We watched from a distance. Wuhan, China. Italy. Nearly impossible for most Americans to imagine unless you were paying attention. Attention to the SARS epidemic in the early 2000s. Attention, even, to plot lines from particular novels – “Station Eleven” by Emily St. John Mandel, “Severance” by Ling Ma, or “The Stand” by Stephen King. What began unfolding before our eyes in December has forcefully taken hold of each of our lives.
Employees of Princeton Public Library are fortunate to be able to work remotely. Work provides structure and some sense of normalcy. Yet, we know it is no substitute for the interactions we are accustomed to having with each other, and, especially, with our library family; those who we would expect to see daily as they stopped by our desks, clearly there for human connection and a newspaper, crossword puzzle or reading recommendation.
As we work to reshape our routines, re-frame our days, and learn different means of creating and keeping community, we need to give ourselves some time to process what is happening, how we are feeling and how we continue moving forward. If you’re not quite sure what it is you’re feeling, you’re not alone. An article from Harvard Business Review, “That Discomfort You’re Feeling is Grief,” may help clarify our collective conscience to recognize that at its core, what this state many of us find ourselves wading in, is grief.
While we pour energy into carving new realities, know that we are in this together. This is the time to stay safe and express gratitude to those who are manning the front lines at hospitals, pharmacies, grocery stores, and delivering mail. It’s also the perfect time to give yourself space to catch your breath. We will be here waiting for you.
Photo courtesy of Unsplash @nataliafigueredo
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