Monday, August 31, 2020


This is the twenty-ninth in a series of periodic reflections on the "ordinary things" that many people do on a regular basis without much thought. During this pandemic, I am developing a need to "rage, rage" against haste and laziness and replace it with care and attention. My hope is to become personally more intentional about doing ordinary things with care and focused attention, while inspiring others to maybe do the same.


God will bless you, if you don’t give up when your faith is being tested. He will reward you with a glorious life,  just as he rewards everyone who loves him.    

   James 1:12

How many ways has this pandemic affected us as people? Let me count the ways! So far this is number twenty-nine and I am just one person! 

The other day, I realized that I too am going through what Michelle Obama called a "low grade depression." Yes, that's it! I feel that behind my steely determination to "rage, rage" against this pandemic, I am  always battling a little bit of depression. 

I have always heard that depression is about anger that you don't know what to do with. I guess I need to admit that I am beginning to feel that this pandemic is stealing my retirement years and ruining all that I had planned to do ...... and I am damn mad about it!  On one level, I feel I earned it and all this seems so brutally unfair! On the other hand, I know that I am one of the lucky older ones in the great scheme of things! As a result, I am bouncing back and forth between peace and panic.  

Nothing like a quick visit with someone working in a nursing home to drive my point home. The other day I was getting an update from Mother Paul at the local Little Sisters of the Poor Home for the Aged. As I was leaving, it occurred to me how "robbed" the residents are of  even a peaceful ending to their lives! They can't even enter a nursing home and receive some basic care without it being one of the most dangerous places in the world when it comes to this pandemic. 

They are robbed of the comfort of visits from their children, grandchildren and friends. The best they can get sometimes is waving to them outside a closed window or hearing their voices over a phone. No hand holding! No hugs! No being close enough to carry on a regular conversation. Some die in some nursing homes totally alone in the middle of the night with no one to even notice. 

Even those living at home, or being cared for by their children, are robbed of simple things like a lunch out, going to church, volunteering with other seniors or shopping from their wheel chairs at the mall. 

This pandemic is for them something similar to a "mass mugging and robbery" of their most senior years. It's sad. It's unfair. It's an unfortunate reality.  

Before we start feeling sorry for ourselves too much, let's put all this in perspective. Let us remember the fact that it hasn't been too many years ago that older people never got to retire or even live to a ripe old age. 



As I was finishing this blog post, it occurred to me that what I have said above could also be said of young people. Many of them are seeing their childhoods stolen by this pandemic. They have seen their classes, graduations and proms being scaled back or cancelled.  Football games, spring breaks and other large gathering are becoming rarer and rarer. Many of the things that have looked forward to and dreamed about for this fall are not going to happen. It's sad. It's unfair. It's an unfortunate reality for them too!   

Before we start feeling sorry for ourselves too much, let's put all this in perspective. Let us remember the fact that it hasn't been too many years ago that many children never survived polio, measles, whooping cough and diphtherea to grow into healthy teenagers and young adults. Maybe we have had it so good for so long that we are unable to put this pandemic in perspective? 

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