Many of you have asked how long the SARS-CoV-2 virus (the virus that causes the Covid19 infection) lasts on surfaces. Here is a good guide. Reminding you about my two golden rules: 1) don’t touch your face, and 2) wash your hands well and often.
“Of all the hardships a person had to face, none was more punishing than the simple act of waiting.” ― Khaled Hosseini, A Thousand Splendid Suns
There is an analogy in Buddhist philosophy that the world is like a sleeping tiger and we live our lives on its back. Every now and then, the tiger wakes up, and it is terrifying. Sometimes, it wakes up because someone we love dies. Or someone breaks our heart (raising my hand to both). Or there’s a pandemic (another high hand raise). But, this is far from the first time the tiger has woken up. It has been waking up since the beginning of time and will never stop waking us up with it. But that’s the rub. We get to wake up. Night after night, we sleep on the tiger’s back, and each time, we are surprised when it awakens. If we can discard our sense of complacency during slumber, if we can stay awake and open, we can stop being afraid. We can be awake and ready for all that will come.
This has been a hard, scary month. For me, for you, especially for our elderly brethren. There is so much anxiety everywhere. It has been an arduous task, trying to make sense of it all. I have tried to spend each day reflecting upon this time, and how I’ve reacted. I hope you will too.
We’ll get through this, my friends. We will. Let’s stick this out through the end – together, with grace, dignity and an underlying sense of humanity. The only regret we will have is if we cut the parachute before we land. So, let’s land together.
I wish you all the best during these unexpected and stressful times. Someday soon, things will be back to a sense of normalcy. And we will fall back asleep on the tiger. But, I hope in your dreams, you will remember what it was like to be awake, and be open to staying awake. Knowing that impermanence is our steady state will alleviate so much anxiety and suffering. And you will no longer need to wait. You will be awake and alive. I believe this and I hope it for each one of you. I look forward to seeing you all again. And even, in time, with sufficient PPE, holding your hand as we land back on the ground together. *Photo captured from a picture framed on my desk. May you remain brave.
As of today, 51 Italian doctors have died from COVID-19…. Take that in. It’s not just the elderly and the infirm who are dying from this. It is young, intelligent, healthy people. All of whom contribute greatly to our society and to humanity, all of whom did not need to die, and died much too early. It could be you. It could be me. It could be any of us.
Please stay home. Please. Now is not the time to relax the rules. I get it, you are sick and tired of being at home. Maybe you don’t cook well. Maybe you are tired of only talking to your spouse. I, too, miss meeting with friends for dinner, and going to my favorite work out classes (shout out to @sbmetz24). But there is nothing more important you could be doing right now than staying home. Because when you stay home, you save lives. Your life. My life. All of our lives.
To those 51 Italian doctors, I remove my hat, hang my head low for you. Thank you for your sacrifices and your service. Thank you for serving your fellow humans with, literally, everything you had. Thank you for leaving your families and this body to give us a chance at life. Thank you.
For all of us, today, in honor of the 51 Italian doctors. Stay home. With purpose. With conviction. With love. With gratitude. . . . . . .