Coronavirus: You Can’t Always See How to Cope

Coronavirus: You Can’t Always See How to Cope

The coronavirus pandemic hit the world like a wobbly boxer in a championship fight who never saw the haymaker that decked him.

Now, the 9-11 terrorist attacks were stunning. But seeing most stores, restaurants, and schools currently closed, and friends reluctant to stop by for fear of spreading the virus, is a different kind of shock.

It’s like the quiet dread in a bad monster movie, where a silent killer is on the loose.

I especially feel bad for people like the young couple from our church. She lost her waitressing job when her employer shut down its dining room.

What’s worse, with unemployment based on her official salary—no consideration given to tips that made pay much higher—her compensation is like a bad joke.

Grappling with Coronavirus Setbacks

Until our nation gets a handle on this threat, which may not happen any time soon, millions will be grappling with similar, daunting odds.

Yet in the midst of dire situations, we need to remember that good things happen too.

I saw that recently when an old friend from Louisville sent me a greeting to catch up, since we hadn’t talked or emailed for a while.

“This is a new experience for most of us, and definitely a new experience for me to be considered in a ‘high risk group,” he wrote. “It is a ‘bummer’ to have one’s activities restricted when one feels able to get around. But that is where things seem to be.

“How was the coronavirus pandemic affecting my work?” he wanted to know. “While you work from home, I imagine there is still some effect on the amount of work coming to you,” he wrote. “Or is it growing because you do work from home and aren’t affected by the concept of ‘self-quarantine’?”

To the latter question, I replied, “Thus far my work remains quite hectic. I just finished working on a chapter of a book that had to be done in 10 days. (And) I’m down to the final material on the memoir of a retired businessman.

“I warned from the beginning he would need to self-publish, but a publisher I work with agreed to look at several chapters, even though I warned he didn’t have a speaking platform or social media presence. The virus may ultimately scuttle our chances, but it was a triumph just to get them to consider looking at it.”

Before ending my reply, I added a note about my wife’s concerns for more donations to our church’s food pantry. Its reserves were nearly depleted at a time when needs are increasing.

Walking by Faith

Later that day, I sent my friend a follow-up report.

A nearby Catholic church that donates canned goods hasn’t collected any lately. Because of restrictions on bulk food purchases, they weren’t able to buy it in quantity, either.

The morning I emailed my friend, the church’s secretary called my wife. The priest directed her to make a sizable donation to our pantry.

Just like that, reserves were boosted to sustainability.

In reply, my friend thanked me for sharing the story. Then he added his own about a small group of men from his church who had been making pizzas for their local food bank.

“When the food bank changed to a ‘drive through’ operation because of the coronavirus, we stopped making pizzas, thinking that the food bank would not be able to distribute them as frozen food,” my friend said.

“Apparently we were mistaken,” he added. “We go back to producing pizzas for ‘carry out’ this week.”

Those kinds of things happen when you walk by faith, not by sight.

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