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March 20, 2020

A Thank-You Letter to COVID-19

*Note: This piece is written from one lens through which this crisis can be understood, and does not capture all of the scary, tragic, and difficult experiences that many are experiencing. I acknowledge I am writing this from a place of privilege and having my basic needs met.

Stay safe. Be well.


I could easily focus my mind on what I don’t want and what scares me and the worst possible outcomes of Covid-19. There is plenty of evidence and news out there to send us into a hopeless downward spiral.


For me, this has, in fact, already happened. Numerous times.


But I could also focus on what I do want. What I have now. What this pandemic is gifting us, amidst all the uncertainty and chaos.


What follows is me choosing the latter:


Dear Coronavirus,


Thank you for insisting we look at things we have avoided, the untouched corners of our hearts, minds, and homes.


Thank you for teaching us patience.


Thank you for showing me the ways in which I interact with the world around me, bringing consciousness and accountability to my actions.


Thank you for reminding me what brings me joy, what makes my inner child light up.


Thank you for teaching us to honor one another’s space and boundaries, as well as our own.


Thank you for training us to sit with discomfort and uncertainty, showing us that we can handle more than we think, forcing us to take life one day at a time.


Thank you for teaching me to really listen to others, and to my own intuition.


Thank you for helping me to see my loved ones — vulnerability, strengths, and all – with compassion.


Thank you for showing us the power of connection through technology, despite physical isolation.


Thank you for reminding us of the people who help make our routines run smoothly, those whom we often take for granted.


Thank you for guiding me to focus on what truly matters to me.


Thank you for providing me time to practice supportive habits, to discover what soothes and comforts me, to care for myself.


Thank you for reconnecting us to the power of music, books, art, breath, movement, play, laughter.


Thank you for showing me that I am more than my thoughts, fears, past, job, income, and perceived status in the world.


Thank you for slowing me down, and reminding me that slowing down is productive.


Thank you for highlighting our need to work together as one human family.


Thank you for reminding us that we are not alone.


Thank you for revealing my tribe, the animals and humans we love, those I want close to me, who truly have my back and want me to live well and thrive.


Thank you for showing me all of the abundance that already exists in my life.


Thank you for reminding us that Mother Earth continues to provide solace, food, and nourishment for us, even in a crisis.


Thank you for allowing me to tend to my work, my life, and my home.


Thank you for giving me permission and creating space for me to be.


Thank you for disrupting the ways of being that no longer serve us, and for letting us know that, once we make it to the other side of this, none of us will be the same.



With love and gratitude,


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Suzan Ahmed, Ph.D.  |  Contribution: 510