In the year 2020, the year of perfect vision and total clarity, we have knowledge literally at our fingertips, able to google information on any topic. We pride ourselves on our acute decision-making abilities and consider ourselves to be masters of our own destinies.
Suddenly, shockingly, a government order is issued. We are no longer free to choose whom we visit or where we go. Our children cannot attend school or even go to a park or playground. We are no longer allowed to attend church, and congregations quickly and quietly lock their sanctuary doors. Other essential ministries of the body of Christ are immediately suspended. We no longer consider it vital to visit the sick, elderly, troubled, or imprisoned. It is no longer considered essential that we have Sunday Schools, homeless shelters, or counselling centres. Funerals are banned, and Christians no longer offer hugs, baked goods and a physical presence to those who are mourning.
In the happy social media bubble of a loving Christian community, the average Christian is content to stay at home as ordered, perhaps even secretly relieved to be temporarily able to disregard the second great commandment to love our neighbour as ourselves.
Looking back, one wonders if we capitulated a bit too quickly? Why did most of us not even question for one moment the orders that funnelled down from the world government to our federal, provincial and local governments? Instead there was a common consensus that “we must obey those in leadership over us.” Did we forget the early Christians who were fed to lions and had to worship in catacombs?
And when did we decide to just park our brains and mindlessly obey the repeated orders to “wash your hands” and “stay inside” throwing out all we have learned about disease control and prevention, namely to isolate the sick and protect with gown, gloves and mask those caring for the sick? Just weeks before a pandemic is declared, people got sick in the usual way and are told by their doctors, “It’s just a virus,” and many of us still go to work in that condition. We don’t visit people in the hospital while we have the “flu” and we don’t visit our elderly during that time either, but in general, it’s business as usual.
For almost four months, we are bombarded with a daily death count from around the world. This message is delivered by stern government officials who repeat the orders to “wash your hands” and “stay inside” – unless of course, you are needed by your government in what they deem as essential services. To the daily death count is added many dire predictions, unprecedented by any other virus we have ever experienced, dire predictions that turn out to have been grossly exaggerated.
Upon our government’s veiled orders, people rush “home” from other countries where they have been working or vacationing, effectively spreading this virus (and others) from various parts of the world. The government at one point in the “pandemic” admits many cases are “travel-related” and provincial and regional borders are closed to travel – unless of course, the government deems the travel necessary.
A variety of tests are developed and many who are found to have the virus antibodies are also found to be asymptomatic. Still these “cases” are added to the daily count and used to reinforce the government’s lockdown orders.
I have no doubt that there were people who died during this past few months. In the small community where I live, several people have passed on. They were mostly elderly, and as we age, so do our organs, so many had health issues. They may have had a bacterial or viral infection that hastened their end, but none of them had COVID-19. In fact, of all of the family members, friends and even acquaintances I have scattered across Canada, USA and even in a few other countries, not one of them even had COVID-19, never mind dying from it.
I am not a conspiracy theorist. I do not have the answers to what possible political motivations might have been at play here. All I know is that Christians did not speak up, and I’m wondering if perhaps we should have.
In hindsight, could we have done more to help the poor, the oppressed, the lonely, those in prison, and the sick and elderly among us? Could we have stood with Peter and the other apostles who said, “We must obey God rather than men”?
And most importantly, what will we do in the days and months and years to come when many government restrictions remain or are reintroduced? Will we follow the example of Jesus, who even as a child of 12 said, “I must be about My Father’s business.”
Dorene Meyer is the author of 12 novels, two children’s books, a biography, a poem/prose and a reference book. Besides being a contributor to various anthologies, Dorene has edited and published 24 anthologies: 10 with adults, three with teens and 11 with children. As owner of Goldrock Press, Meyer has also published many books written by other authors including “Learning the Hard Way” by Joseph Bird, “Pipon” by Brenda Fontaine, “I’m an Addict – in Bits and Pieces” by Shamin Brown, “Tansi” by Flora Rideout, “The Loner” by Dana L. Coates, and “Nena” by Irene Young. Meyer has won several awards and received various grants for her writing and publishing. She resides in Norway House with her husband, John, who is a high school teacher. In the summer, they like to travel and visit their three kids and 11 grandchildren.