOT POSSIBLE) particularly affirming.
*Along similar lines, this article from Vox questions whether the pandemic will bring about an end to our obsession with productivity,a possibility I find exciting, intriguing and full of hope.
*You know it’s a hard week in the news when one of the most upbeat articles you find is about an obituary writer. I loved this very brief story about the deep joy this Chicago obituary writer finds in her job and the reasons why. It felt very life-affirming in a time when most of the questions around engaging and embracing our mortality present otherwise.
*According to the Harvard Business Review, it’s always a good idea to be expanding our idea of who we are and might be by taking time each day to practice being our future self. It’s a fascinating idea that makes a lot of sense, and if I can muster the emotional energy to spend time with that self daily (or at a minimum figure out who she is), I’m in.
*As distancing measures evolve, we’ve had multiple conversations in our collective about how individuals and faith communities can evolve their practices to safeguard health and peace of mind in this time of transition. This article from a Washington Post affiliate brings some good suggestions about how we can start these conversations honestly, directly and with as little judgment as possiblewithin our inner circles.
*During my Adventures in Homeschooling, I realized in a Social Studies conversation that I could not list the Seven Wonders of the World. Here is one quick list (it sounds like there is debate out there) as well as a link to virtual tours so we can all expand our horizons this summer from the solitude of our own home.
*As people of faith, it’s important to ready ourselves for action now and down the pipeline in terms of mobilizing support in and for our communities. These two articles caught my eye and left me with a heavy heart as the road ahead becomes clear and the scope of need ever more apparent. The crisis of school funding looms large, and related in many ways is the growing emergency of child hunger in our midst.
*These statistics around the mental health of Americans right now were bleak, and a solid reminder that supporting our friends, family and neighbors during this time is essential and the first and most immediate act of kindness before us, actionable each and every day.
PRAY (and laugh too)
*On a lighter note, not sure if you caught this naughty cat climbing right into the robes of the Dean of Canterbury while praying live in the cathedral garden, but it’s worth checking out. All things wise and wonderful, the Lord God made them all!
*This priest took the call to Easter joy seriously and found a fun and creative way to share Holy Water with his parishioners, much to their delight.
*And finally, tenderly, this sweet delivery driver made one family’s day by stopping in the midst of her work to lift up their baby in prayer. Sometimes it really is the small things!
Here’s wishing you much goodness in the days ahead. My one goal for tomorrow is to get back into my kitchen, mainly because my internet wanderings got me massively inspired by this baby chef. If I can harness the joy of Baby Kobe while cooking, this pandemic will have taught me something.