As I’ve talked with people who are about my age, we tend to agree that we don’t think of ourselves as being as old as we are. Take off at least 20 years! So, when we are warned that people d’un certain age (people of a certain age) should stay at home, possibly for the next eight weeks, it’s hard to realize that means ME!
I was in the grocery store four days ago, and I noticed that people were much more interactive than usual. It was almost common for people to smile and say something, as if the barriers to speaking with a stranger were coming down. We were all in this COVID0-19 thing together, and so we should be supportive of each other as we battle to find the supplies we need. The empty shelves in the paper products aisle and the bottled water aisle made one wonder if the local population had gone crazy, and maybe it has. But in spite of that, it seemed to be making us friendlier.
As I reflected on my personal calling to try to create community in the place where I live, I wondered how to do that given my age. Yes, I had to own up to the real age. Tomorrow, a friend is coming to stay for the rest of the week. She has just been in a conference with a lot of people and then on two flights to get here. No one will want to spend time with her at this point. Still, she will be welcome here, whatever comes our way.
But how do I reach out to the neighbors without compromising their health or mine? I could phone the elderly among us and just check on how they are doing. We can’t catch anything over the phone. The fact that I HATE to make phone calls means this exercise is stretching me. The two people I phoned this morning were appreciative, so hopefully that will encourage me to continue to do this. Since I have a healthy 19-year-old living here, if they need errands run, he can do that. (I think I can, but that’s my 20-year-younger self talking.)
Being of an introverted nature, I feel I can probably weather this storm quite happily. I should be able to get a lot done, provided I don’t decide I’m on holiday. The temptation to sleep late, binge watch movies that I’ve been meaning to see and play with my kitties is strong. But here I am, writing. On Saturday I got some Spring Fever and started sorting out my pantry. I’ve got a long list of things for Ben to do. If I can stay on track, I should have plenty to do, including finishing the outside chair covers I started on months ago.
All in all, this VIRUS event may give many of us more time to do those things we have been thinking about doing for months or even years. We may also have more time for prayer and reflection, and that would do ALL of us a world of good.