Cancelled, cancelled, cancelled, is all we ever see and hear at the moment. We are indeed living in strange times. Did we ever think we’d see a time when we are all told to keep three feet away from each other. Everything around us closed down and wash our hands umpteen times every day. Well it has happened and we are on a two week lockdown as a result of this world-wide virus called Corona. A new word in our vocabulary and as there is no way backwards, we will have to go forward and find ways to cope.
One redeeming feature has to be that it is not a danger to the young for which we are all deeply grateful. But as the finger points at those of us in the senior bracket we will have to find ways to mind ourselves and pass the time. Two weeks seems a long time to be more or less confined to barracks, most of us on our own .Thank God for our phones and laptops, they will keep us in touch with family and friends from near and far. But there is need for more. Used right, the time can be both enjoyable and time consuming. Personally it will give me an opportunity to look again at all the lovely videos that are waiting year after year to get another spin, The Student Prince, The Sound of Music, videos from EuroVision to mention just a few, as well as family weddings and local happenings. All the time in the world to watch them. No checking the clock to see if I should be somewhere else, and am I already late. There will be time to take a leisurely stroll in the garden, if there is a fine day and even if there isn’t. I can plant some seeds in boxes in the shed and have them ready to place outside when the time is right. D.V. Then there is that jigsaw of a thousand pieces that I got as a present and is still in the box. I can spill it out on the counter and take all the space I like, because I won’t be having anybody to tea. That of course is the upside. Aside of that there will be times when time will hang heavy, times when I’d love to hop into the car and visit family of friend but have to put down the keys again and ask myself is it safe for these people if I go. A chance not worth taking.
St. Patrick’s Day will be very different, no parade, no meeting of friends and supporters that we only see once a year. Personally I’m determined to hang out my tri-colour and wear a sprig of Shamrock ,not that anybody will see it, but it will make me feel that I am at one with all the other St. Patrick lovers all over the world and we will all ask him to protect his Emerald Isle.
Thanks to the modern media which will enable us to attend Mass on the telly, and our mobile phones etc will keep us talking and talking . Those of us who have gardens and a yen for pottering in them can busy ourselves gathering up all of last seasons pots and emptying them and washing them, planting them up again, giving us faith in the future. But do what you like, I know we’ll never get through this without the Help of God. The days of looking or treating prayer as a joke are gone, gone. It’s going on for a long time now and it hasn’t worked, so let us go forward to the past if we want to succeed. My generation in the main never gave up the faith. All our lives, through our belief in God we prayed for everything, and never forgot to say thanks, and even when the world around us found that it was no longer fashionable to believe, we soldiered on. Still asking God to help a world that no longer believed in him. But we can’t do it alone anymore, and now we need help. Corona Virus seems to be a threat to the elderly. By no means do we look upon it as though God has deserted us, but as a wake up call to the unbelieving multitudes that we need them to pray for us and with us now. Masses on TV might be a good place to start, for those who are too shy or embarrassed to be seen going to Mass or prayers again. Who knows by the time this crisis is over, they will be as proud as we are to be called soldiers of Christ.
Its not all bad, some days are bright and sunny, so we can get out and about. The price of oil has plummeted and we can fill our tanks for less than ever. Always look on the bright side.
Please keep up your spirits, greet everybody with a smile and a word of encouragement. Honey gathers than vinegar.
Happy St. Patrick’s Day. And wash your hands.