A blue sky and green shoots popping out of the ground gives me hope that soon, thanks to the work of many hard working scientists and healthcare workers, we who have been vaccinated can start to meet in person. Zoom and Facebook are fine up to a point, but nothing can quite substitute for seeing someone’s smiling face (without the mask).
We’ll still have to be reticent with our embraces and we’ll never be quite so carefree about giving kisses as greetings, but maybe because we’ve become more mindful out of habit—those physical contacts will become that much more meaningful.
This year, the neighborhood Easter hunt had to be held in shifts. Too many children at one time would prevent appropriate social distancing. The good news is that the Easter Hunt took place. But for many of us with memories of the frantic competition between all the little hands searching, probing, and reaching for those hidden eggs, a socially distanced Easter Egg hunt seems a shadowy imitation of the real thing.
I attended a Zoom memorial service last week and one thing I missed tremendously was the singing. How can attendees, without advance preparation, sing a hymn together remotely. It can’t be done. You also can’t look directly into the eyes of the bereaved and express your condolences in the same way as if you were meeting in person. The eulogies themselves were eloquent and the video camera provided an unencumbered view of the orator. Plus there was no background noise: no crying babies, whispering, or sobbing. The photographs shared with the audience were presented well, accompanied by musical recordings, part of the life work of the deceased, a professional soprano. But a sense of a group sharing space as they mourned was absent. This must be why so many people, despite seeing movies streamed at home, are anxious to once again see films in a movie theater.
We’re just on the cusp of returning to the world we left in Spring 2019, only it’s not going to be quite the same world. Many businesses have closed permanently. Some of those people who are currently working remotely will continue to do so as offices scale back in size. Too many people lost their jobs and struggled to pay for food and shelter, exposing the deep inequities in our society. Many are still unemployed. Some are being retrained and pursing new careers. Still others, seeing so much death around them, have decided to retire.
The world is about to be rebooted, reborn. This is the cycle of life and the symbolism of Easter. We do the best we can. We are all imperfect. I hope the experience of living through a Global Pandemic will make us a little more grateful for what we have and a little more humble.