Recovery Connections

John Schwary is CEO of Transitional Living Communities, an 900-bed recovery program he founded in Mesa, Arizona January 9, 1992, when he had a year sober. He's in his 30th year of recovery.

In these posts, he views life mostly through the lenses of recovery. While the blog is factual, he often disguises events and people to protect anonymity.

Wednesday, May 20, 2020

Confusing Times

Being an octogenarian, I've been through many things in my lifetime. So many, in fact, that I didn't think there was too much that could surprise me. But this pandemic – the so-called corona virus – is something that most of us have never experienced. And hopefully we'll never experience it again. But the magnitude of it – plus people's reactions – contains many surprises.

One of the bigger surprises is the total confusion of the politicians and medical people. I often read my news on the Internet because there's such a variety to choose from. But regardless of what site I pick I find conflicting opinions about the causes and the potential cures of the pandemic. Where are the grownups in our life today?

One medical expert is absolutely certain that this thing will end early next year. The next so-called expert says it'll never completely go away. Yet another will say that the vaccine is right around the corner, although we still haven't found a vaccine for the last pandemic.

And the politicians are a joke. Even though I've been a conservative most of my life and back what the president is doing, even some in his own administration disagree with his approach. But what people don't stop and realize is that no one man has the power to create or cure something of the magnitude of this disease that's spreading around the world. Based upon party lines, politicians are slinging rhetoric back and forth about who is at fault and what the solutions are. But not much of it is based in reality; in fact their opinions are about as valid as yours and mine – maybe.

So what do we do when faced with such a huge problem – one that seems to defy explanation? I don't know what others should do, I only know what I do.

And what I do is not associate with a lot of people. But on the other hand I don't wear a mask but do keep my distance from others. I don't do a lot of socializing except with a few close family members and friends who as far as I know don't have any diseases.

My job requires that I work with a large relatively unhealthy population of drug addicts and alcoholics. Yet the interesting thing is that not one of them has come down with the corona virus; we did have a few suspects but the doctors told them they had nothing more than a cold or the flu. It's almost mysterious to me why, out of nearly 700 people who have lived high-risk lifestyles, not one of them has contracted this virus; neither the young nor the old.

I guess in a situation like this all I can do is be peaceful and calm and know that the universe doesn't make a lot of mistakes about what happens. Maybe the purpose of all of this is to really find a vaccine for devastating diseases, although during the process many innocent people will die. Perhaps a few will be sacrificed to save the many. But the reality is that no one knows.

So once again, I believe we should fall back upon acceptance if we want to have any kind of peace in our life at all. If we trust in a higher power of any kind then we have to trust that all of this is gonna work out okay.