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The Silver Lining of the Covid-19 Cloud

Article by Julie Hatch – Acupuncturist and Parent Coach

It feels like the world has turned upside down, or at least been knocked off of its axis by a few
degrees. Things are happening and developing and changing very fast. There is the immediate
concern of one’s own health and the health of loved ones, especially elderly parents and
relatives. There is the worry of employment and income for at least the next few weeks. The
economy is trembling. We are dealing with a lot of uncertainty.
However, I am glad for some of the ‘side effects’ of this pandemic. As a parent coach, I
emphasize the precious value of time with our kids. I believe that the currency of parenthood is
time. Life is so busy for kids and parents with all there is to do in 24 hours. Quality time with
our children can become elusive.

Now here we are where kids can’t go to school and parents can’t go to work. Many families are
now home together with nothing to ‘do’. There is no schedule of having to be at school or at
work; there are no appointments, after school activities, no sporting events – there is no place
to be but where we are, at home. People are being forced to slow down, giving them the
opportunity to appreciate who is with them and what is happening in the moment. It is a
perfect time to stop and enjoy life, especially with the family you have around you.
I have begun to see how this shift is positively impacting families.

I went for a hike yesterday with my son and there were so many people out doing the
same thing. People of all ages, lots of kids – all out enjoying the beautiful out of doors
together. The fact is, the benefits of being outside are huge! Studies have shown that being outside impacts people’s physical and mental health. But beyond that, it has also been shown to have a significant positive effect on mood and behavior in kids.

There was a clip on the news of the quarantined Italians, singing beautiful music, each
from their own balconies. Kids were playing instruments, and all ages of people were
making music together. Truly an inspiration.

Mundane chores such as cleaning the house won’t be quite such a chore now because
there is time in the day to get it done.

Cooking may become more creative because there is time to play around and
experiment in the kitchen.

Despite the absurdity of fighting over toilet paper and hand sanitizer, it is a time that
communities can come together because we are all facing the same uncertainty with
the same bit of fear or anxiety – even if we have to stay 6 feet apart from each other.

While the uncertainty of how long this will last, how will it affect each of us is unsettling
and can be anxiety provoking, it is also the window to appreciate each day, one day at a
time. We are all taking this one day at a time. We can’t plan for vacation, or group
events, or whatever social activity we have planned for next week because all of these
activities are cancelled! So, without the ability or need to plan, we are forced to live one
day at a time. Personally, I think that is a gift to all of us.

And perhaps most salient for me is the realization of how connected we all are. I’ve
always known this to a certain extent, but I sometimes lose sight of it. This event,
however, has brought to light, in such a way that nobody can ignore, that we are all
connected in this universe. A tiny ripple in a little market in distant Wuhan, China,
where this virus originated, has affected nearly every country and every person in the
world, one way or another. Think of the significance of this. In a more positive picture,
consider how a smile or kind word to a stranger affects that stranger. This starts a ripple
that gets bigger and wider, with the potential of reaching more people with whom that
stranger later interacts. We are not always aware of the effects that our actions have,
but it doesn’t mean they don’t happen.

This is no doubt a trying time for us all. But it is what it is. We do the best we can to keep
ourselves and our loved ones healthy. We wait for the economy to come back. In the
meantime, we can use this unusual time in history, to enjoy our new found free time and to
enjoy our time with each other.

Julie Hatch, LAc, PNP …….401.323.4623
Acupuncturist/Parenting Coach
Email: juliehatch@hotmail.com