In 2021, Hope For A New Year: Hurry Up And Wait

It goes without saying, but here goes: 2021 really cannot get here soon enough. There are many reasons to hope and to look forward to in the new year.  For now, we have to cope with our current state.

Signs of Hope in 2021

There are the vaccines for the coronavirus. They are being administered to frontline workers, first responders and older adults. We all hope that the vaccines will successfully keep us safe from the effects of the virus.

Some states have allowed visits to loved ones in long term care communities. Precautions still must be used, but being able to see a family member helps.

Even with the administration of vaccines and seeing loved ones in supervised settings, there is still so much to recover and heal from. There are many people who have lost loved ones to the coronavirus. Both frontline workers and people from all walks of life have been affected.

Has Anything Changed?

There are direct care workers still offering support and care at their own expense. Facilities at all levels of long-term care have been affected.

At this point, each of us likely know someone, either in our direct family or a family member of a friend who has or has had the virus. Whether we know someone directly or indirectly, we are still affected by the coronavirus and the quarantine measures.

What Can Give Us Hope?

While we wait to see how well the vaccines work, we have to look for signs of hope. In the United States, we are in the midst of winter, which makes things harder to deal with. The darker days and longer nights do not help.

For a lot of people, this time of year is a challenge. Where can we find hope and promise after the excitement of the holidays fades? Or after the relief that the holidays have passed has dissolved?

One way that works for me is to look at nature, especially trees. There are trees that bud during the winter.

Effects of Winter

Winter is a time of being dormant, gathering rest to gear up for spring. Some trees produce buds in the winter as a way of protection. For me, seeing trees with buds in the middle of winter has always given me hope.

Seeing trees with buds reminds me that something better is coming. Better weather and beautiful flowers will be arriving. I just have to wait, but knowing they will be here always gives me hope.

We are all still waiting, hoping for relief and resolution. May 2021 bring us control over and relief from COVID-19. In the meantime, we must find ways to continue coping and looking for signs of hope. May we all also  find hope in the people who continue to serve those who are coping directly with the virus.

Kathy Dreyer, Ph.D., is an Advisor at AGE-u-cate® Training Institute, which develops and delivers innovative research-based aging and dementia training programs such as Dementia Live® and Compassionate Touch®, for professional and family caregivers;

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