The coronavirus – no boundaries, it seems. While we’ve faced nasty stuff before, I’ve never seen anything quite like this one in my 60+ years.
The Washington Post had one of the most helpful and interesting interactive graphs I’ve seen so far. It shows how the coronavirus spreads, and techniques that can “flatten the curve” and put this beast behind us. Maybe you aren’t typically a link-clicker, but I would heartily encourage you to check this one out by clicking here after you’ve finished reading the rest of my musings.
Coronavirus – no boundaries. Think about that. Here’s a living organism that can kill us. It’s insidious. Merciless. It has no mind. The virus is a primitive soulless thing, bent on destruction.
I won’t get into the theology as to why such things are part of God’s creation. I’d be in way over my head, real quick.
I don’t know if I can say much more about the coronavirus that hasn’t already been said, or what I’ve said. I won’t say anything about what the CDC or other experts are recommending. By the time you read this, the situation will have changed.
Our vocabularies are expanding. Terms like “social distancing,” “abundance of caution,” “fluid situation,” and “flatten the curve” are such a common part of everyday conversation now that we all sound like experts.
And don’t get me started on toilet paper. There’s nothing funny about the coronavirus, but I swear, I have to laugh at the absurdity of some things. (Here’s a simple little hack: Did you know that Kleenex tissue is a decent enough substitute for TP? I see boxes of that everywhere. But shhhh – let’s keep that between us, okay?)
Pursuing this line of thought – of the coronavirus having no boundaries – I thought about what life would be like with no boundaries of any sort.
- If there were no fences, your dog would run amok through the neighborhood.
- If there were no locks on doors – or no doors – people and animals could enter your house at will.
- What if there were no road signs? People could drive wherever and however they wish.
- No rules in sports? Sports would be played however the players and coaches wished.
- If there were no laws …
- If there were no limits …
See what I mean? Boundaries are a good thing.
The one consistent I’ve seen in discussions about COVID-19 is that “social distancing” is, so far, the best strategy. I don’t think that plan will change.
But – and this isn’t a stretch – if we’re to talk about the coronavirus having no boundaries, we do need to talk about those good boundaries. The ones that protect our spiritual and personal life.
As important as it is to set physical boundaries, guarding your heart is just as important.
Wrong heart = wrong life.
Your heart is Master Control. It’s ground zero for all the choices you make. Of course you make choices with your head, but those choices are also informed by your heart.
Here are some ways your heart should guide you in these days:
I – You are not the center of the universe.
You may think you are, and in your autobiography in which the rest of us are only supporting players, it’s easy to believe it’s all about you. Well, it’s not. People around you are terrified of the coronavirus, paralyzed, and wonder what they are to do. Get creative – figure out some way to reach out to them. The call is for social distancing, not social isolation. You may just be the answer to someone’s prayer.
II – You have to be mindful of “getting” and realize that there are plenty who need to be given to.
I actually heard a guy at Walmart yesterday bragging to the cashier that he’d seen this coronavirus crisis coming and he’d bought 400 rolls of toilet paper a couple of weeks ago. Good on him for being prepared; shame on him for gloating about it, which is exactly what he was doing. Give out of your abundance, okay? That’s simple.
III- Exercise some wisdom.
I’ll admit that it’s a little disconcerting to see our government officials using the powers of their office to unilaterally make sweeping proclamations about where we go, what we do, who we meet with, what we eat, all that. It seems in most cases they are doing the prudent thing in consultation with folks who understand the crisis. With that being said, unless it’s illegal or immoral, go with what you’re being asked to do.
IV- Listen to each other.
You don’t have to defend, debate, or explain your feelings about the coronavirus. If you’re scared, that’s okay. If you are secure and fearless, be grateful that you are. Just don’t devalue those who are responding in a way you think is dumb. (Caveat: If someone’s feelings and the expression of them would endanger others, then, yeah, it’s time to call for them to stand down.)
V- We are in this together.
It struck me that this is one of those times – again, unique to me – when the whole world is facing a common enemy. It’s not us against them. It’s us against it, and the coronavirus is a pretty awful it. Nationality, gender, political party, race should not be a factor in our fight. And for those who are making this a political issue, carping about what should have been done, I have a box of socks I’d love to send you. I’m just sorry to not be there to stuff ‘em in your mouth. Tell ya what – how about you making a decision in the span of 24 – 48 hours that will impact the lives of millions, and tell me how that goes for you.
There is this:
You will not fear the terror of the night,
the arrow that flies by day,
the plague that stalks in darkness,
or the pestilence that ravages at noon.
So much truth there. It certainly applies to the coronavirus.
Finally, in these days, remember: We teach people how to treat us.
Be safe. Wash your hands. Stay in as much as you can.
God’s got this. He has no boundaries.
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