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Navigating Our Current Reality

2 August 2022

Janie considered how to best navigate the current reality of the pandemic and was pleased to find help from two very different places.

Tags: covid-19, janie read, janie watched

It can be hard to know what to do right now. You might feel stuck between the overwhelming desire to go back to normal and also fear the new BA.5 variant that is rapidly spreading across the globe. There’s lots of advice about not letting Covid hold you back, but there are also some experts urging continued caution. I have been thinking about this a lot recently. We are living in a time where all these things are true and the challenge is to accept the competing forces and manage the tension, rather than to try to convince yourself that one or the other is fully accurate. I found two resources that have been helpful to me as I think about how to navigate my own life and how to be helpful to clients.

The New York Times article, How to Live With Covid When You Are Tired of Living With Covid, by Knvul Sheikh and Hannah Seo includes practical guidance about dealing with our current situation, including five steps you can take to lower your risk of exposure. In the article, Dr. Alyssa Bilinski, a health policy expert at Brown University said, “You can choose which steps will mitigate the most harm right now, and those calculations may be different for different people… But that doesn’t mean we should give up entirely on measures that will keep us safe. The BA.5 surge can be a reminder that there is a middle ground between having Covid precautions dominate your life and pretending that the pandemic is over.”

Our current reality requires both practical decisions about the habits we’ll adopt and things we’ll do, as well as the day-to-day navigation of lots of feelings and uncertainty. Darden Executive Education & Lifelong Learning’s recent webinar, Fostering Resilience in the Evolving Workplace, featuring Bobby Parmar and Lili Powell, helped me think about how to deal with all the feelings and ambiguity that we’re all managing right now. Bobby and Lili discussed what they are doing to foster resilience and find satisfaction at work and in their own lives. One of my favorite parts of their conversation was the observation that there is power in what you notice and in what you say. Recognizing this and being thoughtful about your words is important. However, it’s also critical to recognize that you won’t always say and do the right thing in the moment. Instead of thinking of these moments as a failure, use them as an opportunity to reflect and consider what you can do differently and better the next time. These challenging times can be wonderful opportunities for growth if we allow them to be.

I imagine you might be tired of being cautious and want to go back to normal life. I feel the same way and that’s why I found these resources to be refreshing reminders that it is possible to enjoy life while also being mindful and minimizing your risks.

One of the biggest ways I am managing risk in my day-to-day is continuing to wear a mask both indoors and outdoors when I’m in a crowded environment. To me, the choice to wear a mask doesn’t make me feel like I’m holding myself back or living in fear. In fact, it’s one of the easiest actions I can take that lets me manage the tension of wanting to do things while also wanting to protect myself and others. I hope you find useful information in the article and webinar to help you think about how to best manage this tension for yourself.


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