The most intense insight I’ve had during the beginnings of the COVID-19 crisis is how profoundly connected we all are. I knew it intellectually, and I believed it theologically, but to see it being demonstrated so directly has made it real to me in a way I didn’t imagine.
One person’s health depends on the people around them. One person becoming sick can start a chain reaction of misery for many. One person, physically distancing themselves from others as an act of love, can stop the chain reaction.
Where people are isolating, it’s working. It worked in Asia, and if the numbers coming out of Italy over the last few days hold, it’s starting to work there. We’re seeing the number of deaths and infections start to fall. God willing, they have reached the peak and its declining. There is light ahead for us.
Here in Rhode Island we are on a soft quarantine. We’re not sheltering in place exactly, but we’re being asked to care for our neighbor by being willing to stay home and stay local. The governor and her staff are hoping that we can bend the rate of infections sooner than has happened in other places. Please God let that be true, so that we can get to work caring for other parts of the nation and region.
Our individual choices now affect our neighbors, our communities and the world. May God give us the grace to do what must be done in the days ahead. Sadly, there is no way now to go back. The only way is forward.
Holy Spirit, bringer of health and healing, give us the needed grace to face this moment. Let us show our love for one another by doing the hard things that are being asked of us. Bring an end to the spread of this virus quickly. We ask in Jesus name. Amen.