When the #COVID19Pandemic is over, the world needs to come together and create a unified vision for public health. What we consider our public health strategy lacks vision, agility and innovation and is in serious need of disruption. The societal pause is an opportunity to develop a new vision that is consistent with the requirements of a hyper-connected mobile society.” ― Tom Golway

Like most, I’m exhausted. Pandemic fatigue is real and comes in many forms. To begin, I’m not loosening up my safety standards or appealing for sympathy. We all have stories about this pandemic and how it began, the way we lived, and how we continue to survive. Each of us has a purpose to gain and grow from the past several months. But right now I’m tired.

So what do we do? To begin, there are lessons to be learned. But I’d argue the biggest teachable moment is upon us. What will you do when you’re tired? Will you quit? Will you lead?

Always the optimist, this is challenging to write and even more difficult to feel, but some of our darkest days are ahead of us. While March Covid numbers and experiences shook me to my core, I’m almost more disturbed now than then. 243,000 Americans are dead. Worldwide deaths are currently at 1.29 million. Many of us know the smart and right thing to do. But here come the holidays and the pressing need for familiarity despite scientific facts.

Thinking about the volume of loss or impact is overwhelming. I get it, I do. We want to live our lives like we used to and emerge from this ready to embrace and elevate gratitude for the ordinary. But we’re not there yet. We have to decide if we’re going to quit or lead.

Don’t quit.

I have deep empathy for the many people suffering from anxiety, depression, loneliness, and stress. I have battled anxiety and stress throughout this and understand the fluidity of the emotional covid coaster. Each dip, flip, and turn is altogether nauseating but necessary. So now what?

First, rest. Fill up on what you can with what and who you’ve got near you. The key to this is stamina.

Lead. Stop waiting for covid to be over. Start looking at what you can do versus what you can’t. How can you lead from where are you now? Honestly, my own answer to this question has been transformative .

There’s light coming. In fact, right now so many of us can illuminate for others. While we’re tired, hope, faith, and love remain. As we go through more struggles, there’s opportunity for more successes. I prefer not to use the term sacrifice this holiday season. I’m committed to this cause, to you, to my family and friends, and to the ones in this world I don’t know but love enough to do the right thing for .

I’m tired but touched by the past many months and the affirmations of what I’ve always believed: family is everything, life is precious, creativity and kindness can save souls. So as we tire from the stresses and struggles of living in a pandemic, let’s remember to shift our worries into goodwill. Connect with people differently but sincerely, focus less on money and more on moments, say I love you without hesitation, and be as generous and gracious as you’ve ever been with no expectation of return.

It’s okay to be a little weary or worried, but that’s so much better than being wrong. Stay well, friends.