Stress Test—CoronaLife 341

I took my first cardiac stress test today. For those who have never had one, you walk on a treadmill. It’s slow at first, then gets faster and the incline gets steeper, all to push your heart rate up while you are being monitored so the doctors can look for abnormalities in your heart function.

I didn’t die. And nothing abnormal was found (as expected).

I got to thinking, though, that this entire last year has been a stress test. The building racial inequality crisis, the unrelenting nature of a pandemic, the political divisions ending in violence in Washington. If all that isn’t stressful, I don’t know what it.

This thought was reinforced as I sat in the waiting room while the doctor looked at my results. Three older people, all in their 70s, were there with me. They were talking amongst themselves, socially distanced, masked. And one of them says, “I really don’t know what’s going to happen. Back in the day, there was stability. Now…nobody knows what’s going to happen.” The others agreed with him.

I agreed with him.

All this chaos, all this hardship, all this upheaval…it’s bringing in something new. A new world. There is no guarantee it will be a better world than the old. I don’t worry for myself so much. I am 50 years old; I can handle what comes my way. I worry for my daughter. She has already had a year of her childhood stolen from her. How will the continuing spasms of change warp the remainder of her childhood? What sort of a world will she step into as an adult?

We are all in a stress test.

And the results are going to determine the future of America, the world, and my daughter.

We need to get the diagnosis and treatment right.

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