LAW OFFICE MONAST
www.monastlaw.com | 614-334-4649 | 5000 Arlington Centre Blvd. Bldg 2, Suite 2117, Upper Arlington, OH 43220-2913
HOPE FOR WHAT COMES NEXT
O ne of the most surprising things I discovered about myself over the last few weeks is how much I enjoy seeing other people. I don’t just mean spending time with my friends or family members. Shortly after the Ohio shelter-in-place order went into effect, I realized howmuch I missed seeing the folks down at the Industrial Commission. We aren’t bosom buddies, but I’ve seen some of the hearing officers and other representatives off and on for almost 30 years. They’ve become something like an extended family — sometimes, the kind of family who only sees each other every other Thanksgiving but who you like to catch up with regardless. Not being able to see these folks created a sort of grief. The COVID-19 pandemic created a lot of time for self- reflection. Even folks considered essential workers were spending a lot of time at home, unable to do anything else but go to work. I was relieved that we were able to keep coming into the office. The rest of
the office complex shut down, so it was safe for us to come in and work while practicing social distancing. I think I would have gone a little crazy if I was cooped up in the house all day long. My wife and I took a lot of walks around the block with our cat, Sweet Beast, trying to stretch our legs and pass the time. Of course, my wife was also in Illinois for a while as her dad passed away. I have to give a shout out all to the folks working from home while also juggling home-schooling their kiddos. My children are all grown, and no one at the office has kids at home, but I did a few video conferences with folks with their little ones at the house with them. That’s a full-time gig. I applaud all the parents able to navigate those challenges on top of everything else. To say these last few months have been difficult would be putting it mildly. Between the threat of the virus and the threat of civil liberties being eroded
in the name of “safety,” the future looked scary and uncertain. But when I looked around, between all the bad news, there were bright spots. There were many people trying to do good, from doctors coming out of retirement to treat COVID-19 patients to college students starting free grocery delivery services to help seniors in need (see Page 3). Even in the stress and uncertainty, people were treating each other with compassion. I hope it brings people back together more. We all went through the same storm together. These kinds of challenges can force people apart, but it can also bring people together. Based on the good things we’ve seen and how people have come together, I think we can be united. Going through this challenge together may encourage people to be more compassionate toward others when someone is going through their own personal struggles. I think it’s going to be hard to get back to normal, but we can get there. It’s going to take time, so we have to do it together. If this isolation has taught me anything, it’s that the other people in my life mean so much — even the folks I only see occasionally through work. We’re all human, and we’re all in this together, so let’s remember to help our fellow men and women when we can.
“Even in the stress and uncertainty, people were treating each other with compassion.”
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