March 12, 2021
Yesterday (March 11, 2021) marked the one-year anniversary of the World Health Organization’s official declaration of a global Coronavius-19 pandemic. The day was observed with memorials honoring the over 525,000 Americans who have died from COVID 19 in the past 12 months. We also listened to scientists, physicians, and politicians express optimism, pessimism, promote plans, and project blame. We reflected on the way we’ve endured isolation and changed nearly every routine and expectation in our daily lives.
A year ago, (see my blogpost below) I expressed some unease with the line being drawn on adults aged 65+ – putting us in a category marked by vulnerability and risk. It felt so isolating and even discriminatory. Yet, we took it to heart, stayed in our homes, washed our hands, wore our masks, maintained social distancing, and prayed that help would come.
And it has! A miraculous concoction called a vaccine was created. For months, in every episode of the Nightly News, we’ve watched little vials with purple and red caps wind their ways through laboratory chutes. And now, the precious contents are being injected into the arms of those very ones for whom the original line was drawn. We, the vulnerable ones over age 65, are among the privileged first. And, many of us are feeling a bit safer, considerably braver, a lot more privileged–and overwhelmingly humbled.
And now, it is important that those of us on this side of the line do our part to spread hope, not despair; health, not disease; and a sense of gratitude, not of entitlement.
Our generation is now called on to pray, give, serve, GET VACCINATED––and support efforts to ensure the vaccination is available for all people––so together we can enjoy the same playing field.
written by Leona Bergstrom, Director, Re-Ignite
March 12, 2021
Photo by CanStock
My Post A Year Ago – March 17, 2020:
Until today, I considered myself an active, engaged, still-working Boomer–enthusiastically involved in ministry with my peers. That was until today when they moved the line.
I am now in a separated group called “age 65 and older.” Our federal and state governments are expecting those born before the year 1956 to stay home. Get out of the public. Confine. Isolate. Seclude.
Now to be fair, all ages are being asked to observe physical distancing. Businesses and restaurants are closed, and life as we have known it has come to a screeching halt in an attempt to keep more of us healthy and alive.
But something hits hard about the age delineation-the specificity of being age 65 or older. It’s different than being separated because of serious health conditions or vulnerability. For the first time in my over-the-age-of-65-life, I’m being told that because of my age I need to stay home, withdraw, not see my family and grandkids, not volunteer in the community, and not help. I completely understand the rationale. But it still feels odd.
In addition, I hear physicians and others say the Millenials will be the ones to respond and help make this crisis go away. They are the generation that will create a new environment, invent a treatment and hopefully, a vaccine. They will work from home, educate their children, create new businesses, and avoid contact with grandparents. Seriously? I had the misguided understanding it would be Boomers who would save the world. I’m praying the next generations will, indeed, step to the plate and fulfill their calling and destiny.
This is a horrifying season in the life of our world. I do get it. Assuredly, I am self-isolated in my home, trying to stay healthy, breathe fresh air, avoid everyone, and compulsively wash my hands. I’m also grieving on many levels. I’m grieving not being with my grandkids. I’m sad I can’t volunteer at the food distribution center or attend worship gatherings. I’m frightened about what this will mean for my husband’s and my health, our ministry, the lives of our mothers, our finances. I’m apprehensive about the ethical decisions forced on an overwhelmed health care system.
I’m very grateful for the safeguards. Clearly, we are a generation in peril and our leaders are striving to protect us. It’s just that I’m a little bummed about being moved into a new part of the playing field—just beyond the line marked 65.
written by Leona Bergstrom
©Re-Ignite March 17, 2020
Images by CanStock