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Recovery and the New Normal

Woman reading book and man on phone in a park wearing masks
What scenarios will feel commonplace as we head toward a life after coronavirus? Photo by Gustavo Fring from Pexels

When we set out to make this podcast, we weren't sure how long we'd be at it. The hope was that we'd be able to highlight stories of helpers while the pandemic was still around and, as the curve flattened and life returned to normal, we'd reach a point where the stories were no longer relevant to the state of the nation.

The coronavirus is very much still a part of our daily lives in the United States at the moment and there may not ever be a return to life as it was, but there are some other nationally and regionally relevant stories we want to focus on telling, so we're stepping away from Social Distance Assistance for now. Who knows, though, maybe we'll be back in the future.

For our final episode (for now, at least), we wanted to take a look at recovery, both in the literal sense of surviving a COVID-19 diagnosis, and in the figurative sense as we think about what our "new normal" could look like once we've successfully contained the virus' spread. 

We caught up with Letha Mullins, a West Virginia-based nurse who tested positive for the coronavirus in April, and who has since returned to work, about what her recovery process was like and how the virus continues to impact her day-to-day life even three months later.

Letha Mullins
Letha Mullins, the WV nurse who has recovered from coronavirus.

As she has dealt with recovery, she's told her story so that others who are recovering from the virus can know they're not alone, and has a message for anyone who hasn't been personally affected: 

I am you. I'm not a celebrity. I'm not part of the CDC or the government. I am a 29-year-old lifelong resident of West Virginia. You know, I'm very proud to be from West Virginia and I'm very proud of my roots. But right now isn't the time for pride. Right now is the time for consideration.
 
We should consider each other and how we are affecting each other. You know, my family is your family. My family is everyone else's family. And we need to protect each other right now more than anything.

We also got updates from some of our guests from throughout the season of Social Distance Assistance, and asked them to share their thoughts on what recovery looks like as a society, and what lessons we should take with us as we move toward a future beyond the coronavirus. 

We feel so overwhelmed and concerned for our communities, but we also are really hopeful that we are seeing a lot of people join in our movement that will bring about change. We need to change our current reality so that we create the world that we want to create after Covid-19. We know that this work can be done if we continue fighting and we know that we will win. - Magaly Licolly

I hope that once this COVID era is over and we begin to reopen, we take those lessons that we learned from being sheltered in place and using technology, and we morph that with all the greatness of not having to social distance. And we make a better world during this post COVID-19 era. - Lawrence Bartley

What we wish for once this pandemic is over is a world where people treat each other with respect and dignity and that each person can live in a community that fully supports them. Sending blessings to you all. Be well. - Koshin Paley Ellison & Robert Chodo Campbell

Thank you all for listening!