This morning started off grandly with a lovely Zoom church service @ First Presbyterian of Carbondale. The miracle of technology, during the scourge of our pandemic…is amazing! Our worship service has in ways been enhanced, especially when considering participation. A member zoomed in from Florida and another from his station, in the Armed Services. Last night, Jonathon asked me if I was planning on attending service this morning, and I replied that since we were already there…I thought that I would.
The campus of Southern Illinois University looked resplendent in it’s Spring regalia. Some of the blossoms are fading from the trees as the green leaves, or in some cases, dark red leaves, take their place on the natural clock. Whenever I pass Anthony Hall, named after the famous suffragette, Susan B. Anthony, I think of the former chancellors that I have known…and the hours that I have spent in the building both visiting with leaders who were my friends, and ensuring that the, ‘White House of the Campus,’ was in tip-top shape. My good friend, Elizabeth, is the Civil Service Constituency groups representative on the Chancellor Search Committee, and we could not have a better professional to be our spokesperson and look out for our interests. Having served on two chancellor search committees…I know what a important responsibility that the assignment is.
So, Jonathon and I were waiting to retrieve our take-out order from, Dale’s Burger Shack, and I noticed a Daily Egyptian newspaper video on Facebook regarding a protest…that I first thought was in Carbondale. The Daily Egyptian is the award winning student newspaper of SIUC. I soon discovered that the hubbub was in Springfield, our state capitol. An inspired woman was passionately speaking trough a bull horn and she said, ‘they have closed down the fricking churches,’ as the assembled group cheered her on. The DE reporter inquired of a gentleman why he was protesting and he responded that, ‘we did the 15 days of the stay-at-home-order…and it was time to open the businesses up and for everyone to go back to work.’ Another protestor, loudly proclaimed that, ‘ all it is is the flu!’ I get it! Having worked from paycheck to paycheck for many years…I know the fear…and the hunger of millions of families due to the draconian closure of our entire economy. This fear is not only real…but in fact can not continue any longer than is necessary. Although much has been done, already, to ameliorate the immediate financial suffering of our brothers and sisters…it has only scratched the surface of the economic dearth for people all around us.
We crossed the 40 thousand mark for deaths from COVID-19. We have no earthly idea how many Americans are infected with the life taking disease…due to the lack of testing. In short…we are in the midst of a world wide plague that none of us have seen…nor planned for. Do we want to send everyone back to work…and have one-hundred and forty thousand deaths…instead of 40 thousand? For our ‘way of life’….. will you donate a…daughter…or a son…or mom…or dad…or brother…or sister…or husband…or wife?
Why not turn from our comfortable conspiracy theories…and do just what we do when a loved one comes down with cancer…or a heart attack…or a stroke…or kidney failure…or diabetes… We do what the doctor tells us is best for those that we cherish. It does not matter how difficult that it is…it does not matter how hard that it is…it matters that their life is cherished.
When my step-father passed away, suddenly, in 2001…Mary Jane said that she wanted to take into our home my mom, who had Alzheimers disease. MJ quit her job to care for my mother…and it was hard…and it lasted three years. When she wanted to return to work she could not find a job for a long while. We did not ask the opinion of the left-wing or the right-wing of politics…we relied on love…and it was not easy…
Note: The title is a quote from the author, Jack London.