Clark: Finding a starting place when the world is facing so much

Tom Clark, regional president and CEO for Avera Queen of Peace Hospital. (Matt Gade/Republic)

Fear, worry and anxiety will not replace love, kindness and compassion. Not on our watch during the COVID-19 global pandemic. Each of us is likely facing a world flipped upside down by this virus — and when things get so out of sorts, it can seem like there is so much to do, there’s no way to know where to start.

Start simply, with yourself. You won’t be able to help your loved ones, family and coworkers if you’re out of commission, so as hard as it might be, get rest, eat well and remember to shut off the phone or TV or radio now and again. We all need breaks from this situation. We need each other more than ever before.

Start with your family, too. Kids maybe just yesterday were thinking about how much fun it was to be out of school. Now they are getting tired of the new normal, where they don’t see their friends or teachers or new environments. They are seeing more of you, and you of them, so remember to be patient, to be kind and to get over the likely squabbles that will pop up now and again.

From these starting points, your attention can move gradually out in growing circles. Keep in touch with family via all channels, and stay connected with your neighbors and communities, too. With everyone feeling isolated, it takes each one of us to remember we are not alone — for we have faith and He will provide.

Avera Queen of Peace isn’t going anywhere. We remain diligent in our preparations and we’ll keep caring for all who need it. We’ve made adjustments in how we see patients and we have developed thorough plans for how we’ll face what is to come. Our lights are still on and our dedicated staff, from housekeepers to physicians, continue to care for people and communities.


You’ve likely seen the calls for volunteers to contribute, to sew face masks and other worthy causes around the area. Even if you’ve never been a team-joining type before, realize that you’re part of the solution going forward. Our Foundation team can help you find ways to help out, and we’ll make sure every contribution — be it material, financial or of time — goes to the people who need it most.

We all have to count our blessings in tough times, and one blessing we have is where we hail from, for Midwestern work ethic and values are honed by years of blizzards, floods and droughts, and we’ve survived them and gone on to thrive, even when things seemed too much.

We made it through those times by sticking together, helping each other and remaining steadfast in faith.

That’s how we’ll make it through the trying times we now face.

Clark is the Regional President and CEO of Avera Queen of Peace Hospital in Mitchell.

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