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Caring, Adapting, Navigating In A Pandemic

caring, adapting, navigating in a pandemic

It’s times like these when we can so easily withdraw, isolate, and zoom waaaay into the infinite facets of our own individual lives and go into hyper-vigilant, problem-solving mode. I get it. And while I fully support attending to one’s health, family, etc, I want to invite you into a bigger inquiry.

What’s bigger than a world pandemic, Dana??

Your contribution is.

Yes, you are sososoveryvery tiny. Me too! AND YET our collective thinking and caring make a big difference.

So, what do you want to contribute?

Here, I’ll go first. I want my contribution to be care, fierce attention, gentleness, kindness (not to be confused with niceness), loving transformation (which sometimes shows up as of-the-moment adaptation), and an ushering in of our compassionate evolution as two-legged, meatbag, sentient types.

But look, I’m no stranger to Ambivalence (and their bestie, Judgment). I’m an eye-roller — since I was a toddler says my mom. My kneejerk reaction is that people are mostly overreacting…about everything. Ambivalence is an old coping mechanism to protect me from feelings of not belonging that actually keeps me separate from others.

I’ll be honest. I eye-rolled about covid-19. Just last week, I was on a sailboat in Thailand thinking OMG PEOPLE ARE SO DRAMATIC when I read virus updates.

People are scared. In some parts of the world, people are negotiating survival. In all parts of the world, especially in the US, we have broken systems that are not prepared to hold us all in crisis. This is real. We can do this, together.

My favorite author, Rebecca Solnit, wrote in her (highly recommended) book A Paradise Built in Hell,

“Horrible in itself, disaster is sometimes a door back into paradise, that paradise at least in which we are who we hope to be, do the work we desire, and are each our sister’s and brother’s keeper.

You don’t have to subscribe to a political ideology, move to a commune, or join the guerrillas in the mountains; you wake up in a society suddenly transformed, and chances are good you will be part of that transformation in what you do, in whom you connect to, in how you feel. Something changes.”

We are in a collective transformation time for so many reasons. It’s ok to focus on, worry over, and grieve the individual changes you weren’t expecting or are not sure how to navigate. And let’s also remember the whole. We must remember us.

So friend, what about you? In this present moment, how do you REALLY want to show up? What do you want to contribute to the whole? If you want to hit reply and share, I’m here for you.

As a commitment and discipline to my contribution, I’m social-distancing to a point of quarantine since I’ve just been traveling through Asia. It’s part of how I’m going to care for my community. And in another 10 days, I can go back out and see where mutual aid work may be needed and where I can help.

I’ve also found these resources really helpful //
This article lays the whole situation out quite thoroughly and has received over 7M views in the last 24 hours. Here’s a potent list of demands from grassroots organizers that anyone can use in their own community. Here’s the Healing Justice podcast (love) on Corona. And here’s a preparation and planning doc full of helpful info and links from 2 dear friends of mine who are part of a 7-person co-op in Oakland.

As the ever-on-point writer/thinker, adrienne maree brown, just wrote on fb today,

“it’s not panicking to take in data, recognize patterns, and adapt…everyone should be adapting now. in case you’re waiting for it to get worse before you shift, don’t. yes you. mm hmm. it’s not rude. it’s not overreacting. it’s thinking collectively.”

We’re all going to have to live with the decisions we — as individuals and as a society — make this week. We’ll live with them for the rest of our lives.

Be attentive to where your information is coming from. There’s a lot out there. Let your care extend to your scroll and share/repost button.

We can do this for each other with the care we most wish for our dearest beloveds.

photo of me and my friends by kelly green