While researching New Deal locations in the newspaper archives during the years of World War II, I often run across a war news item that I stop to read. This one stood out: the matter of perspective. I saved it to my desktop. In the past week of working from home and social distancing, I thought of how relevant it is for us now.
It is indeed a matter of degree as far as how we are impacted by COVID-19. I know the stories of my grandparents and parents lives during the Great Depression, and their experiences of World War II. Both required sacrifice for a greater good. Perhaps it is my age, as well as knowing how my grandparents barely survived the Depression years, and the impact World War II had on my father and uncles who served overseas, but it helps me to maintain perspective, and I hope, greater tolerance and understanding.
In the endless round of Zoom meetings, email chains, texting, and calling in doing planning for converting all classes to online for the remainder of the semester, it is normal to hear frustration, anxiety, confusion, and fear of the unknown. I generally find in my darkest times of facing the unknown or a crisis that must be dealt with that drawing on my social work knowledge, skills, and values helps me to stay centered, and adapt as well as possible in the circumstances. My mantra is Generalist Social Work Practice: “gather the data, assess what it tells you, make a plan, and monitor outcomes, revising if need be” and, oh yeah, remember these are people, and people have feelings and we should always keep that in the forefront of our thoughts and planning.
It is a Matter of Degree.