How Covid 19 Has Changed My perspective
About six weeks ago, life was normal. I lived in America, I was free, life was great, 2020 was going to be awesome.
And then it wasn't.
I have experienced every emotion in the last couple of months. First, I experienced shock. Shock that America was actually considering locking down the country when we had little to no data on how this virus even worked. Shock at the numbers that so-called "experts" were coming up with. Shock that Americans were ok with giving up their liberties for this "unknown enemy".
Shock soon turned into concern. Concern at the rights that were being infringed upon. Concern when orders were handed down, violating First and Second Amendment rights. Concern when I heard that most Americans were perfectly ok that this was happening- all in the name of "safety".
Concern turned into fury. Fury that pastors were being ticketed for holding drive up services. Fury when moms were arrested on playgrounds, and for holding garage sales. Fury when a dozen policemen showed up to break up a birthday party for a one year old on private property. Fury when police started arresting people jogging on a beach. Fury when police dragged a man off a bus who was not wearing a mask. This was not the America I had been raised in.
Fury turned into disbelief. Disbelief that after six weeks, the lockdown was still in place. Disbelief when I heard our Illinois governor talking about extending this into June, how nothing would ever again return to normal, and how he wouldn't even encourage large groups gathering until a vaccine was in place. Disbelief that more Americans weren't doing "something"! The projections had been wrong. Millions and millions were not dying from this. Famous scientists came forth to say, "Yes, our projections were wrong. Oops."
Disbelief turned to sadness. Sadness that it was so easy to manipulate and control the entire world. Most countries fell into line and embraced this "new normal", including the majority of Americans. Sadness over the ones who have died from Covid, but also, the ones who will die as a result of this lockdown. Sadness over the lost incomes for families- the hairdresser who is a single mom and now has no income, the guy who works in construction who can no longer afford to put food on the table, and the waitress who relies on tips to pay her rent. Sadness over the lonely old people sitting in nursing homes, waiting for their loved ones to visit them. Day in, and day out, they wait for a visit, and after a month or two, they grow resigned to living out their last days in loneliness. Depression takes hold, and they give up, finally succumbing to old age and illness. Sadness over the rising child abuse. Sadness over the spikes in suicides. Will those deaths be added to the Covid death toll? They shouldn't be, because Covid didn't cause them- the lockdown did.
After I had to work through all of the rising emotions, day in and day out, (and this lockdown still continues, so it's ongoing) I came to a point of calm. This is the state that I am at now. I will continue to express my opinion, and declare why I think this whole thing is wrong and ridiculous, but I have reached a place where I can reflect on how this has changed my perspective about life in general.
I took way too much for granted.
I took church for granted. We have continued to hold services. If Wal-Mart is essential for my physical food, then church is essential for my spiritual food. Our crowd has gone way down, and we take precautions- Corona fist bumps instead of shaking hands, sanitizing surfaces more, using soap and water more, etc....but we continue to meet. Some have not had that outlet. Most churches have shut their doors and have gone to livestream. I never thought I would see the day when the government would mandate an order to shut down churches, and give out punishments if that was not followed. In America. Yet it has happened. Some say it's not a big deal, it's not targeting churches, and it's only temporary. But, and here it is again- it happened. The government saw how easy it was to instill fear into the country, and then use this fear to spearhead any action they wanted to take. They won't soon forget. I now have compassion on those in foreign countries who have to meet quietly and privately all the time. They can't park their car at church and walk in unprovoked. If they are found to be having church, they are arrested, fined, beaten, and sent to prison. We aren't quite to that point in America yet, but pastors are being arrested and put in jail for continuing to hold services. I always wonder if that will happen to us. We have a terrible governor, who has decided the Constitution doesn't exist, so there is always that chance. I will never take church for granted again.
I took personal freedom for granted. I never imagined anything like this happening. We went from being able to travel freely, leave our homes, fly anywhere in the world, and just live our lives the way we wanted, to having our travel restricted and being told to just stay home. Now they are trying to mandate masks across the country, and while I am all for wearing a mask if you want- I am not for forcing people to wear masks. What happened to, "My body, my choice?" According to liberal logic, that pertains to murdering babies, but not when it comes to masks or vaccinations.
I took peace and security for granted. I have always lived a peaceful life, and this is one of the reasons that we are supposed to pray for our leaders and rulers- so they will allow us to live a peaceable life. That has been overturned in the last couple of months. The entire country is on edge. The propaganda is everywhere, being played over a loudspeaker. We have to wait to enter a store if "too many people" are inside, and they have lines marked where we are supposed to stand. Social shaming has been put into place. In fact, our governor said he can't mandate masks because of civil liberties, but he encouraged people to "tell those who you see without a mask why they are so important, and how we all need to be wearing them." Moms are being social shamed for allowing their kids to come with them in a store. Pastors are social shamed if they continue to hold services. Neighbor has turned on neighbor, calling police if their neighbor has more than ten people over.
I took food for granted. As this lockdown continues, I see more and more bare shelves in the stores. Other countries, like Africa, are actually going through starvation right now, because their food supply has been affected from all of this. In my town, it took about a month, but now most of the meat shelves are empty. I have never seen that in my life before, and it's a sobering reminder that the food might not always be there.
The Bible is so real to me now, more than ever. I am seeing prophecy unfold before my eyes. I believe that a one world government is coming, I just didn't expect it to happen this quickly. It will be interesting to watch events unfold over the rest of this year, but my faith has been strengthened like never before. The Bible is coming alive right before my very eyes. I am excited to think that I might be able to take part in doing great exploits during the last days. It doesn't scare me, it excites me.
I have learned that fear is never a good emotion to make decisions off of. Now, more than ever, fear has no place in my life. I will not fear the "unknown enemy", this virus that we are battling. Pestilences have always been around, and they will be, until the end of the world. I will not give up my freedom, nor stop doing the things the Lord wants me to do, for a virus. I encourage the elderly and vulnerable to shelter in place if that is their choice, but I won't stop living my life because I might get sick.
I have learned that whatever happens, I was born for such a time as this. Like Esther, I want to face the future with boldness and determination. I want to stand against the mainstream, and fear not as I go about my daily life. I want to boldly proclaim truth, while doing it with grace and understanding. I understand the fears, and the worry, and the doubt, however, I refuse to let fear control my mind and heart. I want our family, our church, and myself, to be a beacon of hope and stability during a very unstable time in America.
I face the unknown future with calmness, peace, and fortitude. I don't know if we will ever go back to normal. Maybe we will, maybe we won't. If not, I was still born for such a time as this.
I do, know, though, that my perspective has completely changed.
And for that, I am thankful.
While things might return to semi-normal after a few more months, I never want to forget the first few months of 2020, and how quickly life can change.
May I never take my peaceful life for granted again.