today’s confession is probably something best left unconfessed – but truth should be told and confession is good for the soul. (they say, whoever “they” are) So, I confess that I am not the rule follower I thought I was. Indeed, I am a transgressor of the current laws laid upon us at this time. What is my transgression? I hugged a friend. There, I have said it out loud. Of course it was with mutual consent and we have both been isolated since the beginning of this ordeal, having non essential jobs as it were, which are no more.
Which leads me to wonder – if I have a non essential job does that mean by extension that I am a non essential person? Being told to stay home and not to come out for any reason kind of reminds me of being sent to my room as a child. Remember that punishment? Stay in your room and don’t come out for any reason until I tell you it’s ok to come out.
Or maybe my state’s stay at home order is more like being grounded. There are the “essential” reasons to leave your room, school and meals and the bathroom and everything else is “non essential.” (that was in the days before computers and cell phones, so you really were cut off from the outside world)
A few powerful people have essentially grounded an entire nation. And we don’t know when our punishment will end. We are held hostage by inaccurate models, dire predictions, ever changing data, and the threat of death if we dare to disobey. Fear is a powerful weapon in the hands of those who have a platform to spread it.
As children, didn’t we question our captivity, constantly asking, “how much longer until I’m free again” and even “why am I grounded in the first place?”
Back then, we were told that the self isolation, oops, I mean grounding, was for our own good, that our parents knew what was best for us. But we are not children anymore and government is not our parent. Actually, we are the government, remember? (of the people, by the people, for the people)
Can’t we wash our hands, refuse to shake them, protect our vulnerable and go back to work? This “cure” has far surpassed the illness in death, destruction and devastation to human life. While I, along with millions of others, have been relegated to my room, my house has fallen down around me.
When finally I am free to leave my room, I will find the world a vastly changed place. The restaurants I remembered and couldn’t wait to return to, no longer there. Shops closed, food lines long, more homeless than before. no jobs to be found. I think back, when I was exiled to my room there were plenty of jobs and not enough people to fill them. Unemployment for everyone was at an all time low.
What happened? Why is it so silent? No concerts, no sports, no family reunions, no picnics, no parades, no church, no smiles (well, how would I know, everyone’s wearing a mask) Just a silent sadness. Empty streets, empty parks, empty playgrounds, what happened to our world? Why didn’t somebody say something?
They couldn’t. If they did, well in China they just disappeared if they dissented. Here they were just accused of being killers, of wanting people to die, of preferring money over people. Nobody wants that label.
Of course it’s work that puts a roof over a family’s head and feeds that family and provides them healthcare and sustains all the charities and provides the government income – while at the same time providing all the goods and services that were available to us until we were told that not working would save lives.
Then everything shut down. We got sent to our rooms. If we don’t come out soon there will be nothing left to rebuild. We are already mourning for all the losses during this time we will never get back. Funerals we cannot attend, graduations without a ceremony and a celebration, birthdays not celebrated with family, weddings postponed, lives on hold, as we wait in our rooms for . . . for what? for Death? Death to come for us? or Death to be eliminated, thereby making it “safe” for us to now leave our rooms?
The world will always be full of death but it has always been full of life as well. Stopping the living from living has no power to stop the dying from dying. I know of too many that are dying alone, while their loved ones are still “grounded to their rooms” awaiting the end of this COVID-19 nightmare.
Their families will be left to mourn alone because no funerals can be held. Sadness that is unavoidable compounded by sadness that sadly is.
I mourn for so many people right now. I mourn for the loss of physical life. I mourn for the losses of the living, prohibited from living their lives and earning a livelihood. Isn’t that interesting that a term we use for working is “livelihood.” Work is not a curse, it is a blessing. It is a means of being productive and of contributing to society while providing for yourself and your family at the same time.
In depriving the now twenty six million and counting people of the right to work, we are truly depriving them of their livelihoods, while telling them it is being done to prevent death. Can there be any greater irony or injustice? It is no accident that this word contains the word “live” within it, or “lively” for that matter, meaning full of life.
My heart breaks for all the losses people are suffering because of this pandemic. Some losses are inevitable and some are self inflicted. We need to figure out the difference.
As I grieve things I can’t even put a name to in these present days, I hold these words close from Psalm 30:10-12,
“Hear, O Lord, and be merciful to me; O Lord, be my help. You turned my wailing into dancing; You removed my sackcloth and clothed me with joy, that my heart may sing to You and not be silent. O Lord my God, I will give You thanks forever.”
sincerely, Grace Day
2 thoughts on “Corona Chronicles-True Confessions#25”
I am once again in awe at how you are able to capture feelings and make them come alive in print. I thank God for this amazingng gift he has given for you to bless your fellow man.
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From one transgressor to the other, I extend a cheer … “I hug to this writing! 😍