Since the world is essentially living in a state of quarantine, here’s a tiny little history lesson on quarantines. A mashup of trivia fact and history lesson, if you will.
In March, 1348, the city-state of Venice, faced with the rising toll of the Black Plague, issued an order: all ships coming there must lie at anchor quarantino - 40 days- before landing. The idea worked and the practice spread to other European port cities. And, the quarantine was born.
Now, you know where it comes from.
But do you really understand what it means?
It means you pull back into your own little world. To park your butt and stop whining about being forced to do nothing.
Boiled to its essence, quarantine means be still and live.
Yes, it means lots of other things, too: inconvenience, cabin fever, shortened tempers, increased tensions about money, family; all that, and more.
But being driven temporarily crazy by your loved ones may be the surest way to have them around when we get back to normal. Normal probably won’t mean things will go back to exactly as before, but we’ll get back to something resembling our lives “before the virus.”
For the first time, many of you are working from home. You’re learning that a shortened commute doesn’t mean extra time on your hands. And that there’s a fundamental difference between working from home and being at home.
You don’t understand that until you’ve experienced it. Working, really is working, wherever you’re doing it.
But working sure beats not working (consider that before complaining to anyone out of work).
Extra time added to stress of unemployment does not make for restful nights.
Today many of us are restless, agitated, confused and tired. Consider this: we’re complaining about the absence of the things we ordinarily complain about.
That seems more indicative of internal issues than external pressures.
Maybe it’s time to stop reacting to the external and start listening to the internal. Great clarity really can come via terrific uncertainty.
It may be an uncertain time, but it’s also springtime. Despite the uncertainty, take a little time to recognize the rebirth.
This weekend, we will celebrate Easter, one of those times when Christianity and Judaism are directly linked. The Last Supper was, in fact, a Passover Seder. Both celebrate death passing into new life.
Both celebrate God’s ability to deliver. To deliver a race from oppression. To replace death with life. To make a way where there seemed to be no way.
We’ll be doing Easter differently this year. Worship services will be done via Zoom or live streaming, family gatherings with FaceTime or video chats. If high traffic slows bandwidth, some of us will resort to the plain old telephone.
But we’ll connect. Because we need connections. Stability in the face of uncertainty.
Tomorrow, as is our custom, we will not publish any wires in observance of Good Friday.
But we aren’t leaving you for long. We’ll be back in your eMail on Monday, April 13.
And, as always, we’ll keep you posted.