COVID-19 has impacted us all in so many ways. From uncertainty, to fear, frustration, anxiety, grief and economic distress, the pandemic has changed the lives of so many in such a short period of time. For many of us, we are still trying to wrap our heads around how this all happened and feeling like our sense of control is slipping away. While this pandemic has been overwhelming in many ways, it’s important to remember our histories, and the strength and skills that have been extended to us.
Our histories are not limited to our personal experiences, they include the histories and challenges of our parents, ancestors, and communities. Collectively, we’ve been through many challenges over the years, whether it’s war, natural disasters, persecution, oppression or illnesses. Over time, there have been many instances like COVID-19- life threatening, and out of our control. Our ancestors and past generations have survived them. They developed resilience and skills from the hardships and challenges; sometimes for survival and other times to continue to find hope and meaning in their day to day lives.
Although we may not have had similar experiences, we have access to their narratives. You may have heard of intergenerational trauma, but have you heard of intergenerational resilience? One way this resilience is passed down through generations is through family stories and rituals- essentially sharing collective knowledge.
As we experienced and saw the distress this pandemic has caused, we also witnessed collective knowledge and strength all around us. People got creative in how they showed up for one another and supported each other despite the limited tools and resources. It really speaks to the values, skills, agency and hope we have as communities; we have lived experiences and internal knowledge that connect us in ways beyond the havoc this pandemic has caused.
Our histories and narratives give us hope, and we will get through this pandemic, together.