One of the hardest things about being quarantined, and the Coronavirus in general, is that it’s hard to know how to help. I’m reminded of the Civil War, when the situation became so dire that women of all walks of life stepped out onto the battlefield, carrying their household rags-turned-bandages to bind up the wounds of soldiers.
Injuries were not the only thing they had to contend with. Illnesses ran amok. Contagious illnesses. Masks and gloves and protective eyewear were not available because they didn’t exist. Medicine was scarce. Knowledge, compared to today’s, was even more scarce. Yet they did what they could, because sitting at home while the sounds of canons and gunfire rang out across the land became unbearable.
They were fierce women. Brave women. Amazing women. Willing to put themselves in the line of fire to help either comfort or save another.
In some ways, it’s been irritating to see the American response to what Coronavirus has imposed upon us all. Folks have quite literally been called upon to be couch potatoes (if that’s’ how they choose to handle the situation), yet there’s a significant amount of complaints going around. Now, I realize some aren’t getting paid to be couch potatoes, and the economy in general is taking a hard hit. My family is experiencing financial hits, as well. Additionally, a fairly big life change we had planned has been put on the backburner indefinitely. But at this point, it’s all temporary and minimally painful.
Minimally painful … compared to what went on in The Civil War. Or 9-11. Or any number of historically catastrophic events.
Having said that, in other ways, I understand that waiting can be one of the most painful trials people can endure. Uncertainty is another. And right now, we are all staring at four internal walls, waiting to be released, uncertain of what’s going to happen next.
I’ve found that balance, in any life situation, is one of the hardest virtues to achieve. Human nature tends to err on one side or the other. Panic or apathy are the two languages we speak best. We err by being so apathetic, we find ourselves with nothing to wipe our arses with, or by panicking and hoarding enough supplies to wipe our arses for an eternity – and that of our neighbor’s. Or maybe we err by adopting cavemen and cavewomen lifestyles, afraid to brave even fresh air, or the opposite, by refusing to govern ourselves properly and as a result, catching the virus, spreading it to others, and in effect, potentially killing others.
Much power is in our hands these days. Sure, the government has enforced some restrictions, as have our bosses, our personal chronic health issues (I am an immune compromised heart patient so I’m holed up at home 24/7), and the medical staff we depend on (virtual visits required!). But for the most part, our freedoms have not been infringed upon. And while we can threaten and stomp our feet at the government to not dare tread on us, the fact is, if we govern ourselves wisely and appropriately during these times, our government will not have reason to enforce freedom hacking policies. They never have that power. But at times, they take that power. I’m seeing that in my own state. As of this morning, we are under a Shelter In Place Order, and they are refusing to allow some citizens to work, while still collecting tax dollars to fund abortions. My back surgery is canceled, because it’s an elective surgery. Yet abortions are still considered essential “surgeries”? Government can truly be tyrannical. Having said that, at times, they infringe upon our rights because we the people refuse to govern ourselves well.
Let’s not be the type who provoke the government into overreacting and imposing unnecessary, unconstitutional limits on America’s people. They may overreact anyway, but let it not be due to our failure to be level headed and cooperative.
Yes, we are bored. Yes, we are taking financial hits. Yes, quarantine and social distancing sucks. Yes, we wish we could do more. But in this situation, doing more looks like doing less. Most of us are not called to be on the front lines during this pandemic. That’s something we should be grateful for, while appreciating those who are called and are faithfully answering in spite of the danger. But staying home as much as possible, social distancing, and loving our neighbor by being reasonable about our grocery stash, praying, and being cooperative and considerate … those are the more common heroic acts of the day
Not all roles are often recognized, cherished, or appreciated. Before the Coronavirus hit, how much thought did we give to truck drivers, grocery store stockers, cosmetologists, and toilet paper manufacturers? Now those workers are considered highly important people on the front lines, while Hollywood and most politicians and political bantering have taken a back seat – a rather refreshing change in course.
Living humbly, obscurely, and quietly is always a noble way of life, but especially now. For in effect, we could be saving lives.
Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you in due time. (I Pet. 5:6)
Love your neighbor as yourself. (Matt. 22:39)
Though many of us may prefer to be where the action is, on the front lines, that is not the kind of war we are in at the moment. Our enemy is invisible, except for when it takes our friends and loved ones by the lungs and crushes them to death. The valiant thing to do is to humble ourselves and simply do our part to help stop the spread of a potentially deadly virus. If one day, it is determined that social distancing and quarantines were unnecessary hype, so be it. We’ll not have endured anything greater than others who have gone to battle before us. If one day, it is determined that what’s currently going on was legitimately warranted, we will be heroes (recognized or unrecognized) for simply practicing the art of being homebound, bon-bon eating couch potatoes with (hopefully) only enough TP in the basement to keep us afloat for a week or two.
Helping and loving our neighbor amidst COVID-19 likely won’t look or feel heroic … and that’s okay. We should be humble enough to do it anyway, and if we are to be exalted, God will, in due time, do the exalting. The important thing for now is to remain balanced, head on straight, thinking cap on, and as I Peter 2:17 says … honor all men, love the brotherhood, fear God, and honor the king (in our case the POTUS).