At this point in time, I was hoping to write about life with less worry and anxiety, more daily activity from a Vincentian perspective and the opportunity to spend time with my family.
However, I’m still reflecting on life during a pandemic.
For those who live alone, the isolation is difficult, for those who live with family/friends, isolation from others they hold dear is painful.
Higher incidences of domestic violence, child abuse and mental health crises are prevalent during such times.
We all adapt differently. One Vincentian currently residing in Senior Living has perfected the use of Zoom technology to join Conference meetings. A friend’s mother- age 96- cries out in her belief that her children have abandoned her due to COVID-19 visit limits. Others have resisted Governor Whitmer’s orders while others firmly enforce them. Some people have ventured out to parks, outdoor dining, Mass, and visits with family in small groups. Others remain sheltered due to continuing anxiety and fear of exposure to COVID-19. Those who have been directly impacted through the death of a family member or friend have a different perspective than others untouched by this virus.
What about our neighbors in need? In addition to all of the above concerns and behaviors, they may have anxiety about a pending eviction and homelessness or reside in an area hard hit by this virus.
Some Vincentians/Conferences are meeting via Zoom and some have shut down all activity for the time being. Exposure to COVID-19 has forced the closure of some food pantries and others forge on praying that all volunteers will be safe. Our thrift stores have struggled with COVID-19 exposure, reduced staffing and overflowing bins due to high volumes of donations. Food Trucks are more plentiful with Gleaners, The Food Bank of Eastern Michigan and Forgotten Harvest are upping the number of food giving locations. Few calls are coming in to the Conference help lines due to the suspensions of shelter and utility payments. Home visits are not recommended at this time, although some Vincentians has been creative in their approach to meeting with neighbors in need.
My recommendations for the time being have not changed. Be generous and kind in listening to others. Use technology that you are comfortable with to stay connected to those you love.
The time will come when we will meet in person again and rejoice in embracing those, we hold dear. The time will come when home visits will again be a part of our daily Vincentian work.
“Jesus Christ, you traveled through towns and villages, curing every disease and illness. At your command, the sick were made well. Come too our aid now, in the midst of the coronavirus, that we may experience your healing love”.
God bless to all of you,