Corona’s juxtaposition – we are in this alone and we are in this together
Corona creates a juxtaposition.
We are at a distance: from our work, from our families, from our everyday lives. Yet we are connected: globally, our priorities are aligned – health, food, the basics.
We are anxious: knowing that we cannot know what tomorrow will bring. Yet we are calm: there is nowhere for us to be but here.
We worry about our own metaphoric oxygen mask: “Do we have the food and medications we need for the coming days?” We ask ourselves — knowing that we cannot and must not hoard. Apparently toilet paper has emerged as a balm for our angst. We worry about the “oxygen mask” of others. Can our city stop evictions through this time of crisis? Are we building systems to feed and support our children, our unemployed, our elderly?
We appreciate the simple: nature, books, our breath, the person on our screen or on the other end of the phone. We acknowledge the complex: international chains of supplies and decisions that will impact everyone.
We appreciate the seriousness: the CDC sites and the broadcasts of real news. We enjoy the irreverent: the abundance of memes that make us laugh.
We learn from those ahead of us on this path: from China, South Korea, and Italy. We hope that others will learn from us: from our successes and from our mistakes.
We are in this alone. Our minds, bodies and souls will each need to adjust to this harsh new reality. We are in this together: locally, nationally, globally.
When we turn from reading one book of the Torah to the next, we say the Hebrew words, “Chazak, chazak v’nitchazek” which mean, “Be strong be strong and let us strengthen one another.”
As we turn from one chapter of reality to the next, from the pre-Corona chapter to the era of Corona, we say, “Be strong” to ourselves. We say “Be strong” to those around us. And we say, “Let us strengthen one another.”
Day 4 of social distancing. Photo by Luke Leung.