– who are college/university administrators, I see you. I know you are making the best decisions you can in an almost incomprehensible and totally unpredicted emergency. I know you are doing so with the well-being of students and the community in mind. I know that you feel personally responsible for the students in ways that those who don’t do this work probably can’t understand. I see you.
– who own or manage a business, I see you. I know you are making the most sound choices possible with an eye to keeping your employees safely employed, keeping your customers safe, not losing the livelihood that you depend on, and being of value to your community. I know how hard that must be in this crisis situation. I know you probably feel like no answer will be the right answer and it seems like an impossible struggle. I see you.
– who are teachers at any level, I see you. I know you are trying to figure out what will happen if your school has to go to online classes, or restructure the learning environment. I know you are worried about how you talk about this with your students of any age. I know that you are feverishly going over your plans for the rest of the term and feel rather underwater. I thank you for educating our world. I see you.
– who are students. I see you. I know it is worrisome to think about changing your way of learning. I know you may be worried about the impact on your grades and future. I hear the sadness of losing events and celebrations and the loneliness of being away from your peers. I believe you will make it through the year but know you can ask for help. I see you.
– who are medical professionals. I see you. I know you are worrying about your patients, trying to figure out if there is anything you can do in this crisis, and working on practices and policies for your caregiving work. I know that it must be so hard to not really have answers for the people that rely on you. I know it will be crushing to lose patients to this. I see you.
– who work in vital public service fields. I see you. I know you are looking at the situation and realizing that if you or your co-workers start needing to take time off, you might leave the communities that you serve in the lurch. I know you took these jobs to serve others and so you care deeply about that. I see what an awful position this may put you in. I see you.
– who work jobs that don’t allow for you to take time off without losing the funds or insurance that you or your loved ones need. I see you. I know you feel like you are being squeezed by the opposing advice about social distancing and need to do your job based on economic and responsibility factors. I know there is no easy answer for you and you might be afraid. I see you.
– who are parents. I see you. I know you are thinking all the time about your children and if there is anything you can do to protect them. I know you are trying to toe the line between alarming them needlessly and getting them to understand the risks and take reasonable precautions. I know some of you are trying to be teachers and parents at the same time. If your children are grown or don’t live in your home, I know you wish they were in your sight so that you could check on them throughout the day. I see you.
– who are daughters, sons, children, in-laws, aunts, uncles, and siblings. I see you. I know you have worries about your family, particularly those who have other health issues or are older. I know you are losing sleep thinking about what you can or should be doing for them. I hear the worry in your words and sometimes the quiet panic. I see you.
– who are just plain afraid. I see you. This is surreal and awful. I know you are thinking that even if you come out of it fine, there will be lives lost and economic well-being destroyed for others. I know it is eating at you in a variety of ways. I hear you trying to keep your worry in check because you don’t want to be panicked or cause that in others. I see you.
I hope that today you can find an hour, or two, to turn off the news and spend that time doing something that fills your soul. It doesn’t have to be yoga (but it could!) or meditation (also good). I hope you can read a book or listen to music or play with your dog or annoy your cat or watch a silly movie or do a puzzle or whatever gives you real joy.
I see you and care about you, my friends.
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