How long has this been going on? I feel like it’s been years, but the first case of reported COVID19 occurred sometime in January. Immediately the pandemic turned into panic. Since that time, states have been going into lockdown and people were asked to stay home to avoid the spread of this deadly disease. In a matter of a couple months, we’ve adjusted to living in isolation. We’ve become cleaner than we’ve ever been. The stores and restaurants offering curbside service are taking extra steps to sanitize their work areas.
We were told to wear masks. Then we were told it didn’t make any difference. Then masks were important again. Schools were closed and people were required to work at home. We settled in. For us older folks it wasn’t much of an adjustment. Several medical appointments were cancelled and our few social occasions were rearranged. For many elder adults, travel plans were put on hold.
Parents are getting used to having their children sitting on their shoulders like a parrot perched atop a pirate – well maybe not so much. Haircuts are being done at home. Beards are getting longer. Eyebrows are left unplucked. In other words, we’re getting hairier, but we’re cleaner. We’ve also become somewhat complacent with this lifestyle and don’t bother to have the structure we had before. This is something I think we all miss. At least we’d then know what day it is.
Screen time has become the norm for all ages. Those of us who resisted facing the computer age finally gave in. We’ve learned to teach on the internet – we have meetings on Zoom – we socialize or have happy hours online.
Kids get through their daily studies in a couple hours rather than a full day at school. They’re getting acquainted with their family members. In some cases they’re driving each other crazy. They’re also learning how to be creative and fill their time with meaningful activities.
Conspiracy theories are popping up all over the place. In addition to being creative thinkers, stories of politically motivated or germ warfare are out there and being believed by many. Politics are becoming even more corrupt. The stock market is causing the rich to squirm and the poor to rejoice that they don’t have any investments to worry about. The attacks go on towards our president. Somewhere in the middle, the average guy is worried about not being able to return to work. They’re not even sure if their workplace will exist. Those who are still employed are so disinfected, they smell like they’ve been pickled when they come home – and I’m not talking about the liquid refreshment kind of pickling.
Churches remain empty, except for the lone pastor or priest and a cameraman who records daily devotions and church services. Those who blog have seen record numbers lately. People are searching for answers, for a spiritual message, for comfort and hope that this will end soon.
There are pros and cons to isolating. By doing so, we’re protecting ourselves and others who may be more vulnerable. Fear, panic, depression, loss and anxiety are setting in. New problems are bound to erupt.
On the other hand, with any type of disease, we need to have good working immune systems. Part of that would include exposure to the disease and building up those immunities. However we’ve been cocooned for some time now and we’re beginning to get used to it.
There are going to be days when we throw up our arms and say,”forget about it,” but we can’t. We need to support and encourage each other. We need to help ourselves by helping others. Still, tempers are running short. People aren’t happy about these restrictions. Summer is right around the corner and we can’t even go to the beach or parks. State fairs are being cancelled. It looks like this is going to go on until summer is over.
I don’t have answers for dealing with these emotions. I’ve had several days when I feel somewhat hopeless. Sometimes I pray prayers filled with anger and frustration and wonder when it will end. There are days when I feel like I’m living in the Twilight Zone or that this is all a really bad nightmare and when I wake up tomorrow it will be just a memory.
I remain hopeful, because I know it will end. I don’t know when or how, but I know that our God is consistent. He is in control. The hard part is being still and knowing that He’s got this.
Take heart, my friends. Some of the best things result from crisis situations. We will get through this together and we’ll be much stronger because of it.