The COVID-19 virus is wicked. It has killed many, and sickened many more. It has brought what was a booming economy to its knees. It has changed our business environment in unprecedented ways. Sadly, some businesses will not recover from this pandemic. Many jobs will be lost permanently as these businesses struggle to survive or fail. When a job is lost, a family is affected.
Schools and day-care facilities have closed too. With their closing, the structure of many children’s lives has been changed. While parents are working hard to keep some semblance of normality in their children’s lives, those working from home are working overtime. Parents being forced to work from home while overseeing the schoolwork of their children breeds a stressful situation for all involved.
One of my daughters, whose husband is in the military and deployed, is working from home and overseeing our granddaughter’s schoolwork. She rises early to work for a while. After her daughter wakes up, the school day begins. Once the day’s assignments are completed, she works some more, while continuing to care for her daughter. Children are perceptive and observe that stress more often than we realize. They may not understand why things are so crazy, but they can feel that their world has changed.
In households that have experienced lay-off or furlough, the anxiety level for the adults and the children is exponentially higher. Mom and Dad may do their best to reassure their kids, but those youngsters see more than we know, hear more than we realize, and feel far more anxious than we recognize. That anxiety may lead to bad behavior, adding more stress to the household.
On the other hand, COVID has done something else. In its own sordid way, this virus has brought out the best in us. As Christians, we are taught to love and care for one another. And that is happening across our country and around the world as so many step up to the challenges we all face.
My other daughter is a nurse. She has been working in a COVID-only unit for weeks. Even when she is off, she self-quarantines to protect her family. She isn’t alone. The respiratory therapists, doctors, transportation crew, radiologists, cleaning staff and so many more face the same challenges. Since families cannot visit, many patients who are frightened have no support system except their nurses. And sometimes, all the nurse can do is hold the patient’s hand. These health care workers are heroes.
And there are many more heroes. People are collecting personal protective equipment; not for themselves, but to give to police and firefighters. Others are sewing masks to give to those who do not have access to the very short supplied N95 masks. Food banks are providing food to people who never thought they would need the gift of food. Distilleries are stopping production of their liquor to make hand sanitizer.
Millions of people are doing simple things like checking in on elderly neighbors or shopping for those with underlying health issues who cannot go to the store. As Christians, we are called to do these things, but we are also called to care for our families. Take this time to get to know your children better. Talk to them about the virus and the world. Share with them your wisdom and your knowledge, but most of all, your love. Let’s all pray that soon, our children may experience the quiet miracle of a normal life.