For any of us who have gone through a tragedy, we're familiar with the "Stages of Grief." It's a series of steps that most of us go through as we cope and grieve.

The stages also adequately describe how we're dealing with the ongoing pandemic. For this exercise, we're going to be using the modified version of the Kubler-Ross Model.

Stage One: Shock

This stage is described as "Initial paralysis at hearing the bad news." Do you know the anxiety of the wave during sporting events? Anticipating jumping out of your seat and participating. That's the wave of COVID-19 when it hit America and the overwhelming growth in numbers.

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Stage Two: Denial

This stage is described as "Trying to avoid the inevitable." Did you see all the comments on social media about how the Media was making it a bigger deal that what it was? "The flu kills more people each year!"

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Stage Three: Anger

Described as "Frustrated outpouring of bottled-up emotion." As the virus continued to spread throughout the U.S. Parents were realizing how important it was to send those kids to school every day. Couples are being challenged in their households. We are experiencing Cabin Fever.

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Stage Four: Bargaining

In this step, we're "Seeking in vain for a way out." We tried hard to convince each other to stay home, but our tribal instincts divided us into groups of those who stayed home and those who continued to break quarantine.

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Stage Five: Depression

This is the "Final realization of the inevitable." Our mental health was shook realizing how much we took for granted the simpler things in life. Hearing "This is the new normal" was not helping at all.

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Stage Six: Testing

Now we're on to "Seeking realistic solutions." We are getting first-hand lessons on how our economy works during troubled times. Some are getting much need time off from back-breaking work. Some are realizing that a lot of us are work paycheck to paycheck. We are starving to get back to normalcy

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Stage Seven: Acceptance

Charlie Hardin

Finally, we accept that things are going to be different from what we're used to for a little while. Might as well make the most out of it. I ran a bath as hot as I could stand it, grabbed a couple of cans of my favorite beer, pulled the TV and Playstation up to the tub, made myself a redneck charcuterie plate, and just relaxed.

In all seriousness, too many lives have been cut short because of this pandemic, whether it was the loss of life, jobs, money, loved ones just know there is light at the end of this tunnel and we all need to work together to get through this.

Stay safe out there, wash your hands, avoid contact, and practice good respiratory hygiene.