Open Letter to Quaranteens: Oh, the Places You’ll Go!

First, it’s healthy to feel sad and mourn what has been lost, temporarily—or permanently. Then you can move on creatively and find new things.

If you are in your teens, the pandemic might feel like you’ve lost your world. You may even be sorry that you don’t actually have to go to school. You’ve lost that. You’ve lost seeing your friends, you’ve lost sports, and you’ve lost your freedom. And you may have lost them quickly becasue many schools closed in 15 minutes flat. Some of these changes can never be made up completely, such as events like graduation. And, you’re quaranteened!

What can make up for that? Potentially, a lot! First, it’s healthy to feel sad and mourn what has been lost, temporarily—or permanently. Then you can move on creatively and find new things. Also, think of the future. I bet when you return to your favorite activities, you’ll love and appreciate them even more.

Often, when someone graduates from high school, you get the book authored by another doctor, Dr Seuss’s, Oh! The Places You’ll Go! Well, I want to give you some of the lines from that, but you can also read the rest whenever you want.

Oh!
The Places You’ll Go!

You’ll be on your way up!
You’ll be seeing great sights!
You’ll join the high fliers
Who soar to great heights.

You won’t lag behind, because you’ll have the speed.
You’ll pass the whole gang and you’ll soon take the lead.
Wherever you fly, you’ll be best of the best.
Wherever you go, you will top all the rest.

Except when you don’t.
Because, sometimes, you won’t.

I’m sorry to say so
but, sadly, it’s true
That Bang-ups
And Hang-ups
Can happen to you.

All Alone!
Whether you like it or not,
Alone will be something
You’ll be quite a lot.

And will you succeed?
Yes! You will, indeed!
(98 and 3/4 percent guaranteed.)

Today is your day!
So . . . get on your way!

Dr. Seuss is actually not a real doctor, but he is very wise. And this real Dr Doctor, Dr. Moffic, will guarantee 100% that if you are confident and get the support, you will come out of your quaranteen better and stronger. We call that resilience. To a great future!

Dr Moffic is an editorial board member and regular contributor to Psychiatric Times. He was a tenured Professor at the Medical College of Wisconsin until he retired in 2012. Since then he has functioned as a private community psychiatrist providing pro bono services locally, nationally, and internationally. Currently, he is focused on four major advocacy initiatives: physician burnout, climate instability, Islamophobia, and anti-Semitism. He is co-editor of Combating Physician Burnout: A Guide for Psychiatrists, with Richard F. Summers and Sheila Loboprabhu.