As Good as it Gets

In the movie, “As Good as it Gets,” Melvin Udall (Jack Nicholson) asks his depression therapy group, “What if this is as good as it gets?”

So now we are all in this big therapy group together–but alone of course. Maybe we should ask, “What if this is as good as it gets?”

Pause and consider where we are today with the pandemic situation, then ponder what it will look like in six months. Will the disease have subsided in the summer months only to reemerge in a second wave around the holidays? Or will it be somewhat dormant, leaving us to wonder and worry?

Things we can reasonably expect for six months from now include that we will not have a vaccine for COVID-19, and thus the problem will still be out there at some level. Folks will be getting sick and dying, but we do not know how many that will be six months from now. We can also reasonably predict that the economic impacts will still be very much with us. It is hard to imagine that we could dig our way out of this economic hole in just six months.

The point is that the Best Case scenario is not good. At best it will carry the same uncertainties of who will get sick and how many will die. The Best Case could look a great deal like what we have today. Hopefully there will be fewer illnesses and deaths as well as more adequate supplies of PPE, cleaning products, virus testing and medical equipment. But even with that, there will be lots of stress and uncertainty. Six months out, the situation will look much like it does now, at best.

So this could be as good as it gets. That thought feels overwhelming. How long can we hold on like this? How long can we hold our breath, literally and figuratively? Something’s Gotta Give, or we could end up as The Shining examples of Jack Nicholson on a bad day.

Seriously though, if we exercise caution and good judgment, we will get through this. Moreover, there will be benefits that we cannot foresee. Yes, there will be plenty of challenges and problems. However, if you count one of your problems as being tired of watching Netflix, be thankful that that even ranks as one of your problems. Dial up a Jack Nicholson movie you haven’t seen in a while and enjoy.

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