I sat in a nursing home room at the end of January as my 100 year old grandfather was dying. A virus was beginning to be talked about in our country, but I had not yet heard much or anything about it. As one of his wonderful nurses was in the room caring for him, she remarked about it. She was worried about this virus that she heard about, that has hit California where we were.
I don’t remember quite what she said, but I recall my reaction. I didn’t know why she worried about it. It was yet another negative thing, far away, out there – something that surely wouldn’t touch my own privileged life.
A month later, early March 2020, when I returned to California for his memorial, there was more news about this virus. We got together in a large group, but we knew we weren’t supposed to hug people and there was hand sanitizer in all the church pews. We hugged a lot anyway. It still seemed distant and like something that couldn’t touch us. On our way home, airlines were just starting to disinfect the planes before flights and we were delayed hours as they did so because they didn’t yet have an efficient system down.
How did you react when you first heard about this virus? I think some people probably reacted the opposite to me, perhaps immediately convinced it would hit them. Reflecting now may tell us something useful about ourselves.
My reaction is both embarrassing, but it also reflects my rose-colored glasses. That rose tint helps me much of the time, but I better remove those glasses occasionally to see things how they really are. How about you?