There has been a lot in the news this week about reopening. One of the things that seems to be fueling the lifting of stay-at-home orders, is a letter/petition sent by 600 doctors, to president Trump. It wrote about the lock-down as a “mass casualty incident.” They point out that cancer screenings are way down. Preventative dental and doctors visits are way down. Drug and alcohol abuse is way up. Suicide is up. They suggest that the eventual mortality numbers of the lock-down could far outnumber the mortality of COVID-19 itself.
I think many of us felt this at an emotional level. It’s not natural for us to be apart…separated for long periods of time. We are creatures designed by God for community. We are designed to be inter-related. Eccl. 4:9-10 says, “Two are better than one because they have a good return for their work. If a man falls his friend can help him up, but pity the man who falls and has no one to help him up.” It is part of our purpose to “help one another up!”
Don’t misunderstand, I support the steps taken by most states (to some degree) to try to “flatten the curve.” I have also been encouraged to see people be a little nicer to each other, to see them talking in the park, to hear about families bonding together over games or conversation in the evenings. I am also strongly in support of protecting those who are at higher risk as we begin to put things back together. But as we look forward to returning to our “new normal,” I think we have an opportunity. There are those around us who are deeply wounded from the isolation, who need us to extend a hand of love and empathy. Those who need to “know the reason for the hope that we have…” We need to open our eyes and look toward the needs of others, as we begin to re-enter each others’ lives.
And so, I will say it again: “And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds, let us not give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but let us encourage one another–and all the more as you see the Day approaching.” [Heb 10:24-25]