By Vernon A. Williams
No generation has seen the world change as drastically, as completely, as quickly. A word that few of us had ever heard only a few months ago has been transformed into the dominant theme of global existence and the bane of our daily lives.
The stock market is on the brink of extinction; schools are closed from coast to coast; governments have shut down; businesses have closed their doors and sent million of workers home; entire states have issued “stay at home” orders suspending our entire way of life.
There is no escape. This is a calamity with no regard for your race, economic prowess, religion, nationality, gender, education, political affiliation, sexual preference, or any of the many other labels that splinter our nation and world.
The Coronavirus crisis is an unprecedented pandemic that has sent those afflicted into hospitals’ critical care units and quarantine; while sending those without symptoms into a state of fear, panic and dread for the looming unknown.
At press time, some 54,000 had tested positive for the disease across 50 states, the District of Columbia, Guam, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands. At least 800 people have already died, according to reports. More than half of the fatalities were reported in New York, Washington State and Louisiana.
Officials report that 12 deaths were reported in Illinois and another 12 succumbed to coronavirus in Indiana. Governors in both states have declared “stay at home” orders. Health officials warn that it will get much worse before it gets much better.
The one thing found universally to curb the spread of the disease is isolation and social distancing. Most heed the warnings. But some health officials say it came too late in the game. Since we can’t change the past, all we can do is focus on the future.
With a third of the world’s population on lockdown, this is a serious time for introspection and examination of implications of this unprecedented pandemic. Some speculate that as horrendous of an the ordeal as this has been, there may be a positive impact on people when it is all over.
How many American workers have procrastinated in the pursuit of personal goals or allowed an all-consuming career obsession to defer dreams and ambitions? Many people become so preoccupied with making a living that they totally neglect living a fulfilling life.
The forced shut down may result in people slowing down enough to smell the roses; to reorder priorities, to get their spiritual life in place with the same intensity that they approach their 401K.
Didn’t it seem the world was just spinning out of control. The nasty division and hatred permeated our way of life. Now, we shed these differences to fight a common foe.
And ponder the raging infernos ravaging the Amazons and Australian wildlife, melting of glaciers, erosion of shores, depletion of natural resources and pollution of land, air and sea; foreboding signs of a world environment in disarray. Maybe global powers will refresh their climate control mindset after this is all over.
We live in a world of oppression for the least advantaged and exorbitant excess for the privileged. Coronavirus is, as Jesus preached, no respecter of man. Will this tragedy bring us closer to the realization that we share more common denominators than differences as human beings?
God is the same today that He was yesterday and tomorrow. He changeth not. That is the assurance for the believers that the Lord will see us through even our darkest hour. The Lord will guide us through and out of this storm. We glorify him for the victory right now and praise Him in the gratitude of our heart, mind and soul.
No one welcomes such chaos, hardship, hurt and suffering. But if such catastrophic occurrences are prerequisite for people to take a more caring, empathetic look at their fellow man/woman, and a more critical introspection of their own humanity, perhaps at least we can hope for some lasting good to evolve from the worst ordeal imaginable.
CIRCLE CITY CONNECTION by Vernon A. Williams is a series of essays on myriad topics that include social issues, human interest, entertainment and profiles of difference- makers who are forging change in a constantly evolving society. Williams is a 40-year veteran journalist based in Indianapolis, IN – commonly referred to as The Circle City. Send comments or questions to: [email protected].