When the first case of Coronavirus occurred, no one expected it to redefine our 2020 experience. This time is so peculiar in the history of our world.
Massive layoffs, hundreds of thousands sick, and many dead, disruption of industry and economy, shortage of household and medical supplies, and individual financial constraints are a few select consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic.
And it’s not over.
For some who are unable to work, this may be the longest time you’ve spent with your loved ones or the longest time you’ve spent with yourself even. Trust me, your children and pets can’t believe their good fortune of having some of you around all day.
Maybe it’s time to appreciate the incredible work school teachers are doing with your kids, and maybe it’s time to do a little of that, and help them understand and process what is happening in our world today.
And boy O’boy, have I read and seen all sorts in the last few weeks. From the city of Wuhan, the sprawling capital of Central China’s Hubei province, the ‘Rona traveled and with it, diverse perspectives.
Some feel that the apocalypse is upon us – down to the bunkers you go! Many other people smell a fish and there’s been a handful of conspiracy theories floating around cyberspace. Some think it’s bio-terrorism at it’s finest, designed to cripple the western economy. I mean all sorts.
You know what, whatever it is, we don’t have time for divisive perspectives. For whatever is unclear about this situation, there’s a lot more that is clear, and we’ll serve ourselves and the world better by focusing on that.
So what is clear?
This pandemic has proven once again the ability of unprecedented situations to bring out the best and the worst in us.
The ‘Rona has shown how clueless some of our countries’ governments are about leading us in safety, it has brought the worst in human nature by way of prize gougers, has shown how misinformation can torpedo the best of minds and has spun out of potential storytellers, an unsettling number of conspiracy theories.
But it’s not all doom and gloom
It has also given us the opportunity to watch the global cohort of heroes – individuals who by reason of their jobs, means, their good nature or a combination of many factors, are bravely helping the world heal, one good act after another. We have seen on display, what Fred Rogers meant when he said, “Look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping.”
Covid-19 has dealt us a heavy blow and disrupted daily life as we know it. The threat of death is palpable but we must not allow fear to paralyze us.
There is one thing that should be clear to anyone who believes: the faithfulness of God in a terrible situation, and the incredible divine gift of resilience of humans. The joy of the Lord your strength! I have read and seen and believe in our ability to rise out of the ashes of our dying night today into the breaking of a brand new hopeful day.
Our role in that resurrection starts with accepting that all of us need help. Lots of it. Whether we’re giving or receiving help, each of us must realize that we have something valuable to bring to this world. That’s one thing that connects us.
So think about one thing of value (and trust me, you do have at least one) that you can share with the hurting world around you.
And while you’re at it, ensure you stay safe and follow precautions that enable you to stay healthy. As you practice social distancing, pray for the healing of your world, for if you have forgotten, it’s your sacred duty, as well as to find ways to be a helper to those around you, for you may find that you are God’s hands and feet at your workplace, or neighborhood, bringing hope with every smile, every hot meal, cold drink, every sanitizing wipe or encouraging word you give.
Our leaders are waking up. They’re responding, and with the proliferation of more useful information and provision of relief resources, we are going to deal with this better, so don’t lose hope.
And for those who think the world is going to implode, I’d say, probably not!
Resist the urge to spread fear and falsehood on that little ticking time bomb you cradle around your palms. With as much effort if not less, you can find verified helpful information to share. And then you’ll join the league of heroes and helpers. CDC and the WHO are two examples of organizations that have done a fantastic job of providing useful information that can keep you healthy and others around you. Share that!
And to the believers again, C.S. Lewis says, “If we are all going to be destroyed by an atomic bomb (or Coronavirus), let that bomb (or virus) when it comes, find us doing sensible and human things—praying, working, teaching, reading, listening to music, bathing the children, playing tennis, chatting to our friends over a pint and a game of darts—not huddled together like frightened sheep and thinking about bombs (or spreading falsehood and fear about the ‘Rona”).”
Corona may break our bodies, but it need not dominate our minds.
Again I say, it’s not over. We will win this.
Through the thick or thin of the COVID-19 pandemic and beyond, whatever may come our way, let it meet us hopeful and helping.
Stay safe, friends.
P.S. If you have not listened to my latest podcast episode, you can find it here