Day 26. I have been keeping time more by the number of days since restaurants, bars and several other businesses were shut down. Of course it doesn’t all stem from just one day; my memory is that the first big clue this pandemic was being taken seriously in Ohio was when spectators were not allowed to attend the Arnold. Most of us started self-quarantining (or at least spending a lot more time at home) after restaurants and bars were ordered closed—for sit-down service anyway—at 9:00 in the evening on Sunday, March 15. Most of us who are not considered essential workers, anyway.
We now have a temporary culture where it seems everyone is either working 80 hours-plus per week, or they are at home with very little to do. And in the background, there is little change in the number of people are getting sick and/or dying of the same causes that existed prior to this pandemic. Yet their funerals are having to be postponed and loved ones are having to do their grieving without an immediate funeral and without having lots of people around for support.
Who knows what kind of world we will come into when this pandemic no longer rules so much of our lives? It will be interesting. About one thing I feel certain: It will not be the same, and it should not. The way things were has led to the way things are now. I have always been a believer in learning from my mistakes, and I am hoping that our leaders learn from this crisis, that they emerge with better ways to prevent the spread of diseases for which no cure currently exists.
There are some behaviors that have emerged from this crisis, that are well worth holding onto. We are not new to rising to the occasion when there is a crisis, and it uplifts me when I see these kindnesses. Many people have organized to sew non-medical masks for those who need them, especially grocery workers and others who have regular contact with the public. Others have provided meals for people who cannot earn income due to the restrictions. I was especially heartened when I saw that several nursing home workers right here in Licking County actually moved into the nursing homes to be available to their residents, and to ensure those residents were not subjected to the risks of having a rotating staff who spent time between shifts…well, doing what we would normally do, most of which involves exposure to the outside world.
Here is my greatest hope: Let us emerge into a world that is more consistently kind. That has gotten us through the bad times, and it will make the good times even better.