By: Fran Bulloff, VTI President
Where is the first place you wish you could go when it is safe to do so? What do you miss the most? Many of us continue to wish and hope for a return to our normal lives and perhaps have grown somewhat impatient for fear of missing out. What we expected to last two weeks in Spring has not abated after 3.5 months in the United States. We had hoped for a quiet virus-free summer, but instead we face daily flareups. Our cherished traditions of summer are gone for now with few exceptions: public fireworks, big barbecue or pool parties, community pools to splash around, and afternoons at the ballpark watching baseball. The “lazy days of summer” feel even more so this summer.
Can we wish away this pandemic? That strategy is not working at all. There is no Tooth Fairy with a magic wand or simple concoction to gargle away symptoms. Yet many people still adhere to Magical Thinking. Magical Thinking is a belief that one’s ideas, thoughts, actions, words, or symbols can influence the course of events in the material world. It is common among children, who usually grow out of notions about Santa and the Easter Bunny.
Some adults perpetuate Magical Thinking and it is often considered cute or charming. When a ballplayer insists on wearing his lucky cap, carrying a rabbit’s foot, or adhering to an exact routine which he associates with winning, we laugh about it but accept it. We know it is based on pure superstition and irrational behavior rather than focused on the real reasons for success—talent and performance. Denial also does not make problems disappear. If a woman does not take a pregnancy test, does that mean she is not pregnant? Don’t blame testing which simply confirms the condition rather than causes it. When Magical Thinking dominates someone’s mindset, it is considered a psychological disorder based on delusion. Sadly, social media can help to transmit crazy ideas and conspiracy theories to gullible people.
Can you be a realist and still be an optimist today? I believe you can by taking responsibility seriously to protect yourself and others. If you are a high risk individual or have interaction with one, please don’t let your guard down now or disregard guidelines from health organizations. Avoid large gatherings, especially those held indoors. Practice social distancing. Wear a face mask in public whenever possible and wash your hands and disinfect surfaces frequently. Don’t let a night of fun endanger those you love or care for. When a safe vaccine becomes available to everyone, make sure you are vaccinated. I wish and hope you all have a healthy summer.