I see you.
I see you there, parent of young kids, worried about sending them to school next week when there is no mask mandate and no vaccine available for them and kids the age of your kid on ventilators because of this damn virus. I see your fear and your worry and I also see how limited your choices are.
I see you too, the one who stayed home over the last 16 months, who followed the guidelines, who wore the mask, who got the shot as soon as you could, and who looks around at the destruction and death and wonders why you bothered.
I see you.
I see the ones of you who buried loved ones and who sacrificed to keep your kids safe and who lost your jobs and who had dreams deferred and even wither and die because of this damn virus.
And I see you, over there, whose father just got old and now you have to take care of him, or you need your hip replaced, or your wife is in the hospital after the wreck or any of a number of countless “regular” problems we all face every day and this virus isn’t making anything easier.
In fact, it makes everything much harder. It’s like running with weights on.
I don’t have any inspirational words. Like you, I had hoped we would have come to terms with this, that we would have reached what my dad, before the virus killed him last year, said would be our “new normal”.
And I know that you did your part. I did too.
I guess what I want to tell you is that the future isn’t written yet. It’s all open, the future is, and that means there is every reason to hope that things will be better, that we can turn this around, that people will come to their senses and get vaccinated, that with education and vaccines and time we can defeat this and come out on the other side, like we have so many obstacles in our species’ history.
Hope doesn’t sound like much, in the midst of this. Neither does knowing you are seen. I wish I could offer you more. But hope and an open future and someone else knowing what you are facing is all I have, and while I can’t promise you it will get better, I can promise you that you aren’t alone.
Hang on, friend. Hang on.