The New Right Now

I’ve started and stopped this blog several times over the last couple of weeks. I thought that writing something would help me process everything going on in our world. But, we’re living in unprecedented times. Each new day continues the steady flow of tough news – more positive tests, increased restrictions, growing isolation, and, most devastating, more deaths. And so – during this terrifying COVID-19 pandemic – what is there to say?

I was talking with my therapist last week (feeling really grateful for online therapy right now), and sharing how I felt a strange dissonance in the world right now. This pandemic is one of the most urgent situations many of us have lived through; and yet, it’s hard to take many urgent actions while staying in my apartment. I’m overwhelmed with the amount of content that is now at our fingertips because we have to be online. I feel stressed to be productive because I have so much more time now. And overall, I just feel unsure about the precariousness of this moment.

So – what are we to do?

Yes, there all the really important procedures that we should continue to follow at this time: physically distancing ourselves, washing our hands, and working from home if possible. But what’s the thinking that can guide us through this incredibly tough moment that is filled with loved ones getting sick and also dying from this disease?

In the same conversation with my therapist, she said that “this is not the new normal; it’s the new right now.” And I think she’s right. It is the new right now. We can’t allow ourselves to believe that this moment is going to take over our lives forever. Yes, we will be adjusting and shifting our daily lives in a variety of ways for a while. Yes, we will miss out on special moments and important opportunities that should have happened this year. Yes, we will grieve the loss of people in our lives. And – we’re doing all of this so that we can hopefully be healthy, take care of the people around us, and overcome this pandemic – together.

So let’s adjust in this moment. Let’s stay away from other people (at least 6 feet away) so that we don’t get infected or pass it to other folks. Let’s not hoard food, and only take what we need for the near future. Let’s look out for our neighbors and join mutual aid groups in our communities. Let’s gather virtually so that we stay in community with one another. Let’s do everything we can to keep ourselves, our loved ones, and our communities healthy and safe.

Let’s work to overcome the scary reality of the new right now. And work toward the better, safer future.

Below is a list of resources (blogs, podcasts, projects, etc.) that I’ve found helpful during this time. These are less about staying informed, and more about helping us process everything going on in the world. I’ll keep it updated over the coming weeks and months. I hope they’re helpful to you.

Evan Traylor is a rabbinical student and Jewish community builder, educator, activist, and writer. Through Judaism, he strives to bring more love, justice, truth, and peace into communities around the world.

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