The most prevalent conceptual tool employed to keep us well has been that of “flattening the curve.” I’ve been thinking about that in terms of our national life together. It now occurs to me that we all have our own individual curves of coping with coronavirus.
The upside of the curve is when our plans change. We are suddenly tasked with homeschooling. Gatherings are cancelled. Jobs are cut back or cut altogether. The grocery stores run out of things. We start making our own face masks. We are stressed. We don’t know what’s going to happen next. We don’t know how bad it will be. We don’t know how long we can live like this.
Then, at a point that is different for everyone, the curve peaks. It’s at this point when we feel a little less out of control. It’s at this point where we start to think, “I can do this. It might not be easy, but I can do this.” A new rhythm emerges. The realizations of what has changed go from 100 a day down to 5 a day. You’ve found some resources you didn’t know you had. The grocery store carries toilet paper.
It’s not that things are over. It’s just that the burdensome sense of panic is lifted. You may have found your personal peak back in March. You may think you’ll never find your personal peak. Everyone is different, and it won’t always coincide with the official national count of the number of new infections or deaths from COVID-19. Nevertheless, your personal peak is out there. I hope you find yours soon.