Paulelmo's Blog

I Look Forward to Knowing the People We’re Going to Be with This Pandemic Behind Us (Collectively Channeling Senator John McCain)

John McCain, Prisoner of War: A First-Person Account | National News | US  News

They say what doesn’t kill us makes us stronger. If that’s the case, then this pandemic is going to make us collectively stronger than anything we’ve ever been through.

When experiencing challenging things, things that really test my patience and abilities and make me wonder how I’m going to make it through them, I often think of Senator John McCain.

John McCain was a prisoner of war for five and a half years, two of those years being spent in solitary confinement in a 10 x 10 cell. When he was finally released, he had suffered injuries so severe that he wouldn’t be able to raise his arms over his head for the last 43 years of his life.

Despite all the atrocities he endured, which were so nearly literally grave that he signed a false confession to war crimes he never committed and attempted suicide twice, he turned down an offer to be released because it would have gone against the POW code that prisoners must only accept release in the order they are captured.

All of this is impressive, but it’s not the main reason that Senator McCain comes to my mind. What I think about when I think of John McCain is how life couldn’t do much to be any worse for him. Sure, loved ones would get sick and die and family members would suffer hurdles and hardships, but as far as he was concerned life couldn’t do much worse than it already had.

Humanity had done its worst to John McCain, and, while it had to have been literally horrible for him to live through and endure the atrociousness of those five and a half years, he must have had such a feeling of human release after the fact.

Think of the power of knowing that, whatever life throws at you today, it can’t be any worse than it has thrown at you before.

That is how I imagine humanity after this pandemic, with the power to say, “Shoot, this ain’t nuthin’; we made it through COVID.”

Does that mean that I think that it’s not possible for worse things to befall us, collectively, in the future? No, it doesn’t. Surely, in time, worse things are going to come along. We’ll be more prepared to deal with them, however, having been through the trials of this pandemic. What’s more, regular life, with all of its hurdles and difficulties will seem much more manageable having been through what all 2020 has thrown at us.

And I think we’re gonna be beasts; I do. I think we’re going to be stronger and more resilient and more thoughtful and considerate. I think we’re going to take things for granted less and realize blessings more easily. And I think we’re going to love and respect each other more, having made it through this whole deal together.

I look forward to knowing those people. I think I’m going to very much like and respect the people we are going to be.

I’ll see you then, my friends, and if I give you a little wink, you’ll know what it mean.

Prayers and warm thoughts.

I hope to see you back here sometime soon.

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