While I am concerned for my family and myself during this pandemic, since several of us are in the higher risk category, I find myself more saddened than worried.
I am saddened at the number of people who refuse to take simple actions to help protect others…who are determined to protect their freedom at any cost.
I am saddened at the number of people who refute any scientific fact that disagrees with their cherished beliefs.
I am saddened at the number of people who believe that their faith will protect them when they flout orders against large gatherings and decide that gathering in face-to-face worship will somehow keep them from getting–or spreading–COVID-19.
I am saddened at the number of people who are using this pandemic as an excuse to attack “the other”–whether that is an undocumented immigrant, a person who appears Asian, or any other definition of “the other.”
I am saddened at the number of people who believe that the economy is more important than people’s lives. I do understand that many are dealing with significant loss of income, but to consider possible deaths of the elderly and vulnerable to be “collateral damage” that is necessary in order to focus on the economy is a sad commentary on our humanity.
I am saddened at the number of people who have bought into conspiracy theories and who believe that the necessary actions that are being taken to try to stop the spread of this virus are somehow plots to take away guns…to stop Christians from believing in or sharing their faith…or any of the myriad other conspiracy theories that are out there.
I am saddened at the number of people who continue to believe the lies perpetuated by this administration in the face of factual evidence that tells the truth.
I am saddened that many people I like–and have respected–fall into one or more of these categories.
When we get through this pandemic–and we will–how will we come out the other side?
And who will be the survivors? Those who selfishly care just for themselves? or those who see a communal responsibility?
A somewhat recent scripture in my faith tradition says this:
There are subtle, yet powerful, influences in the world, some even claiming to represent Christ, that seek to divide people and nations to accomplish their destructive aims. That which seeks to harden one human heart against another by constructing walls of fear and prejudice is not of God…
God, the Eternal Creator, weeps for the poor, displaced, mistreated, and diseased of the world because of their unnecessary suffering. Such conditions are not God’s will. Open your ears to hear the pleading of mothers and fathers in all nations who desperately seek a future of hope for their children. Do not turn away from them. For in their welfare resides your welfare.