Ray of Light in Quarantine
This Little Light of Mine, I’m Gonna Let It Shine.
…The light that shines is the light of love,
Lights the darkness from above,
It shines on you and it shines on me,
And it shows what the light of love can do.
I'm gonna shine my light both far and near,
I'm gonna shine mine light bright and clear,
Where there's a dark corner in this land
I'm gonna let my little light shine…
These are unprecedented times; within only a few weeks our world has become overwhelmed with negativity. The health and economic impact of the coronavirus, driven by an increasing number of infected, a rising death toll, empty grocery shelves, the closure of schools, rallying unemployment, and a stock market experiencing extreme volatility reads much like the script of The Walking Dead, minus the zombies. As a recession appears imminent, and for many fears of a depression loom, I want to take the time to share some positivity and appreciation.
Today I sit in my home office, grateful and hopeful, even though I am surrounded by reminders of the global pandemic. I’m worried for the people I love, especially the elderly and immunocomprised. I’m concerned for the people in China, Italy, India and I worry for my family and friends here at home. Through the darkness I feel a ray of hope and thankfulness. It is times like these where we need to stop and think about all we have. Self-quarantined, I have no place to go, I sip my tea and think about how fortunate I am to be part of this community, who I live with (my Momma), and what I do, in this digital age.
Thankful Reason #1: Public Safety
We live in a country where personal health, safety and security are paramount. Working in a metropolis and oftentimes traveling to visit clients, some norms are difficult to part with. I work in a field where a firm handshake is tied to your integrity and character, and I’m used to hugging the other professional women in my circle. The past few weeks has seen a separation from these traditions, no longer rubbing elbows on the subway or a flight. Social distancing has led to self-quarantining, adopting the Indian greeting of Namaste and utilizing technology to digitally connect with colleagues and clients.
While I am fortunate to work from the comfort of my home, our healthcare system is burdened, and many including myself question if this system is sustainable as more states institute a lockdown for non-essential personnel. These are difficult times for many of us, more so for the families of doctors, nurses and all the support staff that keep our healthcare system operating. These heroes are placing themselves at the greatest exposure for risk, and you can help support them. Across the globe doctors are posting photos of themselves, holding a sign that reads “I Stayed At Work For You. You Stay Home For Us”.
I am thankful during this time to be surrounded by family at home. Before this pandemic, many of us were busy in our daily lives, we oftentimes forget what it means to sit around a table and enjoy dinner together as a family. Once this pandemic is behind us, I commit to focusing on what is really important to me, spending time with family, friends and neighbors and continuing to build fond memories together.
Thankful Reason #2: Community.
I feel blessed to be part of a community with modern conveniences. A short drive away I have access to a supermarket, a pharmacy, one of the best hospitals in the country. I can purchase fresh vegetables at the farmers market or catch up with clients over coffee. I can choose to shop whenever I please, opting for earlier in the day, when the market shelves are well-stocked. I can order and have my groceries and other essential supplies delivered to my door. However, this is only possible because of the people we now look at as being heroes, not our doctors and nurses who have always placed themselves on the front lines, knowing that they’re at a greater exposure of risk. Grocery store clerks, truck drivers, farmers and warehouse workers are keeping food on American tables, making sure families have access to diapers and toilet paper.
I am thankful for our first responders, our Boys in Blue, firefighters, doctors and nurses, our Military, and NGOs (Non-Governmental Organizations) that have been deployed to prevent stores from price gouging, help to distribute food and supplies to those in need, keep the peace during these difficult times. I am thankful for technology; with a few finger strokes I am able to stay connected to loved ones around the world. I am thankful for social media and communication providers that allow me to distribute news, memes to lighten the mood, and Cardi B’s coronavirus rant song in collaboration with iMarkkeyz.
Thankful Reason #3: Working from home
From the comfort of my home office, the transition is seamless, with the exception of wearing my slippers. Technology plays an integral part, we run a paperless office utilizing technology ranging from Apple computers with T2 security chips to iPads that allow me to work remotely. I miss lunching with clients, visiting them at their sites as they give me private tours of their operations, and meeting other professional women at business events. However, I have worked hard to build relationship of trust with my clients, guiding them in the best and worst of times, in accordance to their financial plans. Staying focused, engaged and productive while indoors. Sadly, this is not the case for many of our fellow Americans, unable to support themselves, and uncertain of what the future holds.
As I sit at my desk sipping tea, I am overcome with gratitude for everything and everyone I have in my life. I’m concerned for those dependent on the next paycheck, unsure of how they’ll be able to provide a meal for their family. I’m concerned for those living in crowded cities, those who cannot afford to stay home from work, those infected with the virus, those without adequate healthcare, those who do not have modern conveniences, those who are alone, those who are stranded in a foreign land.
I pray that this pandemic will pass with as little devastation as possible. I pray people will follow common sense guidelines and stay safe. I pray when this all ends, we become the people we wanted to be, and do the things we dreamed of. I pray that you and your loved ones stay happy and healthy during these difficult times.
On Monday he gave me the gift of love,
Tuesday peace came from above,
Wednesday he told me to have more faith,
And on Thursday he brought me the gift of grace.
And then on Friday he told me "Watch and pray",
And then on Saturday what to say,
On Sunday he gave me the power divine
To let my little light shine.
(Harry Dixon Loes)
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The views expressed here are of the author, not Advisory Services Network, LLC, and should not be construed as tax or legal advice. Neither the author nor Advisory Services Network, LLC gives tax or legal advice.