• Felicia Criscuolo

Coming Out of the Woods

As much as we love being in the woods, sometimes we want out.

This is one of those times.

I am, of course, referring to the pandemic and the fact that we are almost out of the woods, albeit not without peril.

At this point, some 14 months in, almost everyone I know or have come in contact with has lost friends or relatives to Covid-19, and I am no exception. I lost a former co-worker and friend back in April of 2020, and my brother lost a very close friend just last week who I was very fond of. I also could've lost a best friend just 3 weeks ago who was struck with a rather severe case and wound up being hospitalized. My son Ryan, just 30 years old, was afflicted back in February, was down for three weeks and at one point went to the ER for breathing issues, coughing and a fever that wouldn't quit. My dear friend and my son are now ok (and I, relieved), but I can't help but think about the families and friends of the some 585,000 thousand souls lost to this virus in the U.S. alone, and in just over one year. They have been left broken-hearted; with open wounds that are slow to heal while wondering if their loved ones would've survived if not for the recklessness that occurred.

The bottom line here is that we are all in this together; we are a community, a family. It starts with caring about your family, your neighbors, your workplace, your local stores and businesses. WE ARE ONE BIG FAMILY and we owe it to each other to care about the well-being of our communities regardless of race, political affiliation, religious views, gender, looks, relationship choices, etc..., etc..., etc....

We are all brothers and sisters, and to take it one step further, we are all truly connected. When we chastise and disregard others, we hurt them; but we are hurting ourselves the most. We have seen countless examples of this recently, especially in situations where we hand over our power to others and allow them to strip us of our integrity, our compassion, and our love for mankind. We then become angry shells of ourselves, anger filling the void where love and respect once lived; a programmed pawn fighting for the right to hate and disregard our brothers and sisters no matter the cost, and in this case the cost is death.

Now that we are almost out of the woods my hope for our country and each individual soul living here is this:

  1. I hope that we recognize that we all belong here and show respect for each other. With the exception of Native Americans, we are ALL immigrants.

  2. I hope that we stop hating each other. FACT: Hate, anger, fear and resentment toward others causes our own bodies to break down. These states of being create toxic chemicals that build up inside of us and slowly breaks down our immune system- eventually causing disease and illness. Please stop hurting/hating yourselves and others.

  3. I hope that we start caring for one another, start showing love and compassion for each other. Embrace diversity and start helping people that need help. Reach out to others and care about our well being as a community. Generosity of the soul literally promotes the well-being of our own mind and body, and spreads good will to others.

  4. I hope that you are all truly grateful to still be here; to still have the opportunity to do great things with your life and positively impacts others.

  5. If not already, I hope that you get vaccinated soon, and if you can't or won't; PLEASE WEAR A MASK. People are still dying, and those of us who are not vaccinated are now the high-risk group; the group that the virus will latch on to. It is up to you to lead yourself and your loved ones out of the woods, so please my brothers and sisters; do the right thing.

In memory of Sue Benedetto, Glen Hunter, and the countless other lives lost; and with infinite gratitude that my BFF Kim and my son Ryan are still here spreading love and good will; NOT a virus.

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