A Letter from the Home Front

Manya Ronay
5 min readMar 22, 2020
Photo by Davide Baraldi on Unsplash

Dear Corona,

I must say you are quite the impressive foe: invisible and silent with a mind-boggling global reach. It feels like you snuck up on us in the middle of the night. We had heard nervous whispers about you for months, yet most people shrugged them off and carried on like nothing would change. Then all of a sudden, everything changed. Life as we know it ground to a halt as the entire world shifted focus to fighting you. Each day, more and more people are being called to the front lines, unknowingly selected for the fight of their lives — the fight for their lives. They are supported by an incredible team of medical professionals, scientists and world leaders working around the clock to defeat you.

The rest of us are holding down the fort on the home front, slowly adjusting to our new reality.

And since we’re stuck home with lots of time on our hands, I thought I’d write you a letter — yes, a good old-fashioned letter. But don’t worry, Corona. Despite everything I’ve said, this isn’t hate mail. Believe it or not, it’s actually a thank you note. Because while you’ve taken so much, you’ve also given us more than you can imagine. Let me share a few of these unexpected gifts with you.

HUMILITY

We think we have control over our lives. We go to school, get jobs, establish routine, plan for the future…Corona, if you’ve taught us anything, it’s that this semblance of control is all an illusion. There are forces bigger and stronger than us that can upend our entire world in an instant. When life returns to normal — and I fully believe it will — we will reestablish our everyday routines and habits. Yet we can’t let ourselves fall back into the old trap of thinking we are masters of our fate. If harnessed properly, this newfound gift of humility can imbue our daily lives with a profound sense of gratitude and awe. So thank you, Corona.

If harnessed properly, this newfound gift of humility can imbue our daily lives with a profound sense of gratitude and awe.

ACCEPTANCE

Sometimes, we can’t change our circumstances. As beings who crave agency and autonomy, this can be a tough pill to swallow. Corona, you’re teaching us how to handle situations we cannot control, how to fall back into the arms of life and trust that everything will ultimately be okay. To be sure, acceptance doesn’t negate personal responsibility. We must still do our part to win the war (and on the home front, that means staying home). Yet you’re teaching us a valuable tool we can implement whenever circumstances arise that are beyond our control: accept what we cannot change and learn to ride the waves to calmer waters. So thank you, Corona.

You’re teaching us how to handle situations we cannot control, how to fall back into the arms of life and trust that everything will ultimately be okay.

RESILIENCE

Life is hard. For many of us, this might be the hardest challenge yet. But who said life was supposed to be easy? Our challenges mold us into the people we are meant to be, inspiring growth that could never happen if our entire journeys were smooth-sailing. You’re teaching us how to weather the storm with strength, Corona. You’re forcing us to dig deep into our willpower reserves, helping us develop the mental resilience we need to endure whatever life throws at us. So thank you, Corona.

You’re forcing us to dig deep into our willpower reserves, helping us develop the mental resilience we need to endure whatever life throws at us.

MINDFULNESS

In our fast-paced modern society, we are constantly on the run, and I don’t think most of us even know where we are going. You are literally forcing us to slow down and live moment by moment. With no idea what tomorrow holds, we have no choice but to live in the now. Corona, you are the best mindfulness teacher I have ever known…are you getting paid? In all seriousness, you have given us an unbelievably valuable gift: the gift of presence. With time to breathe, we can reflect and recalibrate our lives. What are our priorities? What is our purpose? What do we want to leave in this world? People can spend their whole lives running without ever stopping to ask, “Why?” You have given us that opportunity. So thank you, Corona.

With no idea what tomorrow holds, we have no choice but to live in the NOW.

GRATITUDE

Above all, Corona, you have given us the gift of gratitude for regular everyday life — for being able to go to school and work, hug our grandparents, hang out with friends, travel the world, shake hands, celebrate weddings and special occasions…the list goes on and on. In Pre-Corona times, it was so easy to develop a false sense of security and fall into the belief that our normal lives are a given. Corona, you’ve taught us that nothing in life is a given: not our health, our wealth, our family, our jobs, our regular social interactions. They are all gifts that we must fiercely cherish each day. It can be hard to fully appreciate these “little” things, but you have made it much, much easier. So thank you, Corona.

Corona, you’ve taught us that nothing in life is a given.

Photo by NASA on Unsplash

As you can see, Corona, you’ve given us so much. The pain, fear and darkness are still there, but they are accompanied by a beautiful ball of light growing larger and larger across the entire world. You will soon be in our past, but not before leaving a legacy of timeless lessons in your wake. So thank you, Corona, for all of your beautiful unexpected gifts. We can take it from here.

With love,

The World

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Manya Ronay

Certified Health Education Specialist (CHES®) and Internal Family Systems (IFS) practitioner specializing in eating and mind-body healing.