“Just Because Everything Is Different Doesn’t Mean Anything Has Changed.” – Irene Peter

“Just Because Everything Is Different Doesn’t Mean Anything Has Changed.” – Irene Peter

I remember reading the above quote many years ago. I have seen it attributed to Irene Peter who, after a bit of research, I believe was the wife of writer Laurence Peter (author of infamous book and theory, The Peter Principle: Why Things Always Go Wrong). But I digress.

The quote seems particularly poignant amidst the current coronavirus circumstances. And, at least for me, her words offer a bit of comfort!

As a creature of habit whose habits have been altered, a follower of routine whose routines have been disrupted and a devotee to tradition whose traditions have been modified; life in the wake of COVID-19 feels so very different! But if I apply the above quote to this situation, I am reminded that we are all still the same people post-COVID that we were pre-COVID. What was important to us before this pandemic continues to be important to us today. Perhaps instead of dwelling so much on the ways this pandemic has changed what we are doing and how we are doing it, we should look to those really important things that remain constant.

Purpose. Time. Health. Relationships. For many of us, these are the things that matter most in life! And how do we influence these values? Our behavior!

In an interview on Politico’s Playbook that focused on the coronavirus with Bill Gates, who has long been involved in public health matters around the world, he predicted (along with many other public health experts) “The fall is going to be worse than the summer.” Gates went on to say, “Until the new tools come (monoclonal antibodies and the vaccine) which they won’t come at scale until the first half of next year... all we have is our behavior.”

“All we have is our behavior.”

Yes, all we have is our behavior. In fact, all we’ve ever had and all we’ll ever have is our behavior!

Related to COVID-19, Gates went on to explain that the behaviors he was referring to included “Wearing masks, not going to public events, social distancing, washing hands.”

You can view the entire interview here:


He referenced IHME’s data that projects expected COVID-19 deaths using three different behavioral scenarios from easing existing mandates to universal masks. “In fact,” Gates claims, “the Healthdata.org, which is the IHME forecast shows a line that if you had mask compliance how many deaths there would be and then what they actually expect because U.S. mask compliance is actually pretty poor.”

Follow this link to view Wisconsin projections:


Of course, he points out that these are only predictions. “Certainly,” he points out, “there is uncertainty on these things, but they (IHME) called the rebound that sadly we are starting to see now and so the credibility of that model is probably the strongest.” Furthermore, he reminds us “That forecast does not incorporate the arrival of new tools.”

It may be easy for us to place blame for our circumstances on external factors, including the virus itself or those public health or political figures involved in managing it. It may be easy for us to look outside of ourselves for what we think needs to be fixed. Instead, as I think Gates suggests, we each should look within ourselves as we examine and modify own behaviors in these unusual times. As Gandhi encouraged, “Be the change we want to see in the world!”

I have shared this graphic (top of page) from the CDC before as I consider it essential when considering safe and meaningful ways for area cancer patients and survivors to connect and support one another during these unprecedented times. On the left you see that crowded indoor spaces with no mask creates a “Hot Spot” while outdoor spaces while maintaining a safe distance and wearing a mask creates a “Safe Spot.”

I very much miss the many varied activities of pre-COVID times that we were able to enjoy in the comfort of the MOA/SCBS second floor conference room! And, I look forward with great anticipation for the day that we can safely and comfortably reunite in that space. But, at least for now, we must find alternative ways to connect and to support one another!

VIRTUAL (via Zoom) Opportunities:

TLC VIRTUAL Local Cancer community Update: These VIRTUAL (via Zoom) sessions allow cancer patients/survivors and co-survivors the opportunity to casually connect and discuss a variety of topics and upcoming events and opportunities! Sessions are offered at various days throughout the week with two morning sessions per month at 9A and two evening sessions at 630P (new time starting in November). See the most recent Local Cancer Community Update for upcoming dates, times and topics.

TLC VIRTUAL Survivorship Can Be Fun: Occasional activities offered “just for the fun of it”!  Watch the Local Cancer Community Update for upcoming opportunities.

ST&BF VIRTUAL Yoga & Tai Chi for Cancer Survivors: We are currently offering three VIRTUAL Gentle Yoga and two Tai Chi for Cancer Survivors sessions per month. Additionally, some sessions are recorded and available for participants to view on the Internet at their own convenience. See the most recent Local Cancer Community Update for upcoming dates and times.

ST&BF VIRTAUL Indoor Row Group Sessions: In addition to three VIRTUAL Indoor Row Group sessions with a certified Concept2 Coach from Recovery on Water per month (that will also be recorded and available to watch online), a limited number of individual row sessions in the MOA/SCBS second floor conference room are available.  See the most recent Local Cancer Community Update for upcoming dates and times

ST&BF OUTDOOR POP UP Opportunities:

In the absence of group indoor activities, I encourage you to watch for a variety of ST&BF OUTDOOR POP UP activities! These activities will typically be scheduled last-minute (a few days in advance), based on Wisconsin’s whimsical weather, and will be announced via e-mail and, when possible, posted at www.scccf.org. Activities may include Great Heights with Delightful Kites, Hiking Along the Cancer Journey, Survivors on Snowshoes and more! If interested, contact Tim to be sure you are on the “OUTDOOR POP UP” e-mail list!

SCCCF.ORG Opportunities:

Consider visiting www.scccf.org for a variety of ways in which you can connect with fellow cancer patients/survivors and co-survivors!

PHOTO Page: Many of you have already used the PHOTO page to share photos and comments from various activities (such as our recent Survive, Thrive & Be Fit at the Christopher Farm & Gardens – see page 3).

Please continue to check back to this page for new PHOTO BOOK opportunities!

MEMBER FORUM & CHAT ROOM (Coming Soon)!: Area cancer patients and survivors will soon be able to create an account that will allow them to communicate in new ways! Watch for details!

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