Mar 26, 2020
So much has been said and written about the novel coronavirus that if words could stem a pandemic, we would all long since have been dancing in the streets, holding hands and only pausing now and then to exchange hugs. Unfortunately, keeping six feet apart is the order of the day, while hugging--especially hugging--is strictly verboten.
Which suggests a question: What expressions of affection and good fellowship really are in order at the moment? Herewith, at the risk of adding to the word glut, a few thoughts.
1. Telephoning, emailing, and texting come immediately to mind. It strikes me that enforced isolation may be a novel experience for quite a few people right now, causing them distress they have no previous experience in handling. True, some individuals have a fairly high level of toleration for being cooped up by themselves, but others are likely find it a nerve-racking experience at best and a source of deep depression at worst.
Thus a simple ‘How ya doing?’ delivered by phone, email or text may do some friend or relative of yours a world of good by serving as a reminder that somebody out there really cares and there is hope at the end of this particular tunnel, however dark and long it turns out to be.
2. Prayer, always a good idea, makes more sense than ever in our present, disquieting circumstances. I see that Pope Francis has offered a plenary indulgence for those who pray for covid-19 victims and those who care for them. This is, a welcome inducement to pray. But with or without inducements, prayer seems like an excellent thing to do right now.