Cynthia L. Eppley, MA March 13, 2021
Important dates and times are etched into our minds. Usually it revolves around a crisis of some sort:
Where were you when JFK was shot?
Where were you when 9/11 happened?
Where were you when everything shut down on March 12, 2020?
It is fitting that as we have passed the one year anniversary of Covid among us many people have been weighing in on it.
“A Year ago this was our last normal week and nobody knew it.”
From a teacher: “It’s been a year now since I’ve taught in a school building. If you go in my classroom, you’d see that the calendar still shows March 12, 2020. On that day I never thought that I would be going home to “stay safe” and teach over Zoom from my dining room table. What a year it has been (and still counting!)”
Time Stands Still?
Or does it?
March 12, 2020
1 Year Ago See Your Memories: “All Montco schools closed for 14 days….state mandated.”
Yes, Covid has taken much from us. There have been struggles. It would be harsh and cold to ignore what we have experienced. But we are a resilient people. There have been surprising blessings as well.
Count Your Blessings
One year ago, on March 12, 2020, there were long lines at grocery stores as people filled their carts with toilet paper and other staples.
Today, we have plenty of toilet paper and other staples. The supply may be lower, or intermittent, but most things are generally available.
Zoom deserves a separate category all of its own.
For those who have been forced to work from home? Zoom enabled folks to continue to work and hold seminars and meetings.
While families have been distant physically, Zoom allowed for family get togethers virtually. Perhaps not the best option? But certainly useful to stay connected.
Home Sweet Home
For some, Zoom meant being able to continue to teach their students. I have several neighbors who are teachers. Their creativity and dedication has been top notch. Managing students at home through Zoom, as well as students in person in the classroom has been a juggling act. But these teachers have dug deep to make this year happen.
More time at home has been stressful but also a surprising blessing. The pace of life has slowed a bit so that families have had more time together. And some have found that leaving the confines of an office building has its perks.
Working from home has been more casual, but please remember to wear clothing if the camera is on.
And some have found that working from home is preferable to the daily commute.
Finally, some have lost their employment but found new ventures; taking on new skills they have begun a new career.
Even the faithful have been challenged to find creative ways to worship. There are churches that offer in person worship, with a mask. Singing is questionable.
Others have only virtual worship, available through zoom.
Some are a hybrid.
But it is clear that people of faith have risen to the challenge to find ways to meet together.
24 And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds, 25 not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another— and all the more as you see the Day approaching.
Restaurants and Businesses
So many small businesses continued operations by offering curbside pickup. Others suggested buying gift cards to be used at a later date so that income was continuous.
Give Thanks with a Grateful Heart
I asked people to give me what they’ve struggled with this past year? And what has been a surprising joy. Consider these comments:
Struggle: Not having seen my son for almost a year and a half. He’s in Jersey, I’m in TN so with that being said, I’m just happy we’ve escaped contracting Covid – so far.
Best: I did a deep dive in my closet and drastically reduced the content, slacks, tops, shoes, hand bags etc.
Greatest struggle: anxiety & lack of socialization.
Surprising joy: the absence of busyness & being over scheduled has allowed quality to replace quantity. Happier with far less than we could’ve ever imagined.
Struggle- dealing with division, especially in the church and navigating the waters of rules and regulations vs freedom. Also struggling with who to believe. Why can’t we all agree???
Best part? Learning and maturing because of above struggles!!
Struggle: Missing my kids, esp. thanksgiving and Christmas; being alone at those times. Best: cleaned out some drawers and closet junk; got back to my knitting.
So many have given so much. On 9/11 we saw First Responders rushing towards the World Trade Centers. And again, in this crisis, we have seen those who gave themselves willingly and fearlessly. Their dedication is evident. Doctors, Nurses, Sanitation Workers, and the list is endless.
The Invisible Helpers: Christy
I’d like to mention my Niece who is in a group of “Invisible Helpers”—Laboratory Professionals. These silent partners work in the background researching and testing our specimens. This is the group that stepped up to test the millions of swabs to determine Covid positive or negative.
Christy posted this one year ago:
“Please everyone, I realize everyone is in panic mode. Just stay calm and wash your hands, and don’t touch your face. We’ll take it from here.” (March 13, 2020)
And take it from here, she did! She was tasked with developing a vaccination program from a major medical institution. In two weeks time. She assembled a team of over 100 people to organize the program. Supplies were ordered, people employed, applications accepted. This required 16 hr days, often beginning at 4am. She once noted that her “Step” indicator on her phone logged over 20,000. In one day.
This is her reflection today:
“Wow……What a year it has been… There is no way I could have predicted then, how the past year would challenge and change me forever.” (March 13, 2021)
I am so very proud of her self sacrifice (and her family), dedication, ingenuity, and resourcefulness.
There are many with silent stories. There has been good news this week. Some restrictions are lifting. CDC has issued new guidelines in gathering together. Restaurants and gyms can now open at 50% capacity.
While this year has been wrenching in so many ways, there have also been blessings.
John 1:5 The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.
This past year has had its dark time.
But there have also been moments of light and hope and encouragement.
And so perhaps a takeaway from Pandemic 2020 is that like Christy, it will challenge us but also change us forever, and for the better.