How is this pandemic affecting our thinking? How might it permanently change us if we don’t set our minds to return to regular civility after this is all over? The covid scare and its “cures” have caused us to see those who come near us as sort of “enemy combatants” – those who might maim or kill us. We must keep a safe distance. No handshakes and no hugs. Maybe we look away, or maybe we stare.
When we first started back with in-person church, it seemed so foreign and strange to keep a distance, not shake hands, and not share in our normal one anothering. Now I am beginning to get used to it. But I don’t want to get used to it! May we never be used to it.
The masks may keep us from trading droplets, but they also hide our expressions. They cover the sympathizing smiles we might be willing to share with our covid co-complainants. For those with some hearing loss, it stifles communication, dulling the voice. I am seldom able to understand what someone with a mask is saying without asking them over several times. (I probably rely more on unconscious lip reading than I realize.) What about those who understand only by lip reading? The masks remove their ability to “hear,” and pretty much leaves them out in the cold.
This is not a commentary on the utility and effectiveness of masks and social distancing. I am not giving any advice on that. However, we who care need to be aware of how this pandemic affects and changes our thinking. We need to compensate when we can. In addition, when this is over and we are not wearing masks and social distancing, let’s not continue to act as if we are – with the mentality of keeping everyone at arm’s length. Let’s make a concerted effort to return to our fellowship of humanity and good old friendliness & hospitality.
My 2 cents, in days of great inflation.