Column: A year of endurance


Endurance: The ability to sustain a prolonged stressful effort or activity. How would you rate your level of endurance right now on a scale of 1 to 10, with 10 being the highest?

At the retirement home where I live, residents were quarantined in their apartments for 10 weeks (people with medical issues could have them treated, of course).

This meant that human contact was limited to three times daily when lunch, mail and dinner were delivered. Visitors could leave packages at the entrance and they were delivered.

All of this effort was to ensure that our most vulnerable population, people older than 75, would not come in contact with COVID-19.  So far, it has been a successful effort, and some restrictions have been lifted. Residents can now leave their apartments and can take walks outside as long as they wear a mask.

How was the endurance level for these elderly folks when they were accustomed to seeing family members regularly? Time will tell what the toll has been. Those with computers were able to stay in touch via email, Skype and Zoom. Others relied on phone conversations.

The staff worked overtime, endurance at its peak, to protect and serve the residents.

When we look back on this year, everyone will have their own story of endurance. The year isn’t even half over and we’re already wondering what the fall and winter will bring.

For those of us who like to be in control, it’s frustrating and depressing. But it’s also a lesson about life. Do we have a solid emotional base to be able to handle the ups and downs? Will our faith sustain us, no matter what? As we look at the good and the bad of this period of time, many families are rejoicing that they have discovered new meaning and closeness as they have shared activities, cooking and meal times together.

As we continue in this journey, let’s use this stressful time to reevaluate our own role in our service to others as we strengthen our resolve to do better.

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