Stay away—and connect
Petra Page-Mann writes of the COVID-19 pandemic, “the depth of our interconnection has rarely become so apparent.”
How ironic: A virus, not technically alive, may actually re-humanize us. But only if we let it. Let this be a choice we make and joyfully. . . .
Vulnerability allows us to cross the widest oceans toward caring, kindness, compassion, courage and capacity. (Facebook, March 11)
Evin Carvill Ziemer bluntly states the facts about gathering for Sunday services.
We are all at risk. Some at really great physical risk. There are many in our congregations at risk as our congregations skew older than the population in general. And we all can be carriers and infect people at risk. When the epidemiologists tell us we will all know someone who dies from this, I believe them. Each of us, individually and together, has the power to heal or harm. (Facebook, March 11)
Sunshine Wolfe offers succinct advice: stay away—and connect.
This is a time of challenge and together we can help make it manageable for ourselves and our world.
Stay away AND connect. Stay away from what is potentially harmful and embrace creatively how we can connect in spite of it all. You are not alone (but if you are, reach out). (Facebook, March 11)
Lynn Ungar suggests that we might think of this as a time of rest.
What if you thought of it
as the Jews consider the Sabbath—
the most sacred of times?
Cease from travel.
Cease from buying and selling.
Give up, just for now,
on trying to make the world different than it is.
Sing. Pray. Touch only those
to whom you commit your life. Center down. (Facebook, March 11)
Doug Muder passes along the estimate of bioengineer Liz Specht that by the beginning of May, the US will run out of available hospital beds.
A similar calculation has American hospitals running out of masks for its workers to wear while treating COVID-19 patients. That means health-care workers will start getting sick in fairly large numbers, leading to a shortage of them too.
Her point is not that we should all panic, but that we should all pitch in and do whatever we can to slow the spread, in hopes of mitigating the worst possibilities. So: wash your hands, stay out of crowds, cancel unnecessary gatherings, and so on. If you get sick, plan on self-quarantining and riding it out at home if you possibly can. (The Weekly Sift, March 9)
Muder also explains the economic implications of COVID-19.
Viruses infect people, not airlines. But an airline might die from the secondary effects. Ditto for small businesses that rely on people going out in public, like restaurants and bars. Demand for their services will certainly return to normal in 2021, but they might be out of business by then. And once businesses start closing and companies start going bankrupt, a cascade can start. One company lays off its employees, and then the businesses that serve those employees are in trouble too. One defaults on its debts, and now its creditors face bankruptcy as well. When the dominoes start falling, it’s hard to predict how far the collapse will go. (The Weekly Sift, March 9)
An apology, a challenge, and a message of hope
For so many of us, COVID-19 has displaced many of our usual concerns. Adam Dyer, though, finds the bandwidth to apologize to the Democratic women who have dropped out of the 2020 presidential race.
I am deeply sorry for how we failed you. Yes, we know you are strong and qualified and that none of you are done fighting. But like dismantling racism, the real change in our gendered political expectations will not happen until the dominant culture is willing to carry some of the burden of transformation. The Civil Rights Movement for all of its powerful black leaders, wasn’t codified until a white southerner, President Lyndon Johnson, was willing to sign it into law . . . effectively ending his own political career. And just so that there is no question, that’s exactly what I’m saying: men, particularly white men, need to make a political sacrifice. (spirituwellness, March 6)
Despite overwhelming evidence to the contrary, Wil Darcangelo writes that “We are not sliding backwards.”
We are moving forward at a pace so rapid that the old energies scarcely know what to do about it or how to contain it. They will not be successful. They want to go back to the old days when people knew their place, when governments could be trusted, and cigarettes were recommended by doctors.
But those days are gone. Good riddance. Welcome to the New Age, warts and all. The transition is a rough road, made more so by those who would slow down our progress. But the destination remains a kingdom so beautiful we can hardly imagine it. Be at peace. (Hopeful Thinking, March 7)