The world around us is strange and scary. But if you look away from the daunting statistics, what you will see are our neighbors and friends stepping up, you will see humanity at its absolute finest.
This outbreak has led to tremendous anxiety and sadness, but it has also revealed some incredible moments of hope and strength. During times of fear and uncertainty, the very best elements of human nature can be found, if you look for them.
Our first-responders, medical professionals, grocery affiliates, delivery personnel, sanitation workers — these are the people who put themselves at risk while we stay home.
Nicole Glick, PsyD, Shalom Tikvah’s clinical director, describers her daughter’s soccer coach, an emergency physician, as “a remarkable woman and the perfect role model for my daughter.” She is in that emergency room saving lives every shift, witnessing this aggressive virus firsthand, and then coming home and streaking directly into a hot shower before she can hug her children.
Another great role model and longtime Shalom Tikvah supporter is an incredible OB/GYN. She is being asked to work outside of her department to help the hospital manage the influx of coronavirus patients. She does it with a smile and such grace.
We are so grateful for these women and the tens of thousands like them who are walking into a literal warzone every day.
Many of us had been using Instacart before all of this started. It is a lifesaver for working parents! Last week when Nicole placed her order, she was using the chat function with the shopper as she reported the various items that were out of stock.
At one point, she apologized for how long it was taking and explained that she was having to step back and wait as shoppers were not respecting the six-feet-apart rule. “I thanked her for doing her job and let her know that I was in no rush, and how much I appreciated her being out there for me.” She wrote back that she just took a break to cry in the restroom. She is terrified, but this is paying her rent and feeding her children.
This women is a hero.
There are so many things that people are doing here and there that lift our spirits and remind us that we are not alone. The drive-by birthday parades where friends show up, blast music from their cars and hold up signs to wish beloved friends and family a happy birthday, remind us that there is still so much to smile about.
The members of our community who are creative and have the ability to do so have started to make masks from their homes and deliver them to health care and food service employees. Local businesses and synagogues are collecting money, and volunteers are dropping off beautiful meals for the hospital staff to enjoy.
Kids at home are writing thank-you letters to health care workers and sending cards to patients who are not permitted to have visitors. Doing good, feels good; showing gratitude feels good. We all need that so much right now!
Teachers have been posting on social media that they are available to FaceTime when your child is struggling. We spoke to one mom who was trying to home-school her child with special needs. She explained that there was a lot of yelling and tears until she responded to one of those social media posts.
Now, her son FaceTimes with a teacher he has never met before every Wednesday afternoon. The mom referred to this as her oxygen, when her chest gets tight and she does not think she can do it, she reminds herself that this kind woman will walk him through the work and that she is not alone.
As mental health professionals, our team is worried about what re-entry will look like and about the longterm effects of all this. That feeling of being in this together may just be the key to coming out of this healthy and stable.
This virus is the great equalizer. Look for the good every day, and if you are having trouble finding it, “The Office” actor John Krasinski has started a YouTube video diary to share uplifting stories from around the globe. (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F5pgG1M_h_U)
Shalom Tikvah Inc. (shalomtikvah.org) is a non-profit organization that uses an innovative approach to treating mental illness and other stressors by treating the entire family system with comprehensive therapy as well as wraparound services. Shalom Tikvah’s clinical team, Nicole Glick, PsyD (clinical director), Talya Knable, LCPC (assistant clinical director), Rachel Berman, LCSW-C, and Tamar Livingstone, LGSW, along with Jennifer Grossman, director of operations, will be contributing weekly to Jmore. If there is anything you want their experts to address, please email email@example.com.