CHARLOTTE, NC, April 12, 2020 – Sunrise services with the dawn of Easter and no one there to celebrate the occasion is just another item on the ever-growing list of surreal elements that have become part of the norm of everyday life day during Pandemic 2020.
We have even added a couple of new phrases to our vocabulary that didn’t exist two months ago; “flattening the curve” and “social distancing.” We are all learning that washing your hands is a good thing. And all that is needed is soap and water, along with 20 seconds.
Which brings us to look at this coronavirus scourge through new “I’s.”
PANDEMIC 2020 IRONY
The first is IRONY. Who could have predicted, for instance, that something incorporating the concept of “distance” which, by definition means “separation”, would be a process that, in many ways, actually brought us closer together?
In practicing “social distancing”, help has availed itself in many ways that never existed in our pre-pandemic world. Many churches, for example, have recruited volunteers who will go shopping for elderly and/or disabled members of their congregations.
Seniors can find themselves at a disadvantage when shopping in the “musical chairs” sprints to paper products or stretching for items in grocery stores that sit atop shelves that are too high for them to reach.
While many churches seek new ways to attract attendance during the 50 other weeks besides Christmas and Easter, many were already streaming their regular services before COVID-19 became a global threat.
More by coincidence than design, when self-sequestration hit full force, churches that already had the advantage of streaming were able to offer relatively normal worship by adapting with minimal difficulty by using skeleton crews to televise their messages directly to members.
What will be interesting to observe in the future is what, if anything, this technology will mean for attendance and membership in a post-pandemic world.
The old proverb “Necessity is the mother of invention” is an anonymous adage referring the idea that when we finally realize we have a problem, no matter how big or how small, somebody will create something that will either eliminate it or, at the very least, greatly reduce it.
Watch the services from the Catholic Diocese of Sioux Falls
PANDEMIC 2020 INVENTION
So, INVENTION becomes the next candidate in our Easter Sunday “I for an I” speculation. Americans have always been at the forefront of entrepreneurial spirit.
Though hand sanitizer may be scarce now, once the pandemic fades into oblivion, it’s going to be everywhere. Medical facilities have been trending that way for years, but you can almost bet that sanitizers will make their way into grocery stores, banks, drug stores restaurants, taxis and just about any other place where humans can “reach out and touch somebody.”
Will we see changes in how restaurants operate too, especially fast-food chains? Will take-out or delivery services grow?
What about broadcasting? Social media has already given us so-called personal access to celebrities, athletes, and politicians as if they were almost our next-door neighbors.
National news anchors are now broadcasting from home. Will television news evolve from a studio-based operation to something closer to reality television?
Specialized programming may alter awareness of certain diseases. ALS patients and their caregivers, who have battled in relative anonymity compared to other more familiar conditions such as cancer, heart disease and Alzheimer’s to mention a few, are now enjoying the benefits of increased access to their individual ALS clinic’s staff through scheduled ALS Teleclinics.
PANDEMIC 2020 INGENUITY
The “I of the tiger” is INGENUITY. All anyone has to do is look at how many good-natured responses there have been to coronavirus through these trying days of quarantine.
Despite their boredom, people have maintained their sense of humor through it all and even developed clever ways to keep their spirits elevated.
In our neighborhood, for example, a dear friend celebrated her milestone 50th birthday last week. Due to social distancing, there was no way to honor the day in a traditional manner so the solution was a think-outside-the-box moment.
Who knows, it may evolve into a trend, even for non-pandemic occasions.
At an appointed time, cars gathered at the end of the street to establish an informal car parade. With horns blaring and balloons waving from the cars, we drove past single file to pay tribute to our friend.
In some ways perhaps it wasn’t as intimate as a typical party. In other ways, however, it may have been more so because it was so unique.
In many ways, the world COVID-19 created has made us realize the fragility of our planet and how interdependent upon each other we truly are.
On this Easter Sunday let us pray that our leaders around the world recognize the value of their unified cooperation toward a common cause and to maintain that spirit long after we are able to embrace each other again.
About the Author:
Bob Taylor is a veteran writer who has traveled throughout the world. Taylor was an award-winning television producer/reporter/anchor before focusing on writing about international events, people and cultures around the globe.
He is founder of The Magellan Travel Club (www.MagellanTravelClub.com)
His goal is to visit 100 countries or more during his lifetime.
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