In my safety, I am very mindful of those who go out each day and risk their lives because the rest of us need them: doctors, nurses, hospital workers, first responders, delivery people, grocery store clerks and cashiers, those picking-up our trash, those working in essential industries. I read recently that more than 200 of New York cities first responders have died from COVID-19.
The distribution of sorrow is more universal than the distribution of joy, but it is still an unequal distribution. Some complain of boredom because they are home alone. Others are learning to live with and conquer the risk of infection and death, and they do it every day when they say, “Once more into the fray,” and head off to stock shelves or stand by a register that 300 people will pass in the next 8 hours. I have heard of several instances in which healthcare workers have isolated themselves from their families, in hopes they will not infect them. Others have suffered from the virus, and there are more than 40,000 American families who have lost loved ones and have been unable to go through the steps of grief.
As one of those who are passing the time of the Great Isolation in the pleasant company of my wife, face-timing with children and grandchildren, doing things I have put off for a long time. I find myself increasingly asking, “What can I do to help pay back the efforts of those who have suffered and maybe even died to protect the rest of us?” Romans 12:15 says, “Rejoice with those who rejoice; weep with those who weep.” I look forward to a time of rejoicing together when the long night of fear is over, and a new vaccine kicks this COVID-19 virus off the planet or makes it irrelevant. In the meantime, we must watch, and pray, and weep for those who are already weeping themselves, some visibly, some down deep in their souls. We will weep in different ways. In paying attention. In prayer. In lost sleep. In…. ? What else can we do, we who watch “from a distance?” What do you think? The comments are open.