What We Can Agree Upon About COVID-19
By Kara Ranck
There are many words surrounding COVID-19 that trigger
disagreement—or worse. We are all tuned to this crisis at different
frequencies—even those who thought we were on the same channel. We communicate
and all the other person hears is static. We walk away frustrated, sad, angry,
confused. Will we ever be on the same wave length again?
As I continue to process what is going on in our world, I
realize there is one word that we all can agree on and one shared human experience
perpetrated by COVID-19—loss.
The one question that may bridge the gap between humans with
different perspectives right now is, “What
have you lost since COVID-19 hit?” And then we just listen. Here’s what you
Lost jobs, businesses, income. Dreams. Moments and
milestones. Minds. Lives. Friendship, fellowship, family. Faith. Trust. Hope.
Health. Freedom. Safety. Routine.
These losses might be involuntary or voluntary, perceived as
big or small, but they are losses just the same and must be grieved in order to
process in a healthy way. The next question you can offer may be, “How are you grieving your loss?”
For me, I experienced the loss of something good. Initially,
I had deep heartache over this loss for many months. I travelled all the stages
of grief—and continue to. The last few weeks, I again felt the ache of sorrow,
missing what used to be. And so does every other person on the planet as they
too process their personal losses. We can and should process them together.
If you are brave enough to ask the above questions, then I
urge you to also have courage to ask this:
“Is there anything I
can do to help you?” We cannot solve every problem or heal every grief, but
we can offer what we have. Maybe it’s just an ear to listen, a weekly phone
call to check in, or sitting on a porch together. Maybe it’s a food, clothing,
shelter, employment, assistance. Maybe it’s child care or transportation. Maybe
it’s connecting them with helpful resources that can offer greater, more
specific help. For the believer, it’s offering prayer, fellowship, scripture,
and song as well.
There is a pervasive lie right now that in order to care
about our fellow human, we have to agree on all things COVID, cultural,
political, or spiritual. We need to resist seeing one another as an opposing
opinion, a threat, or a disease carrying vector. We are flesh and blood, beating
hearts—humans. Don’t fall for these lies. They breed division, discord, and
alienation with others. A house—a world divided—cannot stand (Mt 12:25). We will
not have shared opinions, but we do have a shared experience. Tune into that
frequency and start there. This is one way to love your neighbor as (much) as
you love yourself.