Know this, my beloved brothers: let every person be quick to hear, slow to speak, slow to anger. James 1:19 ESV
There has been quite a lot of debate lately about the reasons behind and the need for continued social distancing. The arguments I have heard recently revolve around keeping these regulations in place only within “nursing homes” as if that were a singular place. First let me remind everyone that we as a nation including both conservative and liberal lawmakers entered into the social distancing effort in order to buy precious time for researchers to come up with a treatment for this new disease. Second I find it frustrating that when people say just quarantine the residents of nursing homes they don’t seem to understand the complexity of that community and the remaining rights of its residents. Yes; many people do live in skilled nursing homes but just as often they are in assisted or independent living facilities. These residents retain the same rights as people living in any apartment building in town. They rent a suite, receive laundry and food services, but; they have not signed away any rights to make decisions about travel, visiting or shopping any more than anyone else. The staff likewise does not simply consist of doctors, nurses and therapists. There are all kinds of other people there such as hairdressers, fitness instructors, secretaries, and social event coordinators. Hearing loud complaining about the lack of PPE provided to the staff at the beginning of our current crisis misses the point that they are not designed to be hospitals and most have been frantically shifting gears as fast as they can to adjust to the new situation.
So what to do? People need to return to work and the economy is hurting however; finding someone to blame isn’t the answer. Dr. Anthony Fauci has become a popular target for some people’s frustrations as we slowly grind towards the end of a month of semi-quarantine. But Dr. Fauci’s 16 hour work days and near angelic patience with reporters is completely forgotten in this new blame game. Remember that finding problems is the easy part. Finding answers will take time and means making our listening long and our complaining short even when or maybe especially where we disagree. Over all of us and through each moment of our journey we must trust that God. He is with us and He will see us through all the way to the end of this journey!