For the Christian population, it’s Lent, yet again. Last year, Lent took on quite a different feeling for everyone, whether you are Christian or not. We were all thrown into a life of sacrifice, and that sacrifice wasn’t necessarily something you chose to give up; it was more or less required. Life for all of us changed due to Covid-19.
When I look back on my writing of last year’s Lent, it actually saddens me. I wrote that this virus reminded me of another time in our country, when we were attacked; however, that time from outsiders. Surely, we overcame that, and will overcome this virus. When looking back, I was reminded of how people seemed to be uniting and showing more compassion for others, due to the 9/11 catastrophe. A particular young man that stopped in mid-stride to ask me, “How are you doing, today?” I was hopeful that, “how are you doing, today?” would become more of a constant reaction from people, during that time of Lent, last year, and unknowingly into this year’s Lent. Unfortunately, what has become prominent is the political divisiveness, rather than the needed benevolence.
I look at the loss, the destruction, and the new normal that so many of us continue to navigate, during this season of Covid-19, not Lent, rather Covid-19. Some of us have lost precious time with family and friends, as well as the time we have lost, that is spent working to navigate new ways of meetings and proceeding with what needs to be done, in a new-fangled manner.
The above loss is nothing compared to what so many individuals have endured… the loss of a loved one. At the beginning of this season of virus, for most of us, that loss was at a distance, not to be felt too strongly, albeit still alarming. There were family members of new acquaintances that had become infected, friends of friends also infected, yet the severity of Covid-19 being in our circle was at bay. As time marched on, that circle began to shrink, and we all began to feel the effects more harshly. A neighbor, a church member, the death of an athlete at the local university, all brought this pandemic closer. As time moved forward, more and more prayers at a prayer service were being asked for friends and family members that were suffering, from the symptoms or repercussions of Covid-19. It became heavy, and its weight has taken a toll, a collective toll.
It has been stated that for every one individual that dies from Covid-19, nine other individuals, on average, are affected by that one death. This is referred to as “bereavement multiplier”. Nine is the average; however, I would imagine that number to be on the low side. Now, each day when the grand overall death toll is announced, multiply that already large number by nine, and then let that sink in. That is loss, that is sacrifice, and it didn’t need to happen to this magnitude.
During the Lenten season, Christians get to choose their sacrifice, or form of self-improvement. During the Covid-19 season, we all need to sacrifice in order to hedge our odds; however, so many have lost that bet. As we walk through another season of, I’m not sure what to call it, I hope that we can stay healthy, whether it be from a sacrifice to help our odds, or from the mere miracle that this time of Covid-19 can come to an end. This Hell may have been brought on by one’s personal political crisis; however, we as a whole can do better, by staying truthfully informed, and making solid truth-based decisions.
Being united and compassionate, during this pandemic seems to be more productive than tearing each other apart, due to mask or no mask. So, whether you don a mask or not, remember to ask one another, “How are you doing, today?” You may just be a bright spot, in the life of one of the nine.