Coronavirus: What’s to keep.

On every TV channel we get the counter for cases or for worse. The economy is tanking. A lot of business disappear or shrink, a lot of people lose their job.  Looking out the window, the streets are same as make no difference empty. If you talk to anyone on the phone or on an app, it’s on everybody’s mind. And, if you happen to live in Chicago, the weather is overcast, cold and uninviting. So, our mood suffer. It is becoming increasingly difficult to keep a jolly mood, so to speak.

And yet, that’s the only thing we need to keep up. It’s not that we should keep it up. It’s that we have to keep it up. This is, as performing musicians, what we are selling: a special outlook on life, a way to cope through difficult time. We have a gift: we’re able to communicate our feelings through a few vibrating particles of oxygen.

This virus will have taken something precious once we lose our ability to look at life in a positive way. It would have taken the most precious thing we have, as a matter of fact. Let’s think about it: we are all standing and functioning because we all hope for better tomorrows. That hope is what drives us to dream and build a better world. And, to get it out of the way, I do think that even depressed people sustain their lives through the hope they nurture in their heart.

But, you might reply, there is the fear, the fear of what will happen. This beast will slowly eat the sleeping hours of the night, the simple pleasures we can have during the day, it will make everything look scary and untrustworthy. I understand that. And sometimes fear cannot be avoided. But fear has one big weakness: it doesn’t exist. Our fears are not anchored in reality. When we fear something, we try to predict what will happen. All of the sudden, with the toxic crystal ball of our pain, we try to anticipate the future. I do it all the time. What I conveniently forget are the predictions I made, because the reality that unfold rarely, if ever, resembles them.  Fear was just a product of my imagination.

Now, I am not saying we shouldn’t be fearful. In the times we are going through, it’s almost impossible. But our fear shouldn’t keep us from moving forward, being resourceful or see the humor in a situation. We all love the character of Bill Murray in the movie Ghostbusters because he constantly downplays the frightening situations he’s in. As the movie progresses to bigger monsters and scarier environments, we learn to gauge our reactions to what Bill will say. And he provokes a laugh because something in him refuses to give up.

We are now in a worse situation than the characters of Ghosbuster ever were. People die, countries shut down, concert halls close, restaurants disappear, people become unemployed.  I know it is bone-chilling terrifying like no movie will ever be. Still, we have no choice, we are plowing forward, the days call for the days, Father Time doesn’t stop walking. What we can do, though, and that one is a conscious choice, is how we are going to color our days. Everyone should remember that basic principle. We don’t have a choice in the Corona virus actions. Yes. Sure. All right. But we do have a choice on our actions, and more than that, on our mindset. That’s what’s left, what’s to keep. That doesn’t seem like much, but that’s enough to rebuild a life.