Day 63 of coronavirus in France
Day 12 of enforced confinement
A meditation inspired by our friend Mickaël.
“For which of you, desiring to build a tower, does not first sit down and count the cost, whether he has enough to complete it?” — Jesus, Luke 14:28
When you hear media say, “Our culture can’t do that,” or “No one can hold me back,” you are hearing the commentator’s limiting beliefs.
Here are truths you may be feeling today. Being honest articulates what you are experiencing with making judgements on your ability to adapt:
- “I have never done this before.”
- “I have not been trained and equipped to do this.”
- “This is hard.”
- “My body wants to fight this.”
- Even if all of those things are true, you can also believe:
- “I can do this.”
- “I can do all things in Christ who strengthens me.”
Count the Cost
You and your community want to be part of the solution, begin by counting the cost in terms of actions and energy investment.
We did not choose to build this tower. We barely had any forewarning, certainly not enough to feel adequately prepared. None-the-less the burden is ours to bear.
What will it take to get the results you are looking for? Suppose your goal is that the Coronavirus impact your community like an average flu… we have seen around that world that creating that result takes a lot of work.
- You will ensure masks for all residents; local factories will stop producing their normal goods to fabricate masks instead.
- You will aim to provide ventilators for 14% of the population; national car companies will convert their factories to produce ventilators to meet this need.
- You will restructure the grocery delivery system without delay to provide ample food for families to stock up and stay home; purchase limits undermine the ultimate goal of non-transmission.
- You may organize an army of volunteer shoppers to deliver food to those precious neighbors who are most vulnerable.
- But you will also need to imagine awareness campaigns to champion the discipline and resolve that locals will need to adapt.
Developing a Neighborly Community Spirit
Your neighbors are not your enemy.
Give people a way to help.
- Recruit them to shop for people who need shopping service.
- Recruit them to join Meals-on-Wheels and expand the delivery to new populations who are more isolated now than before.
- Recruit them to sew masks for healthcare professionals who are not in direct contact with the contagion but want a physical barrier in case they become asymptomatic carriers.
- Recruit them to volunteer as candy strippers in hospitals, train them before the needs increase exponentially.
- Recruit them to call local businesses and request they check their storeroom for stocks of medical grade masks and gloves that could be donated to local hospitals. Think outside the box: laboratories even cosmetic labs, factories, painting, welding, sanding of metal parts, resin, mushrooms, lead, asbestos, ceramic fibers, concrete spraying, pesticides…
- Start a kindness pandemic. Share heartwarming stories and spur each other on to love and good deeds.
Don’t judge and don’t hold each other back.
This is an opportunity to experience a global sense of community. This is a unique moment in history that unites the entire globe in one shared experience. Strengthen your relationship with your brothers and sisters around the world.
Grief is not linear. In a future post I want to share a tool called the Villages of Grief. At one time or another, either you or your neighbors, will be confronted with separation from something special to you. Certain restricted freedoms impact us all. Remember everyone grieves differently. Someone may pass from anger, to denial, and back to sadness again. When you have energy and clarity of thought apply yourself to be an encouragement to your loved ones wherever they are.
Evidently some regions have restructured their delivery process. They find themselves on the phone with their delivery men negotiating more deliveries more often. Late night deliveries are scheduled requiring work schedules to change, sometimes effecting opening hours. When the distribution service runs out of drivers they begin hiring additional workers on a temporary contract. Maybe bus drivers who are laid off are looking for work.
Supermarket managers find themselves doubling their orders of essentials that families need to stock up on and non-perishables that can be sustain families for two weeks.
They may even choose to increase shelving capacities by putting up tents in the supermarket parking lot. They’ll call back all of the temporary grocery clerks that do temp work during holidays and hire them back for the next month. They may close and hour early to have more time to stock shelves, and remain closed over the weekends to give the supermarket staff Saturday and Sunday off work to spend time with their family, and recharge.
If you have found solutions to these problems share them with neighboring towns. Many of my loved ones are still having trouble stocking up. Stores were in survival mode just hoping that things would go back to normal after a few weeks. Embracing the new normal gives the community the freedom to restructure to meet local needs and thrive.
Here in France we have plenty of food on the shelves. We place grocery orders online one week in advance and then we pick up our order at a specific time at a drive-through location. We are not lacking nourishment. Sometimes an item might be sold out. During these two weeks we have observed that chicken consistently sells out quickly, so when that happens you just get something else. I’m learning to cook lentils. They store easily and are high in protein. Supermarket doors are open fewer hours, but the staff are working longer hours stocking shelves and preparing orders. There was a steep learning curve for the markets and the shoppers. The first two attempts at bulk shopping our family forgot a few essentials. Now we have a better idea of how to stay quarantined for two-weeks at a time, that is we have a better idea what to order. Remember we did not choose to build this tower.
No, we did not anticipate paying this cost. Today we are called upon to adopt new ways of being and doing in order to develop new infrastructures that both protect our healthcare workers and provide food for our families.
Keep sharing what is working well. The world is learning along with you.