Friday, April 17, 2020

View: The Pandemic Pregnancy

By Suzanne Ordas Curry
Editor's Note- Though we usually cover lighter subjects on this site, extraordinary times beget stepping out of the box.

I am not writing here about those mothers giving birth during this pandemic especially those mothers separated from their children until it is safe which is heart-wrenching. Nor is it about the Pandemic Baby Boom we will most likely see in the next year. It's about what the feeling of this pandemic is taking out of the equation the sheer devastation brought on by this crisis.  And, to make it clear I am blessed to be in a house with my family and food and there is still a paycheck coming in. 

What I am writing about is the feeling that I have and I've had it before. As I Marie Kondo my closets,  refresh some rooms, organize my calendar, and look at what I can and can't do each day, I am getting flashbacks of another time in my life. When I was pregnant.

Women that are blessed to carry a child will know what I mean. When you are pregnant, life changes. Things you normally do you can't. You nest. You look at things differently. You can't physically do some of the things you used to be able to do. Your daily routine changes. There is an uncertainty about the future. There is fear - what is something happens to my baby? What if I come in contact with someone who is ill? There is fear about the future - my life will never be the same. How will I feed and clothe this baby?  There's no turning back now.

Women who give birth put their lives on hold for nine months. Life changes the minute you know you are pregnant. Everything is geared towards what happens in those nine months, and though there will be joy there is also so much uncertainty. It's a mindset that we soon accept, and it gets us through this fragile period in our lives.

Now I am not comparing apples to apples here by any means, I am just comparing the feelings. And the feeling is in many ways what it is like living through this pandemic. It's another way of thinking a human engages in similar to what pregnant women experience. No, we won't have one of life's greatest blessings - if not the greatest - after nine months. But in about nine months - maybe more, maybe less - we will have all given "birth" to a new normalcy, and a new "joy".

So much has been written and prognosticated about what is coming next. Like the birth of a new baby, we can ponder and prepare. We CAN re-invent our lives. We CAN re-invent the plan. We can make meaningful changes, ones that will help the species known as homosapiens and ones that will help Mother Earth and its other inhabitants. We can take what we have been learning and doing now and apply it to our future. We have experienced what it is like to spend more time with our family. We have experienced what is is like to just "be." We have figured out new ways to communicate and bring joy to people even though we can't be face to face. This is evolution.

There is nothing we can do now but prepare, physically, mentally and economically as best we can for what lies ahead. We can think about lessons we learned and things we did and incorporate them going forward. We can figure out how to remember all the lives lost and how to thank all those on the frontlines. Or we can bide our time and count the days until "life begins again" just wishing for what we had. That is not the way forward.  There would be nothing worse than going back to doing things exactly the way we did them before. That does not work with a real baby - in fact it is impossible - and it won't work this time. 

Life will never be the same, but it can be better.