It has come to my attention that our society is changing as we battle the Pandemic. Fear has slowly begun to separate people from each other. We are less likely to hug or even shake hands. If someone coughs, we are suspicious of their wellness. This mindset of isolation or fear of being together is slowly becoming part of our society.
Our seniors, who used to live with relatives until their deaths, are now isolated in some of the most elaborate settings that money can buy! Relatives wanted the best for them…or they made decisions that they felt would enhance their last years. Now, the guards at some “senior” gates will not allow a bouquet of flowers to be taken to someone sitting alone hour after hour. Of this, I know first hand as I was turned away and told that they would deliver the flowers. Nothing was asked of me about my wellness…just “It’s our policy.” I doubt that the person delivering the flowers would spend even a little time talking to Grandmother or Grandfather about things that are meaningful to them. Sometimes for them, the only “guest in the room” is the TV. Will depression set in…eating becomes less and the body begins to go downhill? One friend called it a “prison”…a very fancy prison.
My readers know that I often say something about turning off the TV and doing something constructive and fulfilling. What would this be for the elderly? Reading, needlework, drawing, letter writing, puzzles might be a few suggestions. A family member or assisted living worker could make these things available. None of these, however, will take the place of a hand being held, memories being discussed or love being shown. Thankfully, my Mother, who spent a few months in an assisted living before her death at 93 was able to see me every day; go out with her walker to a restaurant or to the library where she checked out two or three books and read them all in one week! The kind of isolation imposed on our seniors today would have definitely made her quality of life turn to zero.
I still believe that continual bombardment of the “bad” of life over our TV’s and radios is feeding this disease of the mind and soul. Think about it: murders, rapes, riots, inflation, lack of security, sickness…and on and on! Day after day it continues. Many of my friends have recently said, “I rarely watch the news anymore.” I understand.
Yes, it is hard to make changes, but as a people, community and nation, I think it is becoming a must. You do have a choice. It will be up to you. Otherwise, isolationism will be a silent disease that will effect us all.
These thoughts are in no way saying we should be reckless, or flippant about the risks of Covid…or even the Flu. Our nation has always been ahead of things when disease has been at our door…polio and many childhood diseases. We are fortunate that we had medical researchers who brought so many of these diseases under control. I have no doubt that medical researchers are doing this today. Let the “conspiracy theorists” believe what they want. Some may head for the hills and isolate themselves from society, stock up on supplies and wait for the end. Is this living?
Many of us have gone out and taken advantage of the newest shots, boosters, and the yearly flu shots. Most people I know try to be careful to do the best they can to keep from harming themselves or others. Yet, I received an email recently about a women’s group that flatly said, “If you have not had your vaccine, we’ll see you another time.” ISOLATION… pushing people away…continuing the mind-set of division. Is this what we should expect from our friends, neighbors, churches, and acquaintances from now on?
Some have even suggested that mandates about working and traveling could eventually find that showing proof of vaccination by a card, which may be a counterfeit made in China, will not be enough. Does that mean that something even more radical will be in the future for us or for our children….like a tiny skin implant such as we put in our pets for ID? Does that idea raise the hair on the back of your neck?
Without getting too far out on a limb, maybe we should look at what the Bible say about isolation? Here are a few verses to contemplate:
Two people are better off than one, for they can help each other succeed. If one person falls, the other can reach out and help. But someone who falls alone is in real trouble. Ecclesiastes 4:9-10
And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds, not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another… Hebrews 10:24-25
As it is, there are many parts, but one body. The eye cannot say to the hand, “I don’t need you!” And the head cannot say to the feet, “I don’t need you!” 1st Corinthians 12:20-21
Our young people and our children need to feel a sense of belonging. Are we going to allow them to grow up in a world of fear, distrust, and the tendency to turn away instead of reaching out? If we do not change our mindset from one of isolation, this will be the world they inherit. Think about it.
Prayer: Dear God, help us in this time of difficulty. Teach us when to be careful and when to reach out as You did when someone needed a touch, a healing or some love…and help us not to fall into the trap of isolation from one another. Give us wisdom. Give us knowledge and most of all, help us to love…for LOVE is from You. In Christ we pray, Amen
The Prayer of St. Francis Turn on your sound