A reporter passed this story about friend whose father passed away from the virus. His friend noted that his father died with a stranger hand holding him as his wife was home, isolated and scared. The late singer John Prine who passed away from COVID, in his song Hello in There, reflects these thoughts that many of our elderly are going through.
“Ya’ know that old trees just grow stronger
And old rivers grow wilder ev’ry day
Old people just grow lonesome
Waiting for someone to say, “Hello in there, hello”
What scares Americans more is not just the virus but the fear of the unknown and what will happen next. Will a love one be stricken, when can our lives return to normal if ever? Our countries have survived many crises, the American Civil War, the Great Depression, World War II in which we defeated Nazism and fascism and we stood tall against Soviet Empire in the Cold War and the Spanish Flu of 1918-20.
FDR stated that all we have to fear was fear itself. In 1980, America was suffering double digit inflation, the Soviet Empire was on the march and many Americans feared our best days were behind. An associate once ask how I could be optimistic and my answer, “I have two children and I am optimistic because I have no choice for them.” Today I am equally optimistic that we will triumph. While we barely see a light at the end of the tunnel, but in the midst of this, we have people who are already to planning trips to Mars. The future is bright if we allow the future to unfold and be not afraid.
For many Christians, this is Holy Week which includes not just the crucifixion of Jesus Christ but his resurrection. Hope prevails on Easter Sunday and it will prevail again. We have nothing to fear but fear itself and nor is this the time to allow fear to run our lives but be optimistic that this will pass. And if we follow the right example of history, we will see a new and brighter future.