I am astonished at all the fuss about Portugal being suddenly labelled an amber country and hearing British tourists moaning as they scramble to get home. We are tiptoeing out of a sixteen month pandemic when we in the UK and Ireland and a good deal of the rest of the world have been locked down for months at a time. Have we not come to terms with the seriousness and fragility of our circumstances.
Lockdown has worked at cutting down the spread of the virus and two vaccines for over half the population of the UK has helped. Yet, with variants particularly Delta (Indian) and half the population still to get their vaccines we are far from out of the Covid-19 Years.
Now, I am well aware that we are all tired and need a rest. It has all been a little claustrophobic and we need a change of scene but the rush for holidays in the sun was disturbing.
Firstly, to stay safe and keep your neighbours safe takes some discipline. It also takes discernment. That some would consider that going to another country would be helpful in such times a little more than surprises me. Let’s all just chill out, settle for stay-cation to be measured and long for that heat or whatever the attraction is another time.
Apparently German theologian Dietrich Bonhoeffer, said that there are only two things that we can be certain of. One is our final destination. The other is our next step. Everything in between is uncertain.
Uncertain. If ever we had a lesson during this Coronavirus pandemic it was that everything was uncertain.
The other lesson that the news is bringing us is that people cannot live in uncertainty. A tiny window of travel possibility opens and people are shocked when the uncertain circumstances change and the country that they are going to or worse that they are in is no longer deemed safe.
If ever we lived in uncertain days it is now. If we haven’t learned that everything going forward, perhaps for the next year, will continue to be uncertain then we have been paying no attention to the historical days that we are living through.
Blaming governments for the changes. Maybe they haven’t got every restriction right at the right time but it is the pandemic that is running our lives just now. Uncertainty is Covid 19 Pandemic’s middle name.
We need to come to to terms with that, for our own mental health, for the health of others and for a speedier way through this time.
I was very taken recently with theologian, pastor and author Eugene Peterson’s biography Burning In The Bones. Winn Colliers who wrote the biography said of Peterson “His life and work had been more like tracing a scent than following a map”.
Peterson and Bonhoeffer had that in common. No certainty too far up ahead. We just know the next step and then need to sniff the next. There is a lot of uncertainty. Factor it in.