By: Gary L. Hutchens
How will you remember the year 2020? I’ve come to refer to it as The Lost Summer. Actually, it’s been a lost Spring and Summer, and it appears that some of that reality could extend through the Fall and into Winter. The corona virus pandemic began to hit our nation in full force in early March, and within a couple of weeks most everything changed.
Schools closed, at first supposedly for a few weeks, but that soon changed to encompass the rest of the school year with parents guiding their children through online learning. The restaurant business became delivery or pick up only. Many other businesses either shut down or sent their employees to work from home. Tens of millions of people were simply laid off. It was surreal to see one huge parking lot after another sitting empty. Many businesses went under, never to recover.
Large gatherings, such as concerts, sporting events, movie theaters and even churches were shut down. Funerals, if allowed at all, were limited to just a few people. All major professional sports leagues were postponed for months, and then played a very short schedule, with no fans in the stands.
Excluding those classified as essential workers, and except for medical emergencies and buying groceries, people in most states were instructed to stay home, quarantine for a minimum of two weeks. In many areas the two weeks stretched into much longer periods of time. Normally bustling cities became nearly dormant.
Hospitals in some areas became overrun with patients infected by the covid virus, and loved ones were not allowed to visit their sick and dying family members and friends. Many medical supplies ran short. Some normal medical procedures were put on hold.
Grocery store shelves emptied of normal products such as bathroom tissue, paper towels and disinfectant wipes and cleaners. For awhile some meat products were in short supply.
Wearing masks in public quickly became a mandated reality, and we were told to maintain a social distance of at least six feet from people around us in order to limit the possibility of spreading the virus to others. Commercial airlines were making flights with almost empty planes. Many international flights were cancelled altogether. The cruise line industry pretty much shut down completely.
Gradually, restaurants, stores and businesses began opening back up, but under restrictions. News reports portray something of a resurgence of the virus in Europe and in many states in America. Medical authorities warn of a possible second wave of infections on the horizon.
What does all of this mean for the future of humanity? Will the basic threat of the virus ever go away, so to speak? Of course it will, such always does. A vaccine or other effective treatments will be developed, or the virus will mutate into a more benign state. But what will be the mindset of our culture moving forward after having dealt for so long with such a massively lifestyle altering threat?
That is up to each of us individually! We cannot allow ourselves to live in a constant state of crippling fear. Especially as Christians we need to help people around us know God is ultimately in control, and if we walk with Him we need not fear: “For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.” (2 Tim. 1:7)…
Gary L. Hutchens