Well, dear readers, corona continues and so do its Chronicles. Every day is a new day, with new challenges to meet and to overcome. We have always lived in an ever-changing world. It’s just that right now this virus has necessitated unchosen changes to our daily lives and to our social fabric, that we did not anticipate nor have we had time to adjust to in this new reality.
Now I confess that Technology and I have not always gotten along well. Which is not a good thing for me since we are all more dependent on her now than ever before. This is why I am happy to report an unexpected victory I experienced today with technology.
I can confess to you now that I am officially a zoomer! (isn’t that what someone who uses zoom is called?) It seems to me that many people are becoming zoomers if they weren’t already one. And for us of a certain age, we are now boomer zoomers, how cool is that?
I have my oldest daughter to thank for my newfound status as a boomer zoomer, she talked me through the process, step by step. The true test for me will be whether I can continue in my newfound status by replicating the skills I learned when I am on my own. (some people wish for a maid or a cook, I would wish for a full time IT person to deal with technology on my behalf, so technology and I would never have to meet face to face)
Today’s other confession is this – I remember the “cocooning” craze. Does anyone else? This term, “cocooning” was coined in 1981 by Faith Popcorn. (could that be her real name?) In 1996, Time magazine cited cocooning as a major social trend in its “Year in Review” article. In 2013, a USA Today article stated that cocooning was back and bigger than ever. This gave rise to terms like “super-cocooning”, “uber-cocooning” and “bunkering.”
Cocooning is the phenomenon of staying home rather than going out to eat or to movies or to other social gatherings. It has been considered trendy behavior, cool, cutting edge behavior in its time. But what a difference a name makes! Call it “self isolation” and suddenly it loses all its cool, it loses all of its appeal. Of course, surrounding circumstances play a big part in that also.
With cocooning, people were choosing to stay home on their own, citing a desire to disengage from social interactions, in order to provide themselves a respite from the busy pace of their lives, but the rest of the world was free to go on as usual around them, without them.
This required self isolation imposed upon us now, bears little resemblance to the cocooning that was so popular not so long ago. Or does it? Both provide a slower pace, some solitude, some time for reflection and for relationships. But one was by choice, the other by requirement. One took place while it was business as usual, the other is taking place while businesses are shutting down and nothing is “as usual” at the moment.
Maybe the news media should have asked us all to cocoon in place instead of to shelter in place and it would have seemed less scary and more like we were just doing those cozy, comforting things associated with the original cocooning. But a rose by any other name . . . the purpose of cocooning was to withdraw from the larger society for a time of rest and relaxation.
But we can’t withdraw from the current chaos that surrounds us. We are all too interconnected. COVID-19 is showing us just how true that is. COVID-19 knows no national, ethnic, economic, or social class borders, she is an equal opportunity virus, equally available to all.
What kind of a response does this non-discriminatory virus demand.? One in which we all work together to defeat our common enemy. The question of “who is my neighbor?” (Luke 10:29) from the parable of the Good Samaritan, is more relevant than ever. And the answer still holds true today. “The one who had mercy on him.” (Luke 10:37)
We are to show mercy, extend help (as the Samaritan did to the stranger he found left for dead on the side of the road he was traveling) to anyone in our path. Everyone has become our neighbor in this global pandemic. Our interconnectedness is being made manifest as we track the spread of the virus around the globe.
At a time in which we need each other more than ever, when we need our community around us to help us navigate through this turbulent time, we are being asked to draw apart in order to protect one another from this virus.
And so we must continue to run this race which has no finish line to the best of our abilities. We must run with hope, with courage and with perseverance.
“Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us. Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.” (Hebrews 12:1-2)
sincerely, Grace Day