So here we are, four months plus into the pandemic—longer than many imagined it could ever last. Consequently, there’s been a shift in energy. Tempers flare. People often seem impatient. …
So here we are, four months plus into the pandemic—longer than many imagined it could ever last. Consequently, there’s been a shift in energy. Tempers flare. People often seem impatient. Kindness and empathy seem, like Clorox Wipes, to be in short supply.
Negative reactions come in short bursts nearly everywhere. People inconsiderately play their music loudly regardless of the hour while driving through residential areas. Intentionally noisy vehicles are heard rumbling down Main Street and through the Flats late at night. Traffic plods along because no one is in much of a hurry. Parking on Main Street has become an obstacle course of ridiculousness.
And it’s not just humans. Dogs are reportedly doing their business on people’s lawns, complicit with their owners as they walk away from the mess they just made. During an evening stroll, deer stare at humans as if to say, “Ugh. You again?” A cat gave me side-eye yesterday, but that may have been normal. You never can tell with cats.
Action and reaction are equally accountable in most instances. People are quick to inconsideration and quick to judgment. The truth of the situation is probably somewhere in the middle between the two polarizing, diametrically opposed directions. Trench warfare prevents us from sharing that middle ground.
To experience more patience and kindness, we must first be patient and kind. Lead by example. Put your best foot forward. It’s golden rule time! Easier said than done, to be sure. Human nature often points fingers in every direction but inward.
Perhaps it extends past exhaustion. Some people are likely to have slipped into depression, which is hard to overcome internally. Professional help might be needed to deal with the cumulative weight of the past five months and how they’ve affected issues that were already in place. For those who might be slipping down that slope, a reminder: Narrowsburg is home to some wonderful therapists, many of whom take (mental) health insurance or might consider working on a sliding scale.
Try to remember, seeking help is a strength, not a weakness.
In the moments you have an impulse to walk away from the best version of yourself or judge someone who has done the same, perhaps the best choice is to take a deep breath, even if through a mask. As Charles Glassman, author of “Brain Drain: the Breakthrough That Will Change Your Life,” once said, “Kindness begins with the understanding that we all struggle.”
No matter how you’re feeling four months into the pandemic, you’re not alone.