Heart to Heart Uncommon Times for Life in Naples

The one thing that you can almost always predict people to do is to act in their own best interests.
– Kim Dickey, Leadership Consultant and Speaker

This quote offers the unadulterated truth about human behavior and dealings with others. In the age of COVID-19, though, all bets are off. These uncommon times call for gestures of generosity, goodwill, and kindness – some may say this suggests a different approach is unfolding in even the most ordinary of human interactions. Many of us appreciate the extra steps we, collectively, are taking as family, friends, neighbors, colleagues, patients and shoppers are a little more gentle with each other. We are also more keen to look out for those around us, whether in our line of sight or in isolation. It’s never been more true that “a rising tide lifts all boats.”

Typically, for this three month issue, I’ve covered all the bases for Mother’s Day in May, Father’s Day in June with a “round up” of local businesses, charitable and educational organizations plus dining establishments offering deals for moms and dads or special summer offerings. However, as this magazine goes to press, it is uncertain if the governor’s Safer-At-Home order will be extended such that group activities, dining in restaurants, and fundraising events are limited after May 1. So the topical subjects have shifted a bit, just as typical predictions of behavior are altered, too.

Millions of Americans have lost their jobs and filed for unemployment this spring time, typically the busiest season here in Naples. The restaurant and retail sector, with massive closings for safety protocol, except take-out/curbside for dining, are especially hard hit. It is hard though to imagine anyone immune to the uncertainty and anxiety wrought by this pandemic. No doubt you know of someone directly affected by some economic or other loss; it may even be a family member. It may be you, the reader. Seventeen million people is large enough to say this hits home in one form or other.

And still others have lost loved ones during this time. Even if not to this virus, others have been affected as our society’s norms for final goodbyes and funeral services have been altered in ways we never imagined possible. Maria Shriver noted in a thoughtful yet sad social commentary: “…you can’t gather to console, you can’t put your arms around someone to comfort them as they sob uncontrollably, you can’t get on a plane and fly to be by your loved one’s side.”

How has this experience affected or changed you? Humans naturally seek out social connections, to support each other and the community, to laugh, to learn, and to encourage new ways to move ahead once this is behind us.

Maybe you’ve newly met a neighbor from a safe social distance. You now check in on each other because it’s a good thing to do.

Maybe you’ve taken more walks with your dog or your household, to get some fresh air and be out in nature.

Maybe you’re a little more mindful when checking out at the grocery store as those Plexiglass shields, masks and gloves remind us that our “front line” is being redefined as we speak.

Maybe you’ve given a gift card to a healthcare worker or first responder, in appreciation for the huge task they have at hand as well as the risks they take; and, also, to support a favorite local shop or restaurant.

Maybe we will realize that the truth embodied in the opening quote is that our own best interest is inextricably linked to everyone around us.

Stay safe, stay informed. Take these STEPS:

Floridians can find the most up-to-date information and guidance on COVID-19, please visit the Department of Health’s COVID-19 webpage. For information and advisories from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), please visit the CDC COVID-19 website.

For any other questions related to COVID-19 in Florida, please contact the Department’s dedicated COVID-19 Call Center by calling 1-(866)-779-6121.

The Call Center is available 24 hours per day. Inquiries may also be emailed to COVID-19@flhealth.gov.

Take STEPS in Florida to fight COVID-19:

  1. Social distancing/Stay at home, where possible
  2. Testing
  3. Elderly and vulnerable populations including: residents of nursing homes, long-term care facilities and other group residences; those immunocompromised individuals including people in cancer treatment; chronic lung disease patients and those with moderate to severe asthma; people having serious heart conditions, diabetes, renal failure, or liver disease
  4. Prepare healthcare facilities and healthcare workers
  5. Stop the Introduction of COVID-19 statewide from out-of-state.

Email Karen with your article ideas concerning Life in Naples (especially as to local charities and their activities in the face of COVID-19): Napleskcc@gmail.com. Follow her on Instagram for more vignettes about Life in Naples: @naplesbythenumbers.

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