How to Cope When You Don’t Know the Ending – Covid-19

Updated: Jul 1, 2020

Yes, I always read the last pages of a book first so that I know how it ends. I google TV and movie plots before I watch. I research possible treatments and outcomes before I get the test results. Why? Because I like to prepare myself for the possibility of the worst.

Covid-19 has thrown me for a loop because I can’t read ahead and figure out what happens in the end. We don’t know the duration, and we don’t know the ending. It’s hard for all of us, but if you are like me and always want to know how the story ends ahead of time, you are really out of luck. No amount of research offers an answer, and, as a result, I’m not thriving. I’m giving myself a “C” on my response and mental outlook so far.

I ran cross country in high school and college. The coach at our high school, Coach Crawford, was a masterful coach whose training plans, though brutal, yielded results that made us champions. We trained hard, running 80+ miles a week of long distance runs and strenuous interval training. All his workouts sucked, but he had one half-hour-long drill for cross country runners that I especially hated. We’d start off in a deep, grassy valley where Coach would tell us “run until I blow the whistle.” And that’s what we did, with short rests in between, until it was over. Everyone had trouble with the uncertainty of when we could stop running, but the ambiguity of that kind of workout made me especially crazy. I would have rather run twice as much knowing the speed and distance ahead of time than to not know how much was left to run in that practice day.

I feel like Covid-19 is North Penn High cross country’s worst practice all over again.

I didn’t know how to be more accepting of “run until I blow the whistle,” and I don’t know how to make the Covid-19 era more bearable. My only solution is to just keep trying to press on as cheerfully and productively as possible. I’m letting myself sleep more since that seems healthy, and I’m pushing back from eating more, as good as that feels in the moment. I’m trying to be a bit more self-indulgent and a lot more self-complimentary. It works sometimes!