Taking a moment for gratitude in midst of a crisis

Gratitude is rarely at the forefront of people’s minds in a crisis. Our brain power is usually directed toward survival. But when the dust settles or the winds calm or the panic recedes, we can take a moment to be thankful.

Today, we’re grateful for Sundale Rehabilitation and Long Term Care. We’re thankful for the employees who walk into a COVID-19 hotzone to make sure our loved ones are receiving care. We’re thankful for their timely, open and honest response to the outbreak within their walls. No one ever wants to be the first in something like this, but someone has to be. The steps Sundale has taken to identify and then stop the spread of coronavirus in the facility has set an example to be emulated across the nation. By being open and honest with the press, they’ve essentially created a roadmap for other facilities to follow should COVID-19 strike there, and they’ve reassured the community the residents are well taken care of and the staff are taking precautions to protect everyone inside and outside the building.

We’re grateful for the members of the community who stepped up to help Sundale: WVU Medicine, Mon Health and the National Guard, who gave them tests; and all the businesses and individuals who have sent food, supplies and fabric facemasks.

We’re grateful to WVU President Gordon Gee for lending Dr. Clay Marsh, vice president and executive dean for health sciences at WVU, to the governor. Dr. Marsh is now our COVID-19 czar, leading the charge against coronavirus. And, of course, we’re thankful to Dr. Marsh for stepping into this role. It’s reassuring to have an M.D. spearheading our state’s efforts and even more so to know this is a person with leadership experience.

We’re also grateful to Gov. Jim Justice. We may not always agree with him, but we’re thankful for his proactive response to the coronavirus outbreak. Before we’d even gotten tests, let alone had someone test positive, Justice ordered nursing homes to limit visitors. Then he closed schools and non-essential businesses. We may disagree with who and what are considered essential businesses and we may think he was a little slow to take certain steps, but we can’t deny he jumped into action long before our federal government and most states. Justice saw we were a state at heightened risk and took the threat seriously. He’s done a better job protecting West Virginia than many other governors have done for their own states.

As always, we are grateful for the essential employees and the work they do; for the helpers and volunteers making sure everyone who needs food gets it; for health care personnel and other frontline workers; and to everyone who has done their part to slow the spread of coronavirus.

Even amidst the chaos and confusion, we can find a moment for gratitude. Hopefully, you can as well.