HOW DO YOU MEASURE A YEAR?
today at 3:26 pm
Five hundred twenty-five thousand six hundred minutes, Five hundred twenty-five thousand moments so dear. Five hundred twenty-five thousand six hundred minutes, How do you measure? Measure a year?
When Jonathan D. Larson wrote these words for the 2008 Broadway Musical “RENT” I am sure he didn’t plan for it to by my theme song for the 2020 – 2021 COVID year. Please forgive me but my Theatre Soul is about to be revealed.
When we first heard about this COVID-19 virus it was in China, far away from the U.S. No worries for us. February, it had reached New York but we were told it wasn’t anything major to worry about and we kept on with our daily lives. Yes, the virus was spreading but the then President said it was under control.
In daylights, In sunsets, In midnights, In cups of coffee. In inches, in miles, in laughter, in strife. In five hundred twenty-five thousand six hundred minutes, How do you measure a year in a life?
On March 16, 2020 it became very real for us in Illinois when Patricia Frieson, a retired nurse from the Southside of Chicago became the first person in Illinois to die from the virus. 10 days later her sister Wanda Bailey died from the virus.
All hell broke loose. We were told to wear masks and go out only when necessary. Who would ever think that the most important thing for a household would be Bleach, toilet paper, and paper towel?
March 21, 2020, Illinois, and the rest of the world was shut down completely for supposedly a few weeks. It lasted much longer. For the first time in my lifetime, the whole world stopped.
Only essential workers could leave their homes and they were at risk because most of them were working with COVID patients. Store clerks dealt with people everyday and even with masks and gloves, they too were at risk. Businesses closed; people were laid off. Schools went to video learning, which worked for some but not all children work well not having that one-on-one interaction.
Patients in hospitals and nursing homes were not able to have visits from their loved ones, even during their transitions. Mental health issues are at all-time highs. To date worldwide, 120 M people have had the Virus; 2.66 M have died; and 68.3 M have recovered.
Five hundred twenty-five thousand six hundred minutes. Five hundred twenty-five thousand journeys to plan. Five hundred twenty-five thousand six hundred minutes, How do you measure a life of a woman or a man? In truths that she learned, Or in times that she cried. In bridges he burned, Or the way that she died.
Was it all bad? Not at all. It took some getting used to, but families became reacquainted with each other, sat down to dinner together, and had conversations. Parents learned to appreciate teachers and day cares. I wish I had the forethought to buy stock in ZOOM and Marco Polo, but I thank them because I daily speak with my loved ones that I normally would have been to busy to call or visit. Some reinvented themselves and started a business or learned a new skill.
The best news was the announcement on December 14, 2020, that the first dose of a vaccine was given. To date there are 3 different vaccines to combat the COVID-19 virus. States are opening more even though we will still need to take precautions.
I feel that things will never go back to the “normal” that was. For me this has been a time of self-reflection, reinvention, and even cleansing. I will never be only normal again. I will cherish a hug more. Pay more attention to the beauty of a breath and live my life on my terms. I realized that life is too short to take it for granted.
There’s only us, There’s only this. Forget regret, or life is yours to miss. No other road, no other way. No day but today (From – No Day But Today – RENT- Jonathan D. Larson)
So, how are you going to measure your next Five hundred twenty-five thousand six hundred minutes?
It’s time now to sing out though the story never ends. Let’s celebrate remember a year in a life of friends. Remember the love…Seasons of love…
Songwriters: Jonathan D. Larson – Seasons of Love lyrics © Universal Music Corp., Finster & Lucy Music Ltd. Co. Videos
Until next time keep your EYE to the sky!