A year ago we were free. Now we are slaves. Well, not quite.
Just over a year ago, we were living our lives. On March 8th, I had thrown a birthday party for my honey’s birthday. A week later, we were eating Chinese food in a restaurant, in solidarity against the hatred that was just starting to build. As we sat there, the only customers in the place, the text arrived that NYC schools were closing. NY was beginning to shut down. SXSW was one of the first things to be cancelled. Then March Madness, Broadway, everything else. I was a bit clueless as to what was going on.
We were told it would just go away. Not true.
We were told there would be a vaccine in rapid time. That one was true.
We were told not to hog the masks from the health care workers. They weren’t necessary for regular folk.
We were later told to wear masks. Understanding of science changes actions.
We were told that we couldn’t spread the disease if we didn’t seem sick.
We were later told that we could spread the disease if we didn’t seem sick. Again, science. Learning.
And in the blink of an eye, a year is gone.
In the blink of an eye my parents are gone.
First my mother and then my father.
And then my aunt, the last of her generation.
Their was no shiva, no big funerals. Just my brothers and a few nieces and cousins standing far apart at a grave site. No hugging, Just shoveling.
In the blink of eye, so much has changed. More than a half million are lost in this country. There are probably many more who were untested, uncounted. So many have lost their families, their livelihoods, their homes.
And, despite my losses, I consider myself fortunate. We have stayed healthy. Our finances are stable. The gym finally opened in September which done wonders for my mental health. And, we both have been vaccinated.
(Side note: If you ever wondered, why we have to fund science, just stop. Because scientists were studying corona viruses, they were able to snap into action in record time to create a vaccine that seems to be working. It seems like it happened over night, but it didn’t. Scientists were just getting ready for this moment all along.)
This weekend, Jews recount our people’s journey from slavery to freedom. After 400 years of slavery, God stepped in. (What took you so long?) Ten plagues later, it was over. In a blink of an eye, the Israelites had to leave the land they knew, for a new freedom. The journey was rocky. There were setbacks. But, eventually they got to the promised land with a new leader, Joshua.
We have a new leader. We are on our journey. There have been setbacks. There are non-believers, rebelling like Korach. Some are building their own golden statues of the former guy like the golden calf. We are still losing over a thousand people a day in the US alone. Just a few weeks ago another bright light in my world was extinguished. But there is promise. The vaccines bring us hope.
Please God, let us reach the Promised Land soon.