It is Saturday, and I know so because I looked at my calendar. Rain is promised, throughout the day and evening and tomorrow morning. The weather is a bit like our pandemic. It is not over. I would not have believed that I could ever receive so much comfort from the modern invention of the computer. What we, until recently, damned as the bane of true social contact…has become the primary means of achieving connection with the outside world. We are all still here…we are simply in seclusion. Mom quoted the famous actress, Greta Garbo, many times. Ms. Garbo said, ‘I want to be alone.’ But, Greta was not saying this during a pandemic.
‘After subsiding over the summer, a second, more powerful wave of influenza swept across the United States after two sailors in Boston contracted the illness. The flu quickly reached nearby military installations such as Camp Devens before spreading to civilian populations across the country.’
‘In some cases, more concerned about the spread of panic than the flu itself, public health authorities downplayed the risks. ‘There is no cause for alarm if precautions are observed,’ proclaimed U.S. Surgeon General Rupert Blue. Not wanting to run afoul of censorship laws that called for up to 20 years in prison for printing anything the government deemed detrimental to the war effort, newspapers under-reported the rapid spread of the pandemic.’
‘While news of the influenza was suppressed in the United States, France and Great Britain, that was not the case in Spain, which remained neutral in World War I. Wire service reports of a flu outbreak in Madrid in the spring of 1918 led to the pandemic being called the ‘Spanish Flu,’ even though it originated elsewhere.’ Christopher Klein, History
The American Humorist, Erma Bombeck, wrote a book entitled, ‘If Life is a Bowl of Cherries, What Am I Doing in the Pits.’ I think that one of the saving graces of my journey has been my refusal to give up. If you live but a short while…you have experienced reversals of fortune. I used to say to MJ, when disappointments confronted us and roadblocks caused us to have to turn around and find a new route…that I was not going to be beaten. During the over 25 years that I was a manager, at Southern Illinois University @ Carbondale, I refused to be deterred by budgets or bedlam! The future is wide open to possibilities. If plans have been changed because of the Coronavirus…make new plans while you are home…thinking. Although we are, universally, experiencing a tragedy that, prior to 2020, we only read about…the panacea to our mental and emotional wellbeing is to plan for our brighter futures!
I watched the Beatles perform for the first time on the Ed Sullivan show. I wondered what all of the excitement was about. Yet, through the years I have, grown, to enjoy they’re, iconic, music. They sang a song entitled, ‘Let It Be.’ That would illustrate my hope for our new normal. As we emerge from the cloud of darkness and death…that our pandemic has enshrouded our globe with…let it be that we bring our poor and our disenfranchised and our disabled, both intellectually and physically, in to our homes and our churches and…follow Jesus admonishment…
‘For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.’
‘Then the righteous will answer him, saying, Lord when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you drink? And when did we see you a stranger and welcome you, or naked and clothe you? And when did we see you sick or in prison and visit you? And the King will answer them, ‘Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brothers, you did it to me.’ Matthew 25 ESV
We are living a terrible and illuminating life lesson. All that we plan and base our individual lives upon…can be changed…in the twinkling of an eye. Let us include our fellow travelers to Jerusalem…
I am a retired from Southern Illinois University after thirty two years of service. I enjoy traveling and writing and I have been able to do more of both over the past two years.
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