COVID-19 Waters: Who's In Your Lifeboat?

Thursday, March 12, 2020

Hey there Internet-Nation, it's been awhile! 

Last time I posted, I was writing about local businesses, about shopping secondhand, about frivolous ventures in the retail world; and well, now...

The. World. Has. Gone. Nuts.

Holy hell guys! The Coronavirus Pandemic has become a societal nightmare. A fear-mongering, media-frenzied, Lysol-buying, super mess! Supermarket shelves are bare where there used to be noodles, toilet paper, and cleaning supplies. Large stores once abuzz with latte toting perusers are completely tumbleweed city, only amply stocked with bored sales associates busying themselves dusting and reorganizing inventory. SO WEIRD! 

It's obvious to all of us (well, at least 'us' here in the West where we haven't been hit hard but are preparing for the worst), that: 'It's Coming." Capitol "I," Capitol "C." We as a nation are getting ready for lock-down and decontaminate protocols. Everyone is on high alert trying to find ways to keep their families healthy and fed; but, are we thinking outside the proverbial Kleenex box?

Are we considering the ramifications of hoarding supplies? Withholding time, energy, and resources and filling up emergency rooms every time we sneeze, out of fear? Are we considering the actual cost of the 'every man for himself attitude that is so clearly evident in the bare shelves of our grocery stores???
It occurred to me today that the bulk of our rich, Western collective experience of life does not involve high trauma or drama. The major impacts of WW2 are way back in the rear-view-mirror and we are not an impoverished nation. We have good community resources, universal healthcare, and a solid public school system; guys, on the global scale we're riding First Class. And yet, when faced with a Titanic sized global crisis, we've all jumped into our own insular lifeboats and are heading into the safety of our homes without considering for a second who we're leaving behind drowning. 
Original Artwork by Right Side Studios - rightsidestudios.com 
There will be huge groups of our community in need of life-support. There will be people who:
  • will not be able to afford to "stock up" their pantries and freezers and will be stuck at home with little to eat or feed their kids
  • those who will be quarantined at home for two weeks while missing out on vital pay
  • Single parents who need to work and who won't have anyone to look after their children who are sick 
  • Elderly people or those who are immune-compromised who will be afraid to go out in public or to necessary appointments on public transit for fear of catching the virus
And the list goes on! It's all quickly becoming a global reality. 

So what can be done???

Well, for starters, if you are one of those people who has the luxury of being able to stockpile supplies, who can afford to take time off of work, who travels, has savings, or even doesn't sweat the expense of weekly groceries; you have a massive lifeboat. Who are you bringing with you?
Consider asking yourself the question: how can I steward the extra money and supplies I have to help the people around me, in my life, in my community, and globally, if possible?

The smallest of those circles is your extended family and your immediate neighbours. Who can you come along side and bring a meal, offer to drive (if need be), hand over one of your extra Lysol wipes containers or packages of toilet paper? Guys, SHARE.

In our communities, we need to be donating extra supplies to food banks. Those who are going be financially hit by missing work will need extra assistance and if we're all hoarding extra pantry supplies and basic necessities of life, there won't be enough community donations to support the influx of needs. 

Also, DONATE (for real, donate)! One of the first things to go in global crisis is financial support to non-profits. Sometimes because we just don't have the extra cash, but mostly because we're afraid of what's coming and our human tendency is to pull back and reserve funds. But we just can't. If you are financially well off, comfortable, or even just "OK," consider being radically generous to the church you attend, the community services you're aware of, or the broader global initiatives that provide relief. Those who have more of the financial pie should (*she said in a very loving tone*) try and carry some of the load that will be created by those who are unable to give for very real reasons. Our churches and community non-profits help the most vulnerable people in our society, it's imperative those services remain strong.  

The story of the Titanic has remained so alive in our collective cultural consciousness because of the dual narrative of extreme selfishness mashed up against the stories of extreme heroism and kindness. We have on our hands a new story being formed, a new history being laid out; where are we all going to fall in the history books?

Who's in your lifeboat???

Xo
C.      

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