A Little Book of Courage…

For the BIG pandemic

About The Book

A Little Book of Courage for the Big Pandemic is for all of us as we navigate COVID-19 and its effects. Some of us are struggling with grief and depression. Many are anxious about what may come next. And most of us are caught in the “lingering fog” of uncertainty as we wait for clear guidance to emerge. Based on experience with the aftermath of crises, Cheri Lovre tells us what to expect, how to prepare for any further difficult times, and how to make the most of recovery. It is healing and important to remember that all crises end. We will be whole again. What we think and do today, in the midst of our struggles with the pandemic, will help us recover from the effects of the pandemic, regain our former ability to function, and reinvent our lives. This book can help us now.

If you or someone you know is experiencing symptoms such as flashbacks and nightmares, there are effective therapies that enable many people to make remarkable gains in recovery. These require working with a specialist in Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) or other trauma-related therapies. I highly recommend that you seek out resources for this, sooner rather than later!

This is not just a self-help book, not just for those who are struggling. We will all need to emerge from this able to work with people who were gently touched by the pandemic, those who were impacted and had to work to recover, and those who struggled mightily. ~Allen Fertziger

What’s inside


Beginning at the End

We are not lost


Moving Forward

Phases from now till then
Recovery and foundation
Exercise: Draw your own path


Living with Uncertainty

Why uncertainty immobilizes us
Living with the unexpected
Action steps for living with uncertainty
Exercise: Living with uncertainty


Quieting Anxiety

Following the path
Action steps for quieting anxiety
Exercise: Quieting anxiety


Facing and Depression

Following the path
Grief past and present
Touchstones for facing grief
Into and through depression
Exercise: Managing grief


Managing Trauma

Living with trauma
Action steps for managing trauma
More action steps for managing



Naming it: Clarifying what we feel
Reframing it: An honest new internal dialog
Taming it: Finding a new practice, habit, support or coping strategy
Mindfulness and self-care
Habits of recovery


Family and Community

Reclaiming childhood
Families with adolescents
Adults and communities


For the Future

Laying the foundation
Action steps for the future

 Chapter 1

We’re going to come out of it.

We have many steps to take, and some unknown period of time to move through before the COVID-19 pandemic is fully behind us. Right now, the best immediate antidote to the uncertainty, difficulty and stress of this time is to remember the endpoint.

Every pandemic ends, no matter how severe it is. This one will too. Yes, many things will have changed. We will not forget our losses, suffering and sacrifices. But the elements of our lives will once again be in some semblance of order.

In the meantime, many of us are still learning to handle the impact. We are feeling the kinds of emotions that are always present during and after a crisis. Uncertainty. Anxiety. Grief. Depression. Trauma. The other crises of 2020-fires, storms and droughts; intense and sometimes violent conflict about racial, political and social issues; lockdown and its economic effect; the collapse of businesses, jobs, livelihoods and more; and the reduction of human contact-have all intensified our emotions. Some of us are “long haulers,” hit relatively hard by the virus itself, and that can also lead to a difficult group of emotions to manage.

Though no one’s story is exactly the same, there is one thing we all feel in common, at least at times. It’s as if we are trudging along in a lingering fog, on a path that sometimes seems unending.

But a post-COVID world lies ahead…




A Little Book of Courage… for the Big Pandemic features nine easy-to-read chapters and comes with a range of resources that will help you navigate some of the uncertainty felt by conditions surrounding us as we live in a pandemic-effected world.

"Immense wisdom is packed into this 'little book.' Author Cheri Lovre offers compelling and practical advice for navigating the painful uncertainty brought by the pandemic or by any of life’s major challenges. With crisis comes uncertainty and struggle – but also strength (when we can choose growth over retreat and panic). A timeless resource, full of compassion."

Amy Edmondson | Professor | Harvard Business School | Author, The Fearless Organization (Wiley 2019).

"This is not just a self-help book, not just for those who are struggling. We will all need to emerge from this able to work with people who were gently touched by the pandemic, those who were impacted and had to work to recover, and those who struggled mightily."

Allen Fertziger | Psychologist and Faculty Member | Washington University

“A Little Book of Courage for the Big Pandemic.” provides a useful roadmap to help build strong families and resilient communities. It is an essential, practical guide for a healthy recovery from the numerous disasters and trauma so prevalent in our world.”

Robert “Ozzie” Rose | Executive Director (retired) | Confederation of Oregon School Administrators

About the author.

Cheri Lovre was a behavioral specialist in the 1980s working with schools. She noticed that many of the students in her caseload were struggling with grief or trauma. By the mid-80s she was training school crisis response teams (also known as flight teams). In 1985, she founded the Crisis Management Institute, which provides on-site response to catastrophic events for schools, agencies, or businesses.

In the 1990s, Cheri began working with educators to help school communities recover after school shootings. The schools included Thurston High School in Springfield, Oregon and Columbine High School in Colorado. Cheri spent two years in New York helping schools affected by 9/11, and her crisis response work continues still. With every on-site response, she’s gained more insight on the roots and effects of school violence.

In 2020, Cheri began working with schools to help them navigate the COVID-19 pandemic and to help school leaders in the Pacific Northwest to manage the aftermath of large wildfires.

Cheri’s books, all published by the Crisis Management Institute, include: Crisis Resource Manual (1985), Catastrophic Events Resource Manual (1998), The Safe Room: A Guide for School Crisis Responders (2006), Regaining Balance: Leading Your School Through Loss (2007) and My Book About Feeling Safe: A “Do-Together” Project for Children and Parents (2020).