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Lessons Learned From Coronavirus for the Future

Updated on May 14, 2020
Cheryl E Preston profile image

Cheryl is a licensed/ordained minister and the founder of two outreach ministries. She has an AA in Psychology and a BA in biblical studies

1. Being more self aware

The COVID-19 pandemic has made us all more self aware. There are things we did and that we took for granted that we can no longer afford to do. Individuals who BC (before COVID) used to wash their hands frequently, use sanitizer and practice what we now call social distancing were laughed at and thought to be extreme. Now, however, extreme is our new normal. We now pay more attention to how close we are in proximity to other others and no longer just reach out and give a hug. Wed take notice of those not wearing a face mask, and back up if someone seems about to sneeze or cough. Americans and the world are stopping, looking, and listening in attempts to stay safe.Some are going to extremes by hoarding toilet paper and disinfectant products but this is to be expected. We are becoming used to shortages of certain products and adjusting ourselves.

2. Realizing our vulnerability

The randomness of the coronavirus is something that the scientists cannot comprehend. A 96 year old woman in my city survived it, but a father and son from Detroit who were in their 50's and 70's did not. There have been people on television saying they practiced social distancing but still became infected with COVID-19. A California church had a gathering where they practiced social distancing and only 41 members were in attendance. 24 of them became infected and 2 have died, leaving the congregation devastated. There seems to be no rhyme or reason to this disease and truthfully we don't know where it lurks. People of faith trust the Lord to keep them and their families free but outside of that there is little else that can be done. We are all vulnerable and sitting ducks if not for His grace and mercy.

Consider how the entire world has shut down and the rich are suffering just like the poor. The entertainment and sports industries are on total lock down. Talks shows and Wrestling are being filmed without audiences. No one has any control and it's both frightening and fascinating to watch. The plans for spring and summer vacations, school schedules, church services and just about everything that we were used to has been snatched away.

3.Proper hygiene is always in order

I noticed recently that a local fast food restaurant was doing things differently when it comes to serving their patrons. In addition to employees wearing masks and gloves, they put the food on a tray and customers have to take the bag off of it. The workers are also careful now to not touch the top of the bags. I'm more careful now not to breath over fast food that I pick up for others and also hold the bag by the bottom and not the top.These are things we should have already been doing and should continue into the future. Most every place I go now hand sanitizer which is always in order. Some businesses offer the moist towelettes with alcohol on them.Many of us already were utilizing sanitizing products in our homes and vehicles. The difference now is we will not be looked at as if we are "germaphobic" like the television character Adrian Monk.

The lyrics to the show's theme song were penned and sung by Randy Newman who wrote the Toy Story song You got a friend in me. it seems that Mr. Newman and Mr. Monk may have been prophetic. Monk was over the top, obsessive compulsive in an attempt to prevent germs but we all are now. The words to the theme song accurately describe the word we are currently living in with extreme accuracy.

It's a jungle out there
Disorder and confusion everywhere
No one seems to care
Well I do
Hey, who's in charge here?
It's a jungle out there
Poison in the very air we breathe
Do you know what's in the water that you drink?
Well I do, and it's amazing
People think I'm crazy, 'cause I worry all the time
If you paid attention, you'd be worried too
You better pay attention
Or this world we love so much might just kill you
I could be wrong now, but I don't think so
'Cause there's a jungle out there
It's a jungle out there

4. This is us

I was flipping television channels last night and saw pastor Steven Furtick so I listened for a few moments. He said something that many will not desire to accept but will have to any way. He said there is no going back to normal, because we are in our new normal and should embrace it. Even as he spoke, I thought of the many pastors and church leaders praying to get back to business as usual. A number of preachers are using social media as a way to keep their flocks together in hopes that church doors will soon open and the life they knew will resume.I agree with Furtick and to coin an old phrase: "It a'int happening captain." I have empathy for those pastors whose lives are wrapped up in their church building and their flock. For some, the salary from the church is their only source of income.

We are living now in a situation where may companies that closed will not be able to reopen and those jobs will be lost. People who cannot take care of their daily needs will not have additional funds to give to the church. This is the new reality, like it or not. Priorities are shifting right now, and all over the world there is suffering. "Going to" the church building will not fix it. What has taken place during this year thus far, may take decades before even a small portion is truly resolved. The serenity prayer says God grant me the ability to accept the things I cannot change, courage to change the things I can and wisdom to know the difference". Wisdom will help us all to understand that this, the right now is us, and nothing at this present time that is within the hands of humans can change it. God is able but we don't know if He is willing. Scary but true.

5. Weddings and Funerals

I saw a Facebook post where a young lady was lamenting that the coronavirus kept her from having a baby shower. I thought about how at this time no one can have a large wedding or funeral. These have been traditions in the past but no more. There have been outbreaks of COVID-19 at funerals and people have died. The truth is if we can we should keep in contact with people while they live. Whiloe is is always good to show support, at this particular time we cannot. Families are having to grieve alone. I grew up in a time when people sat at your house the entire time between the wake and funeral. I found this to be tiring but have relatives who feel it is their duty to go and have a sit in at the home of the relatives of the deceased. We may be entering a new phase where people get so used to smaller gatherings that not everyone will desire large funerals and weddings should they be available once more. Our lives are changing and w are evolving and perhaps seeing that the excessive money spent on these two events is not really necessary. Of course there will be some who will run as fast as they can to the next funeral service once the pandemic restrictions are lifted. There will also be those who desire to spend money on a lavish wedding ceremony to celebrate freedom. The bottom line is we truly are changed forever, one way or another.

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

© 2020 Cheryl E Preston


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    • Cheryl E Preston profile imageAUTHOR

      Cheryl E Preston 

      11 months ago from Roanoke

      Thank you for commenting Linda Courtney

    • Linda Courtney profile image

      Linda Courtney 

      11 months ago from Bloomsburg, PA

      I've been a bit of a homebody so this isn't affecting me as much as some, but the one thing I miss the most is going church and being around my people. I'm thankful for online teachings but the church is the people and gatherings. Shopping I can do online so I don't miss stores or anything, just my fellow Christians!

    • Lorna Lamon profile image

      Lorna Lamon 

      11 months ago

      I feel when we reflect on this time we will appreciate how fragile life is and how in such a short period of time our world has been changed for ever. There will be many lessons we have learnt and I am hoping that out of this tragedy we will emerge stronger, wiser and more respectful of each other and our world. A great article Cheryl.


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