Collateral Damage: The Pandemic Fallout
The past several months have been challenging for everyone. The coronavirus and the devil have been banging at my door: poke, poke, poke every chance he got. I was trying to figure out my next move on my own, forgetting the most important thing, that God is in control. Of course, I know this but I let my guard down and the funk was creeping in!
Everyone gets into a funk, now and again. Life happens whether we are ready or not, and sometimes, it can be really tough to move forward and push through. I was feeling numb, unmotivated and perplexed. I wasn’t sure what I needed to do or achieve to move forward, not unlike many others dealing with the changes which have inundated our lives through this season.
The government, in the way government does, began placing restrictions on interactions in life in order to slow the spread of the disease. We had to social distance for our benefit, wear masks, and were told to avoid our family and friends outside our social bubble for our protections sake. As a result the economy was decimated so effort was made to allow big box business to stay open so a trickle of the economy could continue, but small business was hit hard. As many began to hunker down and flatten the curve, it seemed everyone flocked to buy groceries and staple foods, which would keep longer.
As a further precaution the travel sector was halted and boarders were closed, so tourism and the entertainment industry have been hit hard. The closure of daycare centres and schools were protective controls, but as many people were being laid off, this exasperated those still working with long hours and those now at home with more unpaid work.
Health care workers and front-line staff face their own unique stressors. We were faced with new financial burdens, layoffs, continual testing and quarantines.
The Mental Health repercussions from the pandemic are momentous. Pre-existing conditions in many have been brought to the surface. Those prone to fear, isolation, and depression are unfortunately dealing with suicidal thinking and domestic violence more than usual, some brought on by alcohol and drug misuse since the pandemic began. The collateral damage from this pandemic isn’t limited to big cities. I have several friends: who are suffering from panic attacks; while others find it hard to get out of bed every day; and still others who are normally calm, cool and caring are experiencing short fuses.
Although many individuals are overcome by obstacles, feeling stuck, sad, and even angry, we can tap into the hope and grace God promises. It’s important to remember everyone gets stuck from time to time. Don’t feel guilty for having this human experience, look upward and you’ll find yourself moving forward in no time. If you cultivate a daily habit of feeling thankful, make it a habit to thank others, be mindful, and allow love, compassion and the peace of God, which passes all understanding, to wash over you. Be grateful for what you have and all there is to cherish in life. Sometimes, just talking to family and friends will be enough to shake you out of a funk.
While, in the lives of those who know Christ, the enemy is already defeated and his end is near, he still remains the ruler here on earth (John12:31). Satan’s strategy is to fracture and divide, but God is eternal harmony. Our Good Shepherd laid down his life for the sheep, which is really us (John 10:11), and he did not die in vain. God’s mission is not jeopardized by our country’s current situation.
So, because of Christ’s gift, I find myself laughing, feeling the hope and joy of life. I feel peace as I leave my burdens behind.