You all, the hardest part is yet to come.

I’m not saying this to be negative or pessimistic. I’m not trying to burst any bubbles or rain on your parade.

But if we think that just because we’ve flattened the curve, we’re in the clear—well, we have another thing coming.

I’m telling you, the hardest part is yet to come.

I’m not even talking about the virus. I’m talking about us.

How we treat each other, as people.

When we were all shuttered at home, there was limited contact between ourselves and those we don’t agree with.

But slowly, people are going to emerge from their homes. And we’re going to see, very clearly, where they stand on certain issues, and whether that lines up with our own beliefs.

Mask or no mask?

Staying six feet apart or too close?

Buying up all the toilet paper, or leaving a pack for someone else?

The hardest part is yet to come.

You know what else? We are going to have to wait. A lot.

We are going to have to wait as businesses and stores and offices struggle to adapt to new ways of doing things and figure out how to minimize exposure while still making a living, all while taking care of their employees.

We are going to have to wait. We are going to have to be patient.

And people are not going to be happy about it.

The hardest part is yet to come.

We are going to have to leave our pre-pandemic expectations at the door when we leave our houses.

Our quick, streamlined, fast-paced way of life? It’s over for now.

Immediate gratification and getting what we want, just how we want it, at the exact time we want it? Not any more.

We are going to have to slow way, way down. Things aren’t going to go back to “normal” with the snap of our fingers. We’re going to need to buckle in and sit tight, because this ride?

It’s only just begun.

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I’m saying it now: the hardest part is yet to come.

The hardest part is going to be showing grace and patience and understanding, and trying to refrain from snap judgments.

The hardest part is going to be showing compassion and empathy to people we are in fundamental disagreement with.

The hardest part is going to be waiting.

The hardest part is going to be learning how to navigate a very different world than the one we knew in February.

The hardest part was never going to be surviving this virus.

The hardest part was always going to be surviving each other.

I’ll say it now, and I’ll say it again:

The hardest part is yet to come.

So now, it’s time to ask ourselves:

What will we do about it?

This article was originally published on Shower Arguments

Emily Solberg

Emily Solberg is a soldier, military spouse, mom to two toddlers, and fierce advocate of women supporting women. The goal of her writing is to help others feel less alone in their parenting journeys, and she isn’t afraid to share the hard along with the good. You can find more from her on her Facebook page, Shower Arguments.