Things kind of feel like they are in a holding pattern right now. Joe Biden is president-elect, but not quite everyone is fully accepting that, and he won’t take power for another two months no matter what. Good news is rampant with treatments and vaccines for COVID-19, but cases are rising quickly at the same time. It is difficult to know just where the country stands on, well, anything.
I am certainly not here to pretend that I have any answers to these issues. What will happen in any political transition probably has as much to do with how the Senate runoffs go in Georgia than who works in the Oval Office and although that light at the end of the pandemic tunnel is shining brighter, it is still difficult to put a timeline on when we will reach it. That does not mean, however, that this can’t be a time of learning. And the biggest lesson we should learn is to not overreact.
In the political arena, vast importance (and probably rightfully so) was placed on the outcome of the presidential election. But should it really get all the importance? Even with Biden in power, Democratic control of the Senate is far from assured, making sweeping changes much more difficult to achieve. So yes, there were significant differences that had to be weighed between Trump and Biden, but it was still far from the only piece of the political puzzle.
In the pandemic arena, we have been on a push-and-pull cycle since March. The economy took a vast dip, has seen a good rate of recovery since, yet remains far from a complete comeback, and now things feel less stable than they have in months with rising infection numbers and renewed fears of possible lockdown measures.
That knife’s edge feels much sharper for some than others. Let’s not forget there are many who returned to work and now feel that sharp pang of fear that the current situation could push them out of work again. Let’s not forget that there are still substantial numbers of people who have been complete without work through these months.
It is tough to tell someone not to overreact when they live with such fear. But we do not make good choices when they are based in fear. Even when it feels like there are no good choices, we must make calculated decisions to make our present the best we can while taking what steps we can to help ensure the future.
It is a little easier to tell someone not to overreact when they are gambling on where these situations will take us, though. After all, when you take a nine-month view of where we have been this year, we can easily see times when our guesses as to what was coming were right, and we can even more easily see when our guesses were very, very wrong.
Definite answers have been more difficult to come by than ever this year. We must keep doing the best we can in the situation we are in. This does not mean simply throwing up our hands and taking the trip without any navigation, but it does mean making attempts to not be ruled by in-the-moment emotion and to accept that there are forces beyond us that make an ultimate answer impossible to determine.
So here is to wishing you comfort in these uncertain times.
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