The last few days have been anything but normal. The World Health Organization declared COVID-19 a pandemic, and the world has turned topsy-turvy. Our social gatherings, school, competitions, and work have been cancelled in favor of embracing “social distancing” and “self-quarantine” -- foreign phrases to us just a short week ago. Our hands are dry from incessant “20 second protocol” hand washing. Our grocery stores are overrun with people hoarding Lysol products, soap, and toilet paper (which I will never fully understand).
On a personal note, my upcoming races have been cancelled left and right, and like many of you, I am left wondering what the next few months of my life will look like. Will there be a track season? Will the Olympic Trials be cancelled? It is hard to wrap my head around the idea that what I have worked all year for may disappear in another haggard news report. I am feeling the effects beyond running too- my best friend’s wedding, scheduled for next weekend, was suddenly cancelled. Several of family members in Switzerland have developed fevers and coughs after close exposure to confirmed cases. It’s unnerving.
All of my other work has come to a complete stop. My projects with Stanford Athletics put on hold, as all of the students have headed home for the remainder of the academic year. My Courage to Run 5k that I have poured hours into planning has been postponed for an indefinite period of time. My city of Bend email is filled with messages from concerned citizens on how to function during this health crisis. I have become the shepherd for bad news, announcing updates to the Bend public through Mayor Sally’s social media accounts. It seems that most other city business has come to a screechy halt in order to triage for coronavirus.
Oh- and I tweeted about a tender moment outside a grocery store with an elderly couple, that ended up getting seen by nearly 40 million people. To this day I have been on CNN, Good Morning America, CBS, PBS, Fox News, plenty of local news stations, and in articles ranging from the local Bend Bulletin to Access Hollywood and the Washington Post. I have had opportunities to talk with politicians and celebrities that I never could have dreamed of exchanging two words with. Just to talk about this small act of kindness. Wild.
Agreed with Michael, I’ve seen more people being active in Portland! I made a comment yesterday that everyone’s gonna be buff coming out of this with all the running, walks, and streaming home workouts!
Our neighborhood is doing an outdoor group workout tomorrow! All at safe distances of course :)
Michael Bergmann said:
Thanks for sharing and bringing positivity into such a challenging time. Keep being kind as you do and others will follow. On the positive side in Portland I have seen more people out walking, cars slowing down, roads more clear and people outside of stores being less rushed and stressed out. I have shared your story with others and most had already seen it. Keep it up and we hope we can put something together at Portland Track when the dust settles and the future is more clear.
Chanelle Price said:
Love this! Thank you for sharing 💜.
Jim Scott said:
Unfortunately kidness has not been the “norm”. Fallout from the virus is definately not the norm. Just as the virus has become the “disruptor” and cause of change, your single act of kindness will also serve as a disruptor. When kindness and serving others becomes contagious, the results are amazing. We never know when or how we will be called on to serve. You were ready and no doubt others will be in the days/weeks to come because of your story. Kindness, compassion and empathy will help us outlast this life changing event and those in the future. Thank you for reminding us of that and giving the world a win on a day when it was needed.