I will admit I can get into a “glass-half-empty” rut. Sometimes it’s easier to sit around and complain about the lemons than make the lemonade. Especially during a global pandemic. I think we have all been on the same emotional roller coaster these past few months, though we experience our highs and lows at different times.
But lately (or at least today), I am trying to “keep on the sunny side of life,” and fill my glass “half-full” with that oh-so-tasty lemonade.
OK, I’ll stop with the tired metaphors and analogies, but there are reasons for hope and optimism.
Would you like to take a journey with me to the bright side? (OK, that really is the last one.)
Cases are going down
Though we are still at war with COVID-19, the numbers are looking much better in Mobile County. So much better, in fact, we are now designated in the green or “low risk” (for spread) category by the state.
While we can’t let our guard down and things can turn on a dime, this is definitely a positive sign. Residents have been practicing social distancing, businesses have been doing their part and, of course, residents who live in the birthplace of Mardi Gras have no problem wearing a mask in public places.
Also, we are really blessed to have a unified mayor and City Council leading us through this. Though they have been known to squabble on other things, their response to this crisis has (for the most part) been strong and decisive, and we are better for it.
Let’s keep up the good work, y’all!
A return to (a little) normalcy
Though Mobile County public schools will operate in a virtual learning environment until November, a number of other area schools are back in session, including Baldwin County, the city systems in northern Mobile County and most of the private and parochial schools.
My kids are back in class, and I can say without any hesitation it has been wonderful for us all — at least from a mental health perspective. Never have I ever been so excited to get up and iron uniforms, while barking out orders to “get dressed,” “eat breakfast,” “fill your water bottles” and “brush your teeth!”
And I can already tell the kids feel a greater sense of security now that their routines have been re-established. I think we all do. It’s the first real sense of normalcy we have had in quite some time. And it feels damn good.
Of course, the potential health risks are still worrisome. Does a parent ever not worry about all of the “worst-case scenarios” when it comes to their children? But our kids do not have any underlying conditions and our school is going above and beyond to make sure every one of the many protocols they have put in place is followed, and I feel as good as I possibly can about it.
Like everyone else (young or old), they were starting to drift a bit, both educationally and emotionally. Kids are resilient, but their little worlds can only be rocked for so long. It’s nice to feel like we are somewhat back on course. And at this point in time, I feel like the benefits outweigh the risks. Hopefully, that will not change.
But who knew screaming at your children every morning was actually therapeutic?!?!
Are you ready for some football?
Of course, I will first throw out the necessary caveat — if they can pull this off where players, coaches, staff and fans can all participate in a safe manner — then football season will also be a welcome return to some normalcy.
One of the biggest area high school matchups between Blount and Vigor has already been postponed due to two players on Blount testing positive for COVID-19. You could argue this is cause for alarm — “See it is already happening!” — but since we are “half-fulling” it here, it is also nice to see the teams and coaches doing what they are supposed to do. It probably would have been really tempting to try and play this game still, considering the excitement surrounding it. But they did the right thing and postponed it — a nice example of playing the long game. And, more importantly, caring about these kids.
And with this week’s SEC schedule announcement, it could be a great year for college football in the South, too. (Again, if they can find a way to do it safely.)
Many of the coaches, including Lord Saban, have argued, by playing, these athletes are actually in a safer, more controlled environment than if they were at home.
I don’t know if that is really true or if a close-contact sport can really be successful in this without an NBA-style “bubble,” but I do know with as much money as there is on the line, if anyone can do it, these organizations will find a way.
If it becomes obvious it’s just not going to be possible, then I hope they pull the plug quickly and just set their sites on next season. And I think they will.
But thinking positively, if they are successful, then this will probably be one of the strangest, but most memorable and meaningful college football seasons of all time.
Of course, you can also imagine what would happen if the alternative comes to pass, but this is a happy column with happy thoughts only, so we aren’t going there.
We are living in the weirdest of weird times. I think sometimes during this crisis we fall into this bizarre trap where we feel guilty or think we are not being “responsible citizens” if we aren’t all doom and gloom all the time. It’s OK to want things to be back to normal. It’s OK to want this to be over. It’s OK to be hopeful. You can be all of these things and still do all of the right, “responsible” things.
There has been plenty of time to focus on all that has been wrong with this world since March. But do yourself a favor, if you haven’t already, and allow yourself to see all that is still right with it too.
Here’s to being half-full!
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