I’ve been sitting, bitterly, reflecting on a post I saw a few days ago. It put into words what I’d been feeling for so long and didn’t know how to say it.
The tweet is linked above, but to quote it again: “400,000 people have died from COVID-19 and there are people who fix their mouths to say this pandemic is a “blessing.” There are no words to describe how depraved, unloving, selfish, and divorced from reality that claim is. Stop saying this. Mourn with those who mourn.” – @sista_theology on Twitter
This is a bold statement, somehow. Yet I feel every word deeply in my bones.
It’s not to say you can’t find silver linings in the hand the whole world has been dealt right now. Though I’ve fully worked since the beginning of the pandemic and had no time to my family or to work remotely or vacation (I told you, I’m bitter), I did get two months to work every other week instead of weekly. I spent a lot of time outside watching birds in my back yard. It was a silver lining.
But to call this a blessing for anyone is a privilege you must acknowledge and step back from. Not just the death count, but the job loss and financial stress. The weird holidays with or without family. The fear that so many people say isn’t warranted and yet, I fear for 14 days straight every time I dare go see my family. What if I make them sick?
And of course you might say, “Well why are you going to see them anyway? Isn’t that irresponsible?” Probably. But I already lost someone and now live in a constant anxiety that someone else is going to die before I see them again. So we take a risk. It might not be logical, but fear is my reality. And even if I believe God is in control, the grief and the fear aren’t any less real. Not to mention, I believe God gives us enough free will to control some things, such as mask wearing and vaccination. The science behind these things, imperfect as it is, is knowledge we were given and I believe we need to use it. So to those of you that still say there’s nothing to fear and wearing a mask is for fearful people only, clearly you haven’t been affected yet. If 400,000 + deaths (and that’s the U.S. only) won’t convince you, I promise losing someone close to you will. And if it doesn’t, you should probably go to therapy.
I’m comfortable sitting in grief. It took a long time for me to get here, but I am. That’s not to say I have a lack of joy. It’s a coexist type of thing. So I’m sitting in mourning and will mourn with those who mourn. Any other response is just… mean? Selfish? Not of God?
So that’s where I am. This is where a lot of people are. Hope you can meet us here.