Alone but Not on Our Own
I felt inspired by words from Pastor Greg’s sermon this morning! He was talking about how this quarantine has separated and scattered us to our own houses, but that doesn’t mean we are on our own. While he pointed out that God is with us at all times, he added that the lack of face-to-face contact with family, friends, and co-workers does not condemn us to an existence of loneliness. Last week I was thinking about our current shelter-in-home state of being, and how jarring this new-normal is for everyone around the world. I thought about how much more devastating this could have been to the daily functioning of our lives if it weren’t for living in such a digitally capable age. If the coronavirus had hit the world 30 years ago like it has hit us this year, we would be much more isolated from each other.
Think about all the jobs that now have the capability to work from home. In some cases, adaptions have been made to create that possibility. I realize this is not true or possible for every type of job. Many have been laid off during this time and that is very difficult. I am sorry that some people find themselves in such situations. There are many other workers deemed essential who need to go to a physical place of employment, like hospitals, gas stations, and grocery stores, etc. But the number of employers who are able to allow employees to work from home is far greater than it used to be. This results in a larger number of people who are able to keep their jobs than might have been 30 years ago.
Even education has joined the stay-at-home bandwagon, making it possible for once campus-based-only classes to exist in a new digital format. Adjustments have taken place, and in some cases are still taking place, in order to provide as much quality in digital learning as exists in face-to-face classes. Some teachers who are unfamiliar with online teaching have stated outright that this is an experiment in learning and that changes may occur over the next six weeks as they feel their way through this new format of instruction. Thirty years ago, education may very well have come to a halt in the face of this coronavirus quarantine.
We are fortunate and blessed to have the capabilities to stay in touch with friends and family. Complete isolation or loneliness can be subsided by making use of the many online forms of visual communication. Pastor Greg suggested enjoying a digital meal with a friend at least once a week. He and his family used Google Hangouts to connect with another family at mealtime, visually closing the gap of loneliness. If you are struggling during this time, consider the technology that exists around you and use what you can to stay in touch with those you love. Even if you don’t have Wi-Fi, use a phone to call more frequently than you might normally do. Stay connected with your loved ones. You are not on your own!