For a Generation of Instant Everything, Covid19 has been a painful reminder that not all problems can be instantly resolved. Only a scattering of people in my life have welcomed social isolation. Then there is the constant fear of catching a disease with so many unknowns. Would we be among the lucky, who have few symptoms? Or are our genes marked for the unlucky pool, for whom the disease is devastating, leaving a lingering illness which never quite goes away?
Our prayer chain at church has carried concerns for a man his forties, and another in his late 50’s. We’d barely learned the name of an older woman, before we learned she had died of Covid19. Family members are frantic when they learn a case has been diagnosed in the facility their loved one is in. Prayer concerns keep coming. A recent one asks prayers for a friend’s son and daughter-in-law, both in an ICU. The son isn’t doing very well.
Early on there were those who went out of their way to whip up anger and resentment toward any Governor who issued a Stay at Home order. At one point nurses in Minnesota protected access to three major hospitals, when a drive through rally against Stay at Home orders threatened to block routes. Some were attacked as “Not real nurses.” I wonder what that felt like, to have spent your life in ICU’s saving lives and have some incensed person deny your existence, your calling and your caring as a nurse.
Anti-Shutdown protesters arrived armed with guns, which have no useful purpose on state capital steps, Confederate flags and venomous vitriol. All the while shouting slogans that the pandemic was a fraud. Today, some of those same people were arrested in Michigan after planning to kidnap their governor, because of her pandemic restrictions.Lawsuits have shown up across the country, claiming mask mandates are an infringement of individual freedom.
It is no mystery why nations whose social compact is stronger, are doing better than the United States. We live in a bizarre moment of history where truth is called fake, and facts don’t matter . . . Even when those facts are the difference between life and death. Some distant day, people will reflect on this time in our nation’s history. They will judge us according to our love and compassion for each other. They will wonder how we could have been so deceived, that we allowed our politics to play havoc with our nations health.
Jesus said, “You will know the truth and the truth will make you free.” John 8:32. Speaking in a very different context, his words continue to be true. Jesus’ concern for all people would have us be mindful of our actions and how they impact the most vulnerable among us.