Updated: Apr 20
Be of sober spirit, be on the alert. Your adversary, the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour. But, resist him, firm in your faith. 1 Peter 5:8 NASB
During a discussion about travel and the current roadblocks to it, someone quite sincerely asked, “What have we learned from COVID?” I can’t speak for others, but I have learned a tremendous amount.
I remember the news reports of the virus in Wuhan, China, in the winter of 2019. At the time, I thought, “This will be just like SARS, bird flu and all the other epidemics. It will stay over there.” When it began to spread, I thought, “This will burn itself out in a few months. By summer, it will be gone.”
Wrong on both counts. We’ve seen spikes, surges, mutations, vaccinations, breakthrough cases and booster shots. We’ve seen fear and paranoia. Grandparents were shut out of their grandchildren’s lives. Friends could not meet. Support groups were cancelled. Hospital visits – denied. Concerts and sports gatherings – cancelled. The Canada-US border – closed.
Everyone knows about Zoom now.
The pandemic has shown that our supply chain is fragile, creating shortages, delays and frustration. My beloved Carhart jeans are out of stock. Early on in 2020, stores ran out of toilet paper, paper towels, hand sanitizer, liquid soap, flour and spaghetti pasta. People started hoarding and fights broke out in grocery stores over a roll of toilet paper.
Masks were sold out. People started making their own. Fights broke out over masks. Wearing them or not, what style, what material and how to wear them properly.
Through all of this, I saw divisions and contradictions from the CDC, the WHO, the state and federal administrations, medical groups and doctors. I’ve seen what should be a medical issue, become political, with its obvious divisions. What am I to believe? I’m just a lowly electrician. I’m not qualified to process the mountains of information. I’ve seen a deepening of distrust in our civil and medical institutions. I’ve seen unheard of amounts of money spent on developing a vaccine. and at the same time, many refusing to get it for various reasons.
In some industries, the entire workforce works remotely now. Office buildings are deserted. In some cases, remote workers are more efficient than when they worked at a work site. Unprecedented unemployment benefits have been paid to those who lost their jobs to COVID. Moratoriums on rental evictions were legislated to help those on hard times because of COVID. Unfortunately, there’s also been fraud and abuse of these well-intentioned benefits. COVID has brought out the best and the worst.
What have I learned personally? I’ve learned that patience and tolerance are important. I’ve learned that my beliefs and understandings are personal, and that I am not to judge those who disagree with me. I’ve learned not to judge those that wear their mask incorrectly (or not at all).
For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you. Matthew 7:2.
And perhaps more importantly, I’ve learned that we are not living in God’s kingdom on earth. The very best government on earth cannot legislate love, tolerance, selflessness, and peace, or freedom from pain and death. Only Jesus can do that. Jesus responded to Pilate, “My kingdom is not part of this world.” 2 Corinthians 4:4 says,
The god of this age has blinded the minds of the unbelievers, so that they cannot see the light.
Our great enemy uses all in his power to disrupt, divide, shut down, and cause fear and paranoia among mankind. I am not immune to these forces. It is only by the power of Jesus that we are protected, survive, and have an enduring hope for the future.