Peace and prosperity have the potential to breed

Attitudes of complacency, carelessness, even greed,

Self-focused attention and looking out for number one

Without much regard for the larger good for everyone.

When cataclysmic forces invade this taking-for-granted state

We are suddenly catapulted into more awareness of our fate:

We are forced to wake up, shake up, and find ways to arise up high

When we have overwhelming adversities facing us squarely in the eye.

We have heightened awareness of unseen viral matter in the air,

As well as on common surfaces we may touch as well as share,

We more scrupulously sanitize, clean, dispose, and spray,

Change our form of greetings to allow safe distances away,

Donning masks wherever required or wise, waiting in lines to avoid crowds indoors,

Being mindful of doorknobs, pushbuttons, levers, money, packaging, menus, and floors.        

We are more proactive in planning meetings, functions, and gatherings for both home and work,

Ever mindful of not contributing to putting others at risk to situations where coronavirus may lurk.

Staying at home or not venturing out has helped to flatten the pandemic curve a great deal,

And thankfully most followed the recommendations that lowered the risks for all for real,

Though many were more frightened with being more isolated and alone,

Even markedly more so if they were already tending to be anxiety-prone.

And as months dragged on with more fearful news and uncertainly about what was true and right,

Reactions morphed into overwhelming anxiety, avoidance of facing the causes of the grief and fright.

 Over time resentment and anger with the felt confinement was turned outward into rebellion and rage,

Or the anger was turned inward and became debilitating depression with loss of capacity to engage

With others, compounding the isolation and loneliness,

Magnifying the dire sense of futility and hopelessness.

With negative emotions of fear, anger, anxiety, rage, and despair on the rise,

Lowered immune functions and increased vulnerability to COVID is no surprise.

© 2016 Sunrise Foundation Hawaii