Talk about an unprecedented time, huh?
Not really. There was the Black Death plague of the Middle Ages. There was the Spanish flu epidemic of 1918 that really was a global pandemic, but the dictionary had yet to discover the word pandemic.
But that was then. And this is now. And it’s a wrecking ball to the gut.
The coronavirus has highjacked all of us, infected or not. Everything else in the world, as paramount as they all were a couple weeks ago, seem so inconsequential now. I guess that happens when death could be knocking at your front door any day.
Watching cable news channels peel back the face of this ugly superbug known as COVID-19 is about six exits past harrowing.
We endlessly see and hear about our heroic medical people on the frontlines risking their own lives while trying to save lives with inadequate equipment. Courage is too mild a word for these brave people. God bless them and keep them safe.
Witnessing the hourly body counts of infections and fatalities extrapolating as if on steroids makes us look to the sky for help. But there is no help up there and no sky either if we are stuck in our homes merely looking at our ceilings.
You hear that many people who contract the coronavirus suffer only mild symptoms. But you also hear about the horror it inflicts on others, moving them along on a manic conveyor belt from a cough, a fever, fatigue and respiratory difficulties to the brink of death or beyond in a matter of a day or two.
You pray for them. And you pray for your loved ones and yourself that you don’t come down with it. And you pray that if they or you do, the consequences are mild.
We’re all fish in a barrel labeled HIGHLY DANGEROUS.
Questions keep spinning in our heads like lemons on a slot machine.
Who knows our fate as a family or a nation? Will it be two months, four months, six months, a year? If it’s a matter of months, will there be a second wave in the fall? Will the carnage maiming New York also mushroom to unspeakable magnitude in Berks County? Will the economy crater as jobs and businesses are decimated and the stock market is as volatile as some organic compounds? Will life as we once knew it ever return?
Being cloistered at home can be a good thing and a bad thing, comparable to a battery with positive and negative terminals.
It’s an opportunity to enjoy more quality family time, assuming friction doesn’t trigger nightly gunfire. It’s a chance to do some things you’ve neglected around the house. It’s a window of time in which we can either write or read The Great American Novel.
Experts tell us structure is the key. It apparently is a framework that honeycombs us for survival. Unexpected leisure time can be toxic if we aimlessly drift through our day, giving space for high anxiety to crawl through our ears and shake us like a jackhammer.
They say we will get through this. But first they say a surge is coming like a tidal wave of poison. But sandbags are irrelevant this time. The only bags I’ve seen are the body bags of dead New Yorkers being hoisted into giant refrigerator trucks. A sight that makes you blink in disbelief.
We will get through this. But right now the light at the end of this dark and foreboding tunnel is but a dim dot on the horizon. A distant horizon.