Without a doubt, we are now living history.
The coronavirus pandemic has created images that will not soon be erased from our minds:
exhausted doctors, nurses and paramedics putting themselves in danger by caring for those infected with something that could kill or disable them; signs reading “Closed” on rows of stores and restaurants; nearly lifeless cities, beaches, shopping centers, schools and highways; and supermarket shelves without bath tissue, bleach or canned meat and tuna.
Until governors issued stay-at-home orders, we could not visualize such a seemingly post-apocalyptic world. It seems as if someone set off neutron bombs, leaving the human habitat intact but destroying the humans or forcing them to flee. Don’t worry about social distancing, if there is no one else around.
The stark scenes are reminiscent of the old Twilight Zone TV series.
At this writing, signs of a recovery are gradually appearing.
Maybe, amid all the depressing news, there are some positive things coming out of the crisis — and I do not mean the “positive” results of the tests for the disease.
Perhaps we can learn to appreciate others more and be kind to one another. Some people involved in serving and helping others usually do not get the attention, respect and thanks they deserve, especially those who render hands-on care to others, as well as truck drivers and, not least, the farmers and food packers.
Another discovery worth noting, while we are running errands and shopping, is that it is really not essential for stores to be open around the clock, after all. Businesses can meet our needs without the nonstop 24/7 commerce cycle that is destroying us as human beings. We really do not have to wear ourselves and others out to satisfy our needs and wants, including our lust for material things.
Hopefully, the mandatory quiet time will prompt us to realize what in life is truly important and valuable. The dearest and most precious things do not have price tags.
One of the newfound changes for families is that many parents are now home-schooling their children. Now that the government schools are closed, the parents are taking up their God-given responsibility to instill in their offspring permanent values and life lessons. In fact, education should be the parents’ mission, not the schools’ or teachers unions’.
Maybe, as we are forced to confront ourselves in a time of less sports and entertainment and fewer places to go, we will realize how fragile life and society truly are. Perhaps we will acknowledge that things we take for granted may be taken from us — while the eternal things remain and are often ignored or overlooked. Some people have discovered, in fact, that they do have the time and opportunity for worship of a Power Higher than themselves and to connect with one another on a spiritual plane.
Not least, we may find we do not need all of the government that we have. Maybe we can do more for ourselves, without a nanny state.
Rocked to our core and out of our routines, we may find we can survive this crisis, after all, and emerge better than we thought we could be.