Feb 25, 2022 |
Holding Space for Frustration and Hope| The Rev. Philip DeVaul
Holding Space for Frustration and Hope
We are entering into a time of hope. I’m not talking about the religious season of Lent, though that is wonderful: I’m talking about this time in our church in relation to COVID-19. Transmission of the virus is dropping dramatically in our area, and vaccinations continue to increase. We are all hopeful that we are seeing the end of the pandemic. Of course, we know that this does not mean the end of COVID-19, which will likely be with us for the rest of our lives. But, understanding that, we are seeing a shift from pandemic to endemic, we are shifting slowly out of crisis mode, and beginning the work of creating our new normal. This is quite a gift.
I am very excited that the recent case surge is coming to such a rapid end. With current case numbers finally dropping from "High Transmission" to "Substantial Transmission" for the first time in months. We are excited to reintroduce congregational singing to our worship, and to allow eating indoors again: These developments are life-giving for our community, and they are a sign of things to come!..
At present, we are on the downslope of the Omicron surge, which you know. What you may not be aware of is that during this surge, children aged 0-4 were being hospitalized for COVID-19 at 4 times the rate they had been during any other time in the pandemic. This recent surge has, in plain terms, been the most potentially dangerous for the youngest members of our church and school community – who are not yet able to be vaccinated, and we have taken that very seriously.
In casual conversation, many people have referred to the Omicron variant as not dangerous or not that bad. It’s true that it has been generally less vicious than Delta. But our hospitals have been full during this surge, our healthcare workers have been overtaxed to the breaking point, and deaths have been astronomical. We are tired. I know it. And we want this thing to be over. But we want to be careful in our fatigue about how we understand the severity of recent events.