Like most of you, my interactions with others has been limited these last nine months. But almost everyone I have talked with has said the same thing about The Bucket. “Your message is more relevant than ever.” That may be true. But as relevant as we feel our mission is about helping people lead more fulfilling lives by embracing their own mortality, we were also worried that it could appear tone deaf.
Over 2.5 million people have died from COVID worldwide. A study by the Pew Research Center says that about 4 in 10 of us know someone who has either died or been hospitalized because of COVID. And that study was done back in August. I presume that number is even higher today. So for the past 10 months, The Bucket has laid low. After all, our message has always been more philosophical than literal. So with people literally dying, horribly and prematurely, we felt it was important to take a step back. Not only out of respect for those most affected by these deaths, but also because of the humble understanding that our message is just not a priority.
The road ahead. Today is February 26th, 2021. And while people are still dying from COVID, the percentage of people dying from COVID has gone down. I know that’s not a comfort to the 4 in 10 mentioned above. But it is a positive sign. And with the vaccine reaching more and more people every day, people are now talking in terms of ‘when’ the pandemic will be over versus ‘if’. It’s this optimism that has given me the conviction to look ahead and think about how The Bucket can help people as they navigate a post-COVID world. To that end, we have created a new theme called, “COVID as CATALYST”.
As with our previous themes, we have a series of essays and articles, from both regular contributors as well as new ones, about how COVID has been a catalyst to make choices to live more fully. My guess is that there are a lot of people out there for whom COVID was a wake-up call to make changes in their lives due to the heightened awareness of their own mortality. But have they? Will they? Can they? We hope this theme can help.
Unlike our past themes, we will roll these articles out one at a time starting with an emotional essay from a long-time Bucket contributor, Leslie Martini, called, “The Curtain is Rising” about how Covid took her mother, and then took aim at her. Read how Leslie emerged from the pandemic with a renewed purpose — and passport.
In “Traveling the World” Al Race offers the first installment in a how-to series that will document his retirement dream of retiring to a different country each year for ten years. The plan was not supposed to happen for a few years but then, as Al puts it, “COVID came to town.” along with an unexpected, if not unwanted, early retirement package for both he and his wife.
We also welcome author, blogger and hospice nurse, Gabby Jiminez. Her thoughtful essay, “The End of the Exhale” recounts how her bout with COVID knocked her down, but not out. Then gave her a new perspective on what’s most important in life.
The theme also features a story from our managing editor, Morgan Baker. “All Quiet in the Kennels” covers the heart-lifting surge in pet adoptions brought on by COVID.
We are also happy to bring you a new piece by Bucket columnist, Rita Lussier. In “It Took a Pandemic,” Rita gives her own “What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger story” in which she writes about the importance of moving forward despite all the things trying to hold you back.
Next, in “Taking Life by the Moment,” Lori LoCicero, co-creator of the Death Deck card game, shares her story about how she turned the confinement of COVID into a deeper connection with her teenage daughter.
Finishing off the theme is another article from Morgan Baker, “On the Move” in which she explores some of the latest real estate trends which have been triggered by the pandemic.
We hope this theme inspires you to live more fully despite, or perhaps, because of the pandemic. We also encourage you to submit your own stories of how the pandemic has given you more purpose. If there is something you would like to contribute, please go to our submission page and read our guidelines for submissions.