No one can feel as helpless as the owner of a sick goldfish.-Kin Hubbard
In a state of social distancing, we are living in a type of fishbowl, and sometimes a fishbowl within a fishbowl. We can’t do anything for our loved ones who are languishing from COVID-19. We can’t do anything for our family or friends who are watching their COVID-positive loved ones and waiting, from more than six feet, for one of two possible outcomes. We can’t offer hugs or a shoulder to cry on, we can only offer a voice and a virtual presence to others during their time of need.
COVID-19 has given us terrible choices: Do we attempt to visit out loved ones in their last moments and risk infection that may cause community spread and harm us? Do we stay home and say goodbye from a distance, sparing our community but leaving our loved ones to suffer alone?
Helplessness is an emotion we have to befriend in this COVID-age. We can only meditate on our inability to be physically present for those we love right now, and hope that the reflections will manifest a message of action we can take. How we can empower ourselves now is difficult to fathom. Perhaps there is some yet-unseen gift in the helplessness we now face. Collectively, maybe we can find it.