Kindness Matters

by | Jun 18, 2021 | 2 comments

Editor’s Introduction: This post was sent to us in April. Having just been vaccinated, we’d started moving about the world again and so several time-sensitive posts were delayed and are still queued. RIFF has several pandemic articles that recall the last year, and lessons learned, and challenges we continue to face. 

This particular post remains relevant, even as our circumstances rapidly change. Fewer than 50% of Americans are vaccinated and not all of those have met the full requirement for maximum protection, preventing us from obtaining “herd immunity.” Meanwhile, variants continue to appear. Certain states are beginning to spike once again, along with many countries opening their borders to tourism. Yet, we see fewer and fewer masks, the unvaccinated presumably hiding in the crowd, no longer have to face social stigma by blending in.
Those of us who are card-carrying vaccinees now find ourselves sharing flatbreads at our favorite bistro with the same confidence as the anti-vax hoax-believers. Even so, as the article says, the world of February 2020 and before “no longer exists.” Zoom is now a part of our lives; many of us have pets now we didn’t have before; with flu rates plummeting, many will now wear masks forever more, as reliably as do the Taiwanese.
One of the clearest changes for many of us may be perspective. The cultural rifts, once hairline fractures, have intensified: those who believe science and research and facts vs. those who deny / politicize it; those who think it makes sense during a pandemic to vote absentee vs. those who fear cheating more than infecting grandma; those who watch the world’s infection rates and those who argue that wearing masks is nothing  more than a ploy for the government to take control.  
Some of us cleaned closets and refinished our floors. We watched TV sitcoms we’d missed in the 90s. Many visited National Parks and took up daily walks. Wine bottles filled our dumpsters and recycle bins. Too many people missed their children, canceled long-planned weddings to marry in private, and watched loved ones fall prey to this insidious virus. 
In any case, the Pandemic has become a clarifier. Just a few years ago, many of us wished others, “May you live in interesting times.” We now understand why the adage was meant as a curse, not a blessing. 

June 18, 2021


This is today’s cumulative death count from Covid 19, in the US.

605,915 deaths from Covid.

Sit with that number for a moment.


In the 66 weeks since we began counting, we have had the equivalent of one 9/11 event every 3 and 1/3 days. That adds up to over 200 9/11 events as of April. This is both shocking and unbelievable. This is a loss not unlike those experienced in wartime. The world is not the same, and neither are we.

We wonder why we are exhausted. Why can’t we utilize this time to create and be productive? In the face of all that has befallen us, all we have coped with and adjusted to, it is no small wonder indeed that we can manage the day-to-day work of merely living. It is natural to desire a return to the life we knew before Covid. That world no longer exists.

We strive to function with the daily business of life, and yet, there it is. Sobering death rates with serious impacts upon the living, remain. The shock upon society and upon us as individuals is profound. We hear minimizations spoken by those hungry for the used-to-be. Some cleave to delusions of normalcy as a way to maintain the illusion of having a solid path. Others act out their fears with hostility and anger, as they protect what is really no longer in existence. The truth is, this terrible pandemic has happened, and is happening still.

We are grieving, our friends and relations, our way of living, our future and our past. Is it any wonder that we are shaken and devastated. It is how we need to be in the face of it all. This must be recognized as real and true. We find our lives are inverted. The landscape is so foreign. This accounts for our discomfort and profound lack of ease. Old patterns and ways of being no longer fit our world today.

We are creating a new way as we move forward, step by step. We are not at all the same, but we continue. We do our best to create calm and care for ourselves, each other, and our Earth. Let’s extend this tender consideration to all life, with respect and gentleness. Remembering what has passed away, we now make the world anew. Perhaps we are remembering the way it was intended to be.


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<a href="" target="_self">Janet Reynolds</a>

Janet Reynolds

Janet Reynolds is a creative safely ensconced within the Sky Islands of the Desert Southwest. She is happily experiencing the richness of life in the wild.


  1. Emilie Vardaman

    “Tender consideration” is a most beautiful way of saying this. Thank you, Janet.

  2. Barbara L. Decker

    Thank you Janet for this tender view of our plight . not only tender but also reasonable transparent and hopeful. You see things with a world’s eye as if from above,scanning and bringing gathered information into focus!


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