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  • Writer's pictureEmily Johnson


Pumping on a man’s chest as he hung out of the metal wreckage of a red Mercedes in the median of Route 3 North to Boston; pulling the listless body of a young man out of a pond, squeezing 12 units of blood into a cardiac surgery patient; desperately jamming vials of Epinephrine into IV’s, and running down the hall to the O.R. as every second counted - these are a sample of the emergencies I’ve known. These are all familiar crises.

This however; COVID-19 - is not a crisis I know. There is no familiarity here for any of us. The types of crises and emergencies we tend to associate with are short lived or they occur in an atmosphere that has remained relatively the same. But now the tick mark has been placed on the timeline - the before and after - it’s here; and our hormonal and psychological response is yesterday’s news.

So where are we now? It’s a dinner date that’s been looming on our calendar for weeks. The wine has decanted and the entree is hot. The questions hang in our nervous air. Where do we sit at this mighty table that feels too high and too long with it’s powerful legs and cunning surface? What is our role?

Our role is simple. RSVP to you. Return to yourself. When our responsibilities shift and we are called to do things we could have never imagined we would have to do it’s easy to lose sight of who we are. When businesses close and jobs are lost; when we have to stay away from people and communities we love; when important people in our lives get sick; or we just don’t understand or are so overwhelmed by the magnitude of the situation - we become lost. We quickly resort to our reptilian brain, producing judgemental, shameful, and fearful based thoughts. Our ability to be compassionate towards ourselves and empathetic towards others can become distracted and diminished and we show up as empty weary vessels bobbing on the tide. This presentation of lackadaisical lures comes in many forms across many platforms.

Some of us are showing up weary while others are not.

But right now we are all experiencing an emptiness.

We’ve all lost something. And you know what this is called? It’s grief.

And what I know about grief is that it demands attention.

Your role right now is to look at who you are and own that. Your job, your kids, your partner, your scale do not determine who you are. Do not let the pandemic become an excuse to drift away from who you truly are.

Rest when you are weary.

Ask for help.

Seek support.

This is an endurance event. It is a period of becoming.

Slow and steady my friends. Be well.



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