well another day and I find myself living in many different worlds simultaneously. There is “the world outside my window” (post April 13), there is the world I see when I turn on my TV news, there is the world I entered into when I went to buy some groceries, (post -Corona Chronicles #21) there is the Amazon world I now need because I needed a book for bible study and bookstores are not an “essential business” at the present time, there is the “zoom” world, a whole world of “zooming” in which I now participate.
And I have to confess to you this – I find myself longing for my “old world” of work and church and the gym and meeting a friend at Starbucks – the world of daily routines that were familiar and comfortable and predictable and understandable. I knew how to walk in that world, the world in which we all lived literally little more than a month ago. Seems like another lifetime ago, doesn’t it?
This new world is an upside down world. In our old world, if you entered a store (especially a bank) wearing a mask you were immediately suspect, now if you enter a store not wearing a mask, you are suspect.
Before COVID-19, a hug was a gesture of kindness and comfort. Now a hug would be considered an act of aggression and a violation of social distancing policies.
In our current world, liquor stores are apparently considered “essential” and remain open while in some places garden centers are closed and people can’t buy seeds to start a vegetable garden or plants etc.
Pre COVID-19, toilet paper was not a hard to find item. Now toilet paper is the new gold standard. It is the new collectible. People stand in line to buy it and it has to be rationed. Who would have predicted that? (I wonder if toilet paper was rationed during WWII along with gasoline, coal, meat, cheese, butter, lard, nylon and many other items?)
In this new world, if you want to clear a room, simply clear your throat. A little cough is all it will take to get the job done.
Pre COVID-19 it would be considered a snub, rude and stand offish, not to extend your hand in greeting when meeting someone – now it would be considered rude and inappropriate to extend your hand, it could be taken as a threat at worst or as just inconsiderate and uncaring at best.
Masks may be the new fashion accessory, while lipstick will now become a thing of the past, sales will plummet as lipstick is no longer needed.
I am trying to picture a football stadium full of masked spectators. Will their cheers be muffled by their masks or will they watch in silence like zombies? Will the cheerleaders be wearing masks as they lead the crowd and perform their stunts and routines?
I am wondering what worship in our churches will sound like – will we sing through our masks? What will it sound like – this muffled, masked music of the masses? Will our praise bands and church choirs be wearing masks?
What about live theater? A masked audience is one thing, but masked actors, singers and dancers? From Shakespeare’s Globe Theater in London, to Broadway to community theaters everywhere, we are left to wonder whether COVID-19 will be the death of all live performances and their venues around the world?
In a culture where people often feel invisible and overlooked, wearing masks promotes and enhances each person’s feelings of anonymity and invisibility. We will truly be a faceless, nameless mass of socially distanced, self isolated individuals. (much easier to control that way)
I am wondering about the WHO? Not the British rock band but the group whose middle name is Health, that one. Their middle name may be Health, but their actions put our world’s health in danger. They need to change either their name or their actions so that they match up with one another.
And who? is raising money for WHO? when twenty two million plus Americans have lost their jobs, shouldn’t we be trying to help them instead of an organization which is primarily administrative and a data collector in nature?
But nothing makes any sense right now. Farmers are being forced to plow under fields full of food while food pantry lines are longer than ever.
We are told that hospitals are full and our health care system is overwhelmed. But medical clinics and medical offices are closed (accompanied by all the layoffs of office staff, cleaning staff and medical staff that worked in these places) and hospitals are empty and losing money, forcing them to lay off nurses and other staff, because all medical care is on hold unless it is “essential” or COVID-19 related. People have conditions that are going untreated right now because they are not COVID-19 illnesses.
We are letting convicted criminals out of our prisons and into our “shelter in place” society while simultaneously arresting and locking up citizens for violating social distancing orders, such as the lone boater or a solitary beach jogger. Our prisons are opening up and letting people out while at the same time our parks are closing, refusing to let people in.
We are told to stay home or we/or others will die. But death is all around us. Always has been. (that’s probably why they say, “death is just a part of life”) But now, in addition to all the deaths due to illnesses, (with which we have always had to deal) cancer, heart disease, diabetes, dementia, influenza, the list would be long – and all the deaths we suffer from accidents, traffic and otherwise, and all the deaths from violent crime and shootings, and all the deaths resulting from poverty and hunger, – we now have a whole new dimension of death that we must deal with each day as well, caused by this COVID-19 driven shut down.
It is the death of our freedoms, our dreams, our businesses, our opportunities to work, to earn a living and to support our families, our freedom to worship in community, our freedom to travel and to visit family, our access to parks and other public places, our freedom to assemble in any form, all deceased at the moment – with the question being – can we resurrect these long held freedoms when the time comes?
Or will we be told, freedom has no place in a “post COVID-19” world? Time will tell. She always does. We have not yet realized the vast cost of this “cure” for COVID-19. Which is not a cure at all, merely containment of the contagious.
So today I find I need an anchor in this world, this world that has turned upside down despite my best efforts to prevent it from doing so.
“We have this hope as an anchor for the soul, firm and secure. It enters the inner sanctuary behind the curtain, where Jesus, who went before us, has entered on our behalf. He has become a high priest forever, in the order of Melchizedek.” (Hebrews 6:19-20)
It is hope that is my anchor during this storm brought to us by COVID-19, hope in God alone.
“Find rest, O my soul, in God alone; my hope comes from Him. He alone is my rock and my salvation; He is my fortress, I will not be shaken.” (Psalm 62:5-6)
“Wait for the Lord; be strong and take heart and wait for the Lord.” (Psalm 27:14)
“We wait in hope for the Lord; He is our help and our shield. In Him our hearts rejoice, for we trust in His holy name. May Your unfailing love rest upon us, O Lord, even as we put our hope in You.” (Psalm 33:20-22)
so I will be grateful that I have an anchor in this storm, an anchor of hope to hold onto –
“Be strong and take heart, all you who hope in the Lord.” (Psalm 31:24)
sincerely, Grace Day