Articles > Tamiko Guillaume

The Reset

By Tamiko Guillaume

Looking back on childhood, I hold nostalgic memories of my mother and her rituals. She experienced life in the varied settings of cities, suburbs and foreign lands but forever retained her country-girl traits. One such country ritual that she insisted upon was a springtime cleanse which consisted of a cod-liver oil dosing with sugar to mask the undesirable taste. This was followed by a sassafras tree-bark drink which was actually a relief after the cod-liver oil. My family of seven siblings were lined up, without regard for age, gender, school performance or ideas about who might be mom’s favorite for the annual event.

As intense and foul the ritual was in our young minds when sweets and comfort food were the norm, the effects were to our benefit. The combination was designed to purge toxins that might build up over time, and reset our immune system to ensure prolonged health and vitality. 

These memories surge in my mind during this time, when there is a collective feeling of helplessness against a virus. I think back to the good-old times of innocence during childhood, as well as life pre-COVID-19. We collectively are experiencing an unprecedented event, in terms of a response and ability to apply Plan A or Plan B. Name your plan, no matter how well thought out and strategic in design: cancelled. Think on the dream you held for March, April and beyond: cancelled for the foreseeable future. Citizen, expatriate, refugee, young couples, traveler, job seeker: plans cancelled. 

While this might sound harsh, look back to the cod-liver oil and sassafras concoction; not meant to be pleasant in the process, yet produce positive reactions for a length of time. I will not discount the destruction of lives, personal indignity of economic insufficiency and the heavy toll upon mental health. I am writing during an “up” day. Perhaps tomorrow will hold an entirely different energy. 

Having said that, I would like to point out to the “reset” that we collectively must enact presently, in our futures and beyond. There is no regard for race, creed, color, religion, gender, or political affiliation: we have been equalized by coronavirus. Just as the cod-liver oil and sassafras concoction, we have an ability to reset factors in a positive direction. 

Let’s begin today, right now, by making peace with the medicine and focusing upon our personal reset: be they related to health, education, entrepreneurship, self-sufficiency or just being a better version of uniquely you.