Resilience in the midst of Covid-19 | An Easter Message




This hibiscus plant had been poorly
for the past 8 years. It recently restarted burgeoning and is now in full bloom.
A symbol of resilience in Nature.

We have been in lockdown for four weeks now, and we have another two , god-willing. Glued to our computers, smartphones, or TV, we have been watching the LIVE performance of how such an invisible, tiny bug can wreak havoc and lock us in our homes

It seems that Nature has seized Power and locked, us Humans, inside to breathe again. The seas, the skies are cleaning up; the usually packed tourist sites are deserted. No traffic jams; planes are grounded; we can no longer socialize.

It has brought the Most Powerful to their knees. Most of us thought that money could buy us get anything, anytime, anywhere. We thought we were invincible if we had money, the right connections, etc.

But Covid-19 spares no one, rich or poor. We were all in shock on Good Friday when we heard of two men who had breathed their last – the first, a homeless man, the second, a notoriously rich businessman, had died in the same hospital within a few hours of each other. Their funeral was in the same public cemetery without ceremony.

Nothing will save us if we ignore health measures and social distancing. Only confinement can stop propagating the virus. This tiny bug has deprived us of our right to movement.

We have been assigned days for basic shopping and face endless queues, shortages and rationing in supermarkets at inflated prices. Online shopping has become a lengthy, costly obstacle course, when it is not taken over by crooks and hackers.

However, we must consider ourselves lucky, considering that, elsewhere in so-called rich developed countries, millions will die from poverty and hunger even before the virus strikes them. Living on an island is a blessing and the silver lining in our darkest clouds. Since the report of the first 3 imported cases on 18th March, the authorities have taken strong measures. We may not agree with them but contact tracing, quarantine, lockdown have helped contain the propagation. However, we still are not out of the woods. Our Health and other support services should be hailed as HEROES in the War we are waging against This Silent Foe!

This is a time of great uncertainty filled with fear, apprehension, and grief. Our lives have been shattered. They will never be the same. We must realise this and move forward. But, at the same time, this plague has shifted our habits and attitudes. Many are, at least I am, reaching out to family (specially elders) and friends we have lost touch with for years; we have more time, we are grounded, and we have the means. Kudos to the Internet and faster connection. We write and call or video-call our loved ones. Our sense of solidarity has also reawakened. The Haves have supported the Have-nots; charitable NGOs and individuals have stretched out alongside State measures to our less privileged citizens. Furthermore, our Pastors have outdone themselves to comfort and feed their flock through daily Lent celebrations on Facebook. I was inspired to write this piece, while watching the Easter Triduum on TV. I realized that, by reaching out to an anguished and scared flock, and the population at large, our Church had reoriented its mission of evangelisation and touched the Many, who may no longer bother to attend Church. Kudos to our Pastors! It is in times of War that our better instincts challenge us to outdo ourselves.

The growing concern now is Post-Covid-19; deconfinement is coming and we don’t when the crisis will end and what to expect. The reality is that people will lose their jobs, businesses will close, tourism, our main support, is on its knees. It would be utopic to say that life will be easy in the coming months or years. BUT we are a resilient people and our Faith in God should allay our fears. Life and Death are realities. Just as Death is followed with rebirth in Nature; just like the grain of wheat that must fall into the earth and die to bear much fruit (John 12.24), We, as individuals, and We, as a people, will get up, rise and shine just like the Light of the Risen Christ!

MCL – 17 April 2020

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