Many of us have surpassed the month (or longer) mark of residing nearly 24/7 within our respective homes. We are glued to the newscasts, read endlessly about COVID-19 and talk to family and friends who are essential workers. Despite our deep interest in what is occurring to the world at large, most of us are experiencing this bizarre historical occurrence in a quiet containment, wondering, questioning what is really happening. We are the fortunate ones.
There has been chaos in hospitals and nursing homes. They have been operating on 24/7 high alert. There was early confusion but orderly response. Thankfully, the infamous infection and death curve is flattening and the non-stop pace for healthcare workers is slowing. They have been soldiers at war. They deserve our respect and gratitude. They have sacrificed.
There has been loss of family members and friends. The survivors of the virus and survivors who are now without parents, children or grandparents do not want to hear you tell them that the flu kills more people annually than Coronavirus.
21 million food and shelter providers known as ‘Mom and Dad’ have lost their jobs. No doubt, that number will increase.
These peculiar circumstances are accompanied by peculiar sights. Some are humorous. Some are unnerving. Here are a few strange sights and peculiar circumstances these days…
- Swing sets without swings – to reduce the risk of sharing the virus.
- Nets and rims removed from basketball courts to deter kids playing games.
- Empty napkin aisles and paper towel aisles.
- Empty meat counters at Wegmans.
- My 401K.
- Church on the laptop.
- More humorous sights include grown men wearing longer hair😄. When my 23-yr son complains about how awful his hair is, I remind him that when he was 15 yrs old, he thought his hockey-flow hair peeking out from the back of his hockey helmet was “sweet” :).
- Children re-appearing to live in the nest… One was sent home from her university. The one we just moved to a stunning oceanside town seven states away said 3 1/2 weeks alone in her apartment was enough. With my son still here, the nest is officially full! What an unexpected Easter table!
- My work, my daughter’s virtual university work, my other daughter’s professional work covering our dining room…Skype classes and conference calls and laptops and phones…
- My husband’s work strewn about the back sunroom…Zoom videos and laptops and phones…
- Huge, electric signs on the thruway yelling, STAY HOME.
- Broken eyeglasses that can’t be fixed anywhere but at home. I’m guarding my prescription reading glasses like they are a brick of gold.
- Children’s playgrounds with “no play” signs.
- “Currently unavailable” being stamped on products sold on Amazon such as isopropyl alcohol, disinfectant wipes, tissues…even good hand soap is a tough find. This is AMAZON. The company with “too much” of a supply of absolutely anything and everything.
All of us have different lives in some big or small ways as a result of COVID-19. The inconveniences may last a couple more weeks, while the economic impact may be more detrimental than we even imagine. Will the remaining anchor stores make it? Macys? JCPenney? Will the smaller ones like Ann Taylor and LOFT survive? Will our local restaurants close shortly after they attempt to reopen?
Will America begin manufacturing their own antibiotics and other medicines? Who knew that 80%-90% of all vital pharmaceuticals are made in China? Not me. Further, I’m disappointed in myself for never noticing the litany of articles from the last few years literally warning the U.S. of the profound dangers of permitting merely one country to supply Americans’ critical medicines. The implications of this are endless.
Was this global shift in every society on every continent the result of a nefarious plan or was it purely accidental? I don’t think much about that, but others are diving into the theories all pointing to Wuhan.
We all look forward to freely moving about society again someday. But when will we literally move about “freely”?
When can we shop for Kleenex because we actually need some and find that it’s in stock?
As for me, I try to keep my eyes above the empty shelves, above my monotonous computer screen filled with work, higher than the frightening economic months ahead…to Him will I bow down and cling, remaining closely attached to the Vine Whose love spreads higher, wider and deeper than any rapidly contagious virus.