I was with 26,499 other people to watch the US Women’s National Soccer Team last night. There were extra announcements to be aware of the current health risks. There were hand sanitizing stations everywhere. And, there were a lot of people, families, and workers enjoying a March evening match.
There are headlines. There are real concerns. There is real fear. And there is real life. We live in a perpetual balance of each. We weight them differently in our minds at different times. In another year it would have just been the flu. This year it’s the flu and COVID-19. This year, for now, the world is still moving forward.
Risk and fear combine for the most powerful kind of human stories. COVID-19 is a real risk and deserves our attention and cautions. However, we can’t lose our sense of optimism about tomorrow either. All progress comes from “what next” not “it’s all going to end.”
Whether it’s with soccer matches or financial markets, if our focus gets stuck on “it’s all going to end” we’re naively extending our problems, not ending them. It’s a particularly scary and uncertain feeling time to be an optimist in early 2020, and that means it’s also a particularly important time.
The Women’s Team won the game on a near last-minute header from Julie Ertz. 87 minutes of hard-fought soccer until one goal finally went in. The stadium erupted in celebration. They were optimists, playing hard right up through the end of the game. Their sights now shift to the next game. There’s something to take note of here. History is on our side.