Eight weeks ago, we were told to stay at home. Schools, churches and many businesses closed, people moved to home offices and home schooling, and trips to the supermarket became the highlight of each week. It was new, it was unknown, and there was an air of uncertainty but also adventure to what my twelve-year-old daughter called “Coronacation.” It felt to me like a snow day where you stay home and hibernate, bake cookies, drink hot chocolate, read a book, make puzzles, binge watch Netflix, and maybe go out and play in the snow.
That feeling of hibernation has now morphed into cabin fever, and a snow day into “enough already.” Going out to the store feels surreal as if we are in an alternate reality. There is an unease when you encounter other people especially if they are not wearing a mask. Verbal interaction is muffled and physical contact taboo. Human interaction is relegated to Zoom, Google Hangout, and Facetime. Our family, our church, our school, our community are all virtual now.
There is a longing, and for some people a desperate need, to be in close physical contact with other people. Children are wishing for schools to re-open just so they can see and interact with their friends. Churches are wishing for in-person worship and fellowship. People are wishing to socialize, go out on the town, play sports, or go to the movies.
This is the danger time. This time of longing, of weariness, of wishing for things to open up again is when we need to hold fast to why we went into social isolation in the first place. The virus is not done spreading. The danger to our vulnerable population is not over. We are not on the other side free and clear of infectious spread, sickness, suffering and death. Yes, we all really want this to end. Yes, we are all weary and missing the heck out of family and friends. Yes, we are ready to go back to work and back to school. BUT we cannot. Not yet.
Lives depend on our vigilance and commitment to doing the right thing and staying at home – maybe for another eight weeks. We can do it!