Wednesday, November 25 2020 - 8:00 AM
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Peace Among Chaos

I live in the San Francisco Bay Area of California, specifically in the East Bay. Restrictions to limit our activities only to essential business due to the COVID-19 pandemic have been in place for more than a week. Our county started the restrictions two days before the governor ordered the same for the whole state. Since we are such a large state of about 40 million people, I wondered if so many people could comply with such orders and what would be the outcome.

While we won’t know the outcome in terms of effectiveness for some time yet, what strikes me the most about this past week is the sense of peace and quiet I feel. Even though I live on a residential street three blocks off of a street with quite a lot of daily traffic, a street which is directly off of a main thoroughfare with bus and truck traffic, which is a half-block off of a freeway entrance, my street has very little traffic. Normally, people would be using their cars to go back and forth about their business, but not so this past week. It has been very quiet.

Many of us are following the imposed limited movement instructions. Yes, people are still going to the grocery store, but not frequently. People are staying home as much as possible. 

There is something very comforting and peaceful about knowing that many of us are taking this pandemic seriously and are willing to do our part to keep more people from becoming infected and to protect ourselves. 

I don’t have the same comfort and peace when I read or hear news reports of some federal, state and/or local leaders who are confusing the public with misinformation, giving out bad and even dangerous advice, or who are defiant about sheltering-in-place orders, and who are encouraging the public to go about their normal activities or to prepare to do so soon. Their so-called recommendations create confusion and add to already existing stress levels. 

The medical experts have said multiple times that this is not a time for business-as-usual. The sad part about refusing to cooperate is that more people run the risk of getting seriously ill and dying. 

If enough Americans will follow the recommendations and/or orders of the medical experts and state officials who are trying to protect us, we will get through this and emerge safer. If, however, too many people disregard sheltering-in-place and social-distancing, we will mourn the loss of more citizens, our relatives and friends. 

While this time is certainly challenging, it is not beyond our ability to do the right thing, for ourselves and those around us. Our country will not fall apart economically or otherwise, despite the talk of some. Rather, our willingness to sacrifice at this time will strengthen us individually and help keep us safe. And, collectively, our sacrifice will strengthen our nation for better days ahead. 

Fighting the inevitable creates a lot of stress and can bring serious illness. A temporary sacrifice by enough Americans will better protect us and, with God’s help, will bring us out of this difficult time and to a place of comfort and, yes, even peace. 

Maddy Thompson writes from Northern California.

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About Maddy Thompson

Maddy Thompson

writes from Northern California.

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