This morning, one of our Lady Docs Corner Cafe dear friends, Dr. Joann Urquart, a cardiologist, sent us a link to a very well written and moving article by a movie producer and writer, Julio Vincent Gambuto, titled “ Prepare for the Ultimate Gaslighting.” This writer knows the human condition and psychology very well, as shown by his article. We all should read and reflect on this very insightful article.
I too believe humans survive by clinging on to only pleasant memories. All of us have experienced some sorts of trauma in our life yet not all of us suffer PTSD. Amnesia for the bad times is probably a built-in system to help us live longer.
That said, it is EXTREMELY IMPORTANT for all of us to remember this Coronavirus crisis, by keeping in our files a journal, emails from friends and families, important news or articles like Gambuto’s. Our good feelings will come back when CMS sends many of us physicians money for taking care of medicare patients (it happens in my GYN specialty) for “no reason,” or our patients receive that $1,200 check and believe their government cares so much about them. We physicians might even forget that many of us had to furlough some wonderful office staff, take no salary or compensation, or drive into our offices just to see a single patient for an emergency! We will forget the images of thousands of cars lining up on the highway on the way to food banks. We will forget images of healthcare workers holding protest signs pleading for more Personal Protective Equipment (PPE).
Like Julio Vincent Gambuto, I think this unprecedented Coronavirus crisis has forced us to stop our lives and reflect on so many essential issues that we previously had no time to do during our daily rat race. We now see how the engine of government operates and how it can cause more deaths or save more lives, how our tax money has been and will be spent to support that engine.
There are mysterious events happening all around us, how the water around the canals in Venice has cleared up since shelter-in-place order, how the LA sky is so blue etc… it’s mysterious but not so mysterious that humans have caused so many problems to their beautiful planet and it didn’t take the scientists or EPA to have to plead to our government to pay attention. It took a virus to show us what the world could be like if all of us do our part in saving our planet.
This Coronavirus has helped us use our resources more wisely, saving that last carrot or the leftovers so we don’t have to go to the market, make do with fewer paper towels, trimming our own hair, living a more simple life…
This author is so right about how our typical info commercial materialistic life will be back soon, and will be pushed to maximal capacity by a government that worries about the impact of the economy on the upcoming November election. We will get back on that treadmill and start running our lives away against each other just as we did before, start living with all the illusions of what makes us “happy,” or “successful!” Humans have amnesia for the bad times and that is why history tends to repeat itself !
We can NOT forget this crisis that has shined the light on what is truly important in our life, on our broken healthcare system, on who the vulnerable in our society are, on what a competent and compassionate government and leaders should look like, and on how pleasant a life of simplicity can bring us. I reminded my husband how, every week of our vacations, we had flown all over the world to see all kinds of wonders, to the point that our son had visited 42 countries by the time he had reached his 21st birthday! I had never really had a “home vacation” before!
For three weeks now, I feel like we have been mostly off work and travel nowhere but around our house in Potomac and to the nearby C&O canal. It’s actually an amazing discovery that I love my local surroundings and can have a wonderful vacation right here! Many things have popped up on my walking paths as if they had not been here before!:) I have lived a more mindful life thanks to this crisis, but no thanks to the death and suffering we see around us, which could be a Godly lesson in itself. In our usual rat race, we tend not to stop daily to reflect on and acknowledge others’ pain and suffering.
Below is my very favorite quote from Bono the U2 singer. Bono is an incredible humanitarian. His message is so true and profound on Easter:
“God is in the slums, in the cardboard boxes where the poor play house. God is in the silence of a mother who has infected her child with a virus that will end both their lives. God is in the cries heard under the rubble of war. God is in the debris of wasted opportunity and lives, and God is with us if we are with them.”
There are no palm or olive branches in this area, but attached to my blog is photo of a tiny branch fallen from a pine tree in our neighborhood, with baby pine cones, reminding me of olive branches carried by the doves, a close enough image of peace. I found it on the ground during my daily run through the neighborhood during this physical distancing time.
Happy Passover and Easter to those who celebrate. May you all find peace in this time of crisis!