Homily: Lockdown Rev. Fred L Hammond March 20, 2020 ©
I don’t know if you have had this experience yet. I am very much aware that when I go out of the house alone, whether that is to walk to the mailbox kiosk or drive to the grocery store or some other location that I am taking my mother along with me. As you know she is 91 years young and is in that small fraction of people who, if infected, could develop critical health issues that could also take her life.
So, it is important that whenever I go out of the house, that I keep my physical distance from others of at least 6 feet. That I wash my hands thoroughly and frequently. That I don’t touch my face in between hand washing because I could inadvertently become infected.
What I also have learned is that I don’t need to be showing symptoms to be contagious. So, when I return to the house after doing my essential errands (essential being defined as grocery shopping, gas station, pharmacy, and doctor’s appointments) I am bringing all those people I met into my home to meet my mother. And because I do not know who may have the virus or not, (coughing could also be allergies, asthma, COPD, or some other less severe infection) that becomes a major risk to not only my health, but also my mother’s health.
So I will not have be having one on one meetings with folks in person. I don’t want to infect my mother. And I would hope that you all do not want to infect your loved ones either. Or place yourself at risk of being infected by your loved ones. This means, not having your grandkids and children over to visit you. This means not going to your neighbors for a coffee chat. It means not seeing your friends in person, even if they seem Oh so very healthy. Because they may not be, and they may only experience the sniffles at the same time that the pine pollen is at its peak. They always get the sniffles during this pollen season, but this time, it might not be sniffles from pollen but sniffles from this coronavirus. Each person experiences the virus differently. Please do not risk it. Stay home.
Documented Cases in the US is now over 19K+ and rapidly approaching 20K— more than doubled from Thursday, two days ago, according to John Hopkins University.
Florida has joined NY in mandating the closing of all restaurants (except take out), bars, gyms, beaches, movies, concerts. Documented cases, as of 11:30 AM on Saturday, in Florida is now 658 and 11 in Manatee county (Manatee had one death) according to Florida Health department. As testing increases this number will rise dramatically.
Because we have lagged in testing – we are still playing catch-up to determine the contagion reach of this virus. This means that staying at home is vital and will remain vital for weeks to come until we have a handle on transmission of this disease.
If we all stay home voluntarily, then perhaps Florida will not follow California, New York, Illinois in implementing a mandatory stay home order. I personally find that preferable than being ordered to stay home.
So, what do we do? How shall we continue? We can do this. Call your friends and relatives. If you both have a smartphone, use FaceTime to see your loved ones. Use social media, Facebook live, to share your lives with one another. Email, snail mail, reach out and stay connected. Having conversations with each other is a coping method. it will help with the isolation and loneliness that is being felt. Stay connected.
Take solitary walks outside and notice the beauty that is around you. Life is still happening all around us. Try to stay focused on this present moment. Use your phone to capture this beauty and share it in emails, on Facebook, Instagram, etc.
Life continues. In this present moment, life is. Humanity has faced harsh times before and we got through them. A bit worn for the wear, perhaps, but in this moment, we can still love one another. Our lives depend on it. Blessed Be.