The COVID-19 Wisdom of Frozen II

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Disney released Frozen II to their Disney+ streaming platform last weekend, and it was just in time! Schools in the US closed, and students of all ages have been at home all week in addition to their (some newly) teleworking parent(s). 

Frozen II came up several times this week, mostly because it was a fantastic treat, carrot, or distraction for parents with kiddos of Frozen-enjoying ages. For parents, it’s a tool:

“if you finish this worksheet, you can watch Frozen II”

“just read for 20 minutes and you can un-pause Frozen II”

“if you don’t finish that worksheet, I’ll put Elsa on top of the refrigerator again!”

And that was just at my house… fill in your own Frozen II based threats and motivators! 

This week, I found Frozen II coming up in conversation because of it’s accidental wisdom and calm for these times of lockdown, quarantine, and general uncertainty. 

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image source: https://marvelmoviesnews.com/5-best-and-5-worst-things-in-frozen-2

I’ve been a HUGE FAN of the Frozen II soundtrack since seeing the moving in the theater, my daughter and I had all the lyrics memorized within days. The soundtrack and its lyrics hold wisdom for our times, if you just listen closely… 

All Is Found

The movie’s opening scenes include flashbacks where we learn this lullaby. Why do lullabies often involve sudden death? Anyway… The song is haunting, and tells the tale we’ve heard before about chasing after answers, hoping for all to be revealed, but as the song cautions, “Dive down deep into her sound, But not too far or you’ll be drowned.” 

The song is sung by Anna and Elsa’s mother, voiced by Evan Rachel Wood, who plays an android on HBO’s Westworld. If anyone else finds meaning and symbolism in that, we can nerd out further, but I digress…

As we seek answers from the World Health Organization, Centers for Disease Control, and heck, Joe Rogan, I urge you to not dive too deeply, or at least not for too long. It is easy to get overwhelmed, and drown in information. It is exhausting, even for the past 2-3 weeks that COVID-19 has been a reality in the US, to repeat this diving, drowning, and waking up the next day to do it all again, in your home, with more and more distractions and challenges. 

Some Things Never Change

This song I am choosing to interpret as reassurance and a battle cry for safety and risk professionals right now. Someone very wise once said, “the only constant in life is change,” and safety pros know this all too well. But we have tools and systems for this! This is our time to shine! When Ana sings “that’s why I rely on certain certainties,” I think of our tools for training, communicating, and job and risk analysis. Use your foundational skills, and you’ll shine during these uncertain times. And it never hurts to do all of this with beautiful grand piano accompanied lyrics in your head. Safety friends, “I’m holding on tight to youuuuuuu” 🙂 

Into the Unknown

I really enjoyed the emotional quality of this song and Idina Menzel’s voice in the theater, and then enjoyed a completely different vibe hearing the Panic at the Disco version of this on the soundtrack. As safety pros, we know we are DEFINITELY going into the unknown right now, but I can’t help feel a bit of positivity and opportunity even though things seem to be falling apart or are SO uncertain at times. I can hear that “whisper” of positivity, (“but I won’t”) but have to set it aside sometimes for the daily reality of what’s going on. In times of struggle and challenge, it is important to have perspective to avoid going into spirals of negativity or worry over things you cannot directly control. 

When I Am Older

This song goes out to our kids… “this will all make sense when I am older.” Of course, the irony and message of this song as you watch along with the movie is that, NO, this will NOT all make sense when you are older. It doesn’t make sense to adults right now! With age will come tools and ways that our kids will be able to process these current events. 

Reindeers are Better than People

A quick interlude to the next tune… and a reminder to pet your pets. Talk to them too, and make voices for their responses. It’s OK, you might feel better for a moment. Repeat. 

Lost in the Woods

This song is clearly for the parents! If you belted out 80s love ballads and watched the videos on MTV, this is your modern jam. I went through a lot of feelings in the first full week of working from home, my husband working from home, and my child doing her schoolwork from home. Oh, and eating all of our meals at home, and looking to only each other for entertainment, conversation, solace, and everything else we needed. In the close quarters, there was also distance. I think it’s due to our brains each coming to the realization at different times that this is our new normal for an unknown amount of time. 

The song is a love ballad to your spouse, partner, bestie, child, pet, anyone you have turned to for support this past week – even though we are so close, it can be easy to lose ourselves and lose our minds a little bit. We can find our “true north” and come back to each other. 

Show Yourself

Confession: I can’t get through this part of the movie and not cry. I’ve seen the movie three times now, and every time, the tears fall. It’s a good, hearty, “I needed that,” inspiring type of cry – but a cry nonetheless. If you’re usually a stoic person, that doesn’t show emotion readily (ahem, me), the lyrics really speak to you. Being a “fortress, cold secrets deep inside,” I know how it feels to be “home” with a person or an internal feeling of confidence to really “show yourself.” 

This is also a call for my fellow safety professionals to step into their role! “Show yourself!” Your organization needs you, the front line workers REALLY need you. If you think it’s not in you, listen to the song and get your inner badass, prepared, and confident safety pro out of the dark.

The Next Right Thing

This is the gut wrencher. There was probably a time this past week that you felt you weren’t getting through, or that no one was with you, or other hopeless and alone feeling. “I’ve seen dark before, but not like this.” Most safety pros have an incident from the past that called on all of their skills to get through – a serious injury or fatality. We’ve unfortunately seen some of the worst things that can happen, but this is different. We’re in times that there is no playbook, no specific strategy to turn to, “but you must go on, and do the next right thing.” There will be a “day beyond this night,” and the role of the safety pro is so critical right now.

Bottom line: Keep learning, sharing information and best practices, and find the “next right thing” and build on it. Take some time to enjoy the people who are cooped up in the house with you, and to break tension, watch Frozen II or at least jam to the soundtrack for a dance party! 

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