A perspective on COVID-19 | Letters

It’s possible that COVID-19 may very well become the defining event of our lifetime. Most islanders are too young to remember the “Great” depression and World War II. Some of us survived the horrors of Vietnam and wars and suffering in other counties. I’m guessing that there are very few people, over the age of 50, on these islands, who at some point in their life have not felt the pain of divorce, abuse, financial challenges, the loss of a loved one, or a medical emergency. It’s called “life.”

Like the challenges we’ve faced before, each of us has a choice of how we will respond now. We can respond with a disability, which the media portrays every evening; or, we can respond with ability, which is where the word “responsibility” comes from.

Personally I believe it’s therapeutic to go somewhere and just sob or to reach out and say, “I’m frightened/overwhelmed/ depressed/scared, etc., etc. and I don’t know what to do.” Introverts will go within for strength. Extroverts need to take a risk and share feelings with family and friends. Chances are they have the same feelings as you. Whatever we do, we must never lose hope. There is a light at the end of the tunnel. This too shall pass if we take one day a time, take care of ourselves and support each other. We CAN do this. We’re strong. We’re tough. We’re Islanders.

Mike Buettell

San Juan Island