Good morning, Readers! Here we are in week two of this crazy COVID-19… Show of hands, who’s going nuts? Anyone? Anyone?
In my state, Ohio, we’re not on martial law, but we are told we are not permitted to go to any social things. The only places we’re permitted to go are the doctor, the store, and that’s … pretty much it. It’s so strange. I went to the store yesterday because I needed to get out of the house for a minute, and I wasn’t gone super long, but it’s crazy how … odd the atmosphere felt. I don’t mean the temperature of the room, right, but how we interact with each other anymore. People were not going Black Friday nuts, but they were kind of … subdued, I guess would be the best word I can think of. The cashiers’ smiles didn’t meet their eyes, customers just kind of lumbered along like, ‘Well, Myrtle, let’s go grab some milk for the kids, let’s get this over with...’ Almost like a collective exasperated sigh could be heard.
It was deafening.
No one looked anyone in the eye. It was almost like we were sneaking about, hoping we wouldn’t be caught doing something we shouldn’t be. ‘Oh, don’t stay out too long, Sharon, the police will drag you back to the house and stand post at your door!’ Or if social distancing meant that even if you so much as looked at someone, you’d catch possible exposure to this evil virus that’s destroying our world.
I want to point something out that I’ve noticed the other day and was discussing with a friend of mine who encouraged me to explore this, as they were curious to see where I’d take it. It’s been a week and a half. A week and a half since we were told, ‘No public Mass.’ It’s been now two weeks since I’ve been in the Presence of my Beloved Jesus, as I didn't go to Mass two Wednesdays ago, due to a bad brain day, and then Friday was cancelled because of the COVID-19 thing.
I had a whole article written about this, but I accidentally lost it before I was able to save it. Bear with me.
Things are so crazy right now. I have to admit, I’m grateful for a few things right off the cuff, though. For one thing, we have the gift of technology. Honestly, we’re a lot more fortunate now than they were back when the Black Death, Typhoid, Spanish Influenza, and all those other beastly illnesses that set the world ablaze and flip everything on its ear.
You know… I’ve noticed something. It always, always takes a tragedy to bring unity. Why is it, I wonder, when something catastrophic happens, that is when people seem to wake up and pay attention to things around them. For example, when 9/11 happened, we all came together, this entire country. The concern for fellow humans was a major thing. And then once the proverbial dust settled, it was back to life as usual, but seemed like people were more rotten and angry than before. I honestly don’t understand that.
This time, we’ve got COVID-19 ripping countries apart. The last update I heard was it’s affecting nearly 200 countries. Yeah, nearly 200. Including America in that equation.
Sunday night, I got a text message from my friend that there’s, as of Monday at 11.59 our time, a stay-at-home order that goes into effect. I admit, while I’m not at all shocked, I’m nonetheless concerned. I’m concerned because what’s next is martial law after this, and I’m praying it doesn’t get to that point!
What bothers me the most is the fact that there’s absolutely zero American solidarity happening. It’s disturbing. We are encouraged to physically socially distance, not socially entirely. It’s disturbing to me that this has become kind of an ‘everyone for themselves’ thing. I don’t get it. The only solidarity I’ve seen – and you cannot deny that this is the case, show me otherwise something about it if you can, please, so I can type up a redaction! - is the religious communities coming together. I’m talking about Muslims, Christians, and Jews all alike, surrounding each other. Prayers of the faithful!
What I want to know is, where did we, as an American community – yes, community – stray from what we’re commonly and historically known for, that solidarity? I don’t understand. What about the elderly, even the homeless?
I recently heard about in Italy, there were people going around their villages with fliers with their phone numbers written down and stuffing them in elderly neighbours’ doors so there would be someone they could reach out and talk to, and not feel even more isolated. There was a video I saw in a chatroom I’m on, on Discord, a little village in Italy had the residents had all their windows open and they were singing a random song, the title of which escapes me at the moment, but the point was, it made me laugh seeing that. I loved seeing that sort of unity. ‘Yeah, things are crazy right now, but you know what? Let’s still try to find a way to have fun!’
I’m serious, though, why is it that it takes a tragedy to make people sit up and pay attention, to make themselves more available to their fellow humans? Solidarity?
Am I saying do like that lady in Italy, running around putting your name on paper and stuffing it in older people’s doors? Not necessarily!
I’m just saying if you’ve got people you know that don’t have anyone, make an effort to reach out to them if you’ve their number, or even e-mail address. Is e-mail even a thing anymore? Maybe this should be a fantastic time to rekindle that means of communication, especially if you’re cool with e-mail addresses being given out but not phone numbers. +LOOKING AT YOU, FELLOW INTROVERTS!+
Seriously, if you don’t have anyone to talk to, just say something in the comments, we can e-mail back and forth if you like. Just let me know, I’ll give you my e-mail address! We can talk about life, books, music, whatever. Just as long as it’s kept clean, of course!
We’re only in the second week of this COVID-19 thing, where we’ve been told to practice physical distancing. Doesn’t at all mean social distancing. Reader, I promise you, with everything I am, you cannot pass COVID-19 through a screen. Hit someone up you’ve not spoken to in awhile through a text. If that person doesn’t have the means to text, ring them. It won’t hurt. You never know whose day you might make brighter.
My friend mentioned ringing nursing homes and saying to the staff, ‘I want to talk to a resident who has no visitors...’ You’ll likely make a new friend. It won’t kill you to reach out and be present for someone, even if you don’t know them.
These are scary times, y’all.
When this COVID-19 thing gets cleared up and we’re able to come out of our domiciles again… Let’s do something different, yeah? Let’s not just let the tragedies motivate us to get out there and be there for each other. But, for now, while it’s still very much a thing, and still very much a very real danger, try to be more available and allow people to reach out to you, and more than that, reach out to others.