If Covid had a mascot, it would be the groundhog, at least in the United States. Different animals in different northern regions have stuck their necks out to foretell if winter is over. Every year on February 2, many cultures look for a sign that winter might be over.
Recently, a podcast caught my attention; hadn’t hit start, hadn’t heard of the book, but who wouldn’t keep listening about a book called Wintering when it is January in the snowy North? The author, Katherine May, read a passage:
“Plants and animals don’t fight the winter; they don’t pretend it’s not happening and attempt to carry on living the same lives they lived in the summer. They prepare. They adapt.”
Suddenly you recall an Aesop’s fable, of the Ant and the Grasshopper. One creature is busy storing food for the winter, one plays in the sun and does not. You probably first heard this tale at about the age of five, and Aesop wrote, or at least recorded it, 5,000 years ago.
In her interview, the author says she feels that Covid has been one L O N G Wintering. Many of us have forgotten how to winter—how to store away preserves in our cellars for the seasons in which the harvests are not plentiful. Companies either don’t retain earnings for a rainy day or are pressured to pay them out to shareholders.
This February 2, the groundhog represents us emerging from our Covid Hibernation, looking for hope, an efficient vaccine distribution system, some semblance of normal. As we all know we will have at least six more weeks of Covid Winter, but perhaps we can resolve to prepare a bit more for our next “wintering”—whatever it may be—so that we might be more prepared, like the ant, and not have to go underground, like the groundhog.