Saturday, July 13, 2024
Chris Judd

Week ten: Are you ready?

Our leaders were informed that this COVID-19 was a world-wide pandemic. A world-wide clamp-down on all our activities was highly recommended and then enforced. There were a couple of countries that chose not to, but later when infections and deaths spiked in their country they changed their plan. Many people would never have complied without a compulsory order to self-isolate, cease normal travel and shopping practices and even visits to loved ones. 
After two and a half months of being cooped-up, countries’ debt-ratios are at record levels because of loss of taxes on everything that we no longer bought and billions of dollars of loss of work supplements to millions without jobs. 
Countries are starting to open-up slowly to get people back to work and paying taxes. Governments are praying that their citizens have learned how to protect themselves and others from COVID-19. Wearing masks, limiting travel, not associating in groups and making sure that everything you touch is sanitized is not a fun thing to do, nor is it part of our usual way of life.
The entire entertainment industry, tourism, sports, music, even eating away from home has almost collapsed. Local musicians, like our farmers and essential services, have found ways to continue on. Large music concerts and shows have stopped, but local musicians have continued to entertain us on Facebook, from their kitchens, living rooms, back porches, and even from empty music-halls and wineries. 
Local churches quickly adjusted and put their services online Sunday mornings or even used empty parking lots and drive-in movie lots to deliver messages of hope and comfort to people in their cars as they listened through the car radio. 
Churches quickly realized that the church is much more than a nice building. Through the direction of ministers, priests and church leaders, telephone chains were set up to regularly contact everyone be they shut-ins, neighbours, church goers or not. Churches also realized that in stressful times both minor and more serious mental health problems escalate. Even in normal times, mental health touches one in five people. 
Some people feel that churches must be open all the time. My dad told me decades ago that whether we are all dressed up in a magnificent church or just walking in our work clothes through the woods, our faith is the same and we are just as close. Our local friends, farmers, merchants, doctors, ministers, priests and other essential workers don’t give up on us. 
This past Sunday, one of our local priests prayed for rain. Our forests are at fire danger levels that never existed. Farmers have had several dry weeks to plant crops. Now rain is needed to germinate the seeds, water the pastures which are drying up, grow the hay and lawns and, get those gardens growing. 
There is nothing like a rain to disperse crowds at beaches and parks where large crowds were a threat to spreading this cursed virus. Remember that COVID-19 started with only one case in the world. 
This extended lockdown has left us with a cleaner, better smelling world, showed us how to use technology to reduce unnecessary travel, and use our time being more productive from home, not traveling in the rat race! 
As our governments begin to ease the lockdown restrictions; are we prepared to continue using proven methods to control the spread of COVID-19 like social distancing, sanitizing everything regularly, treating elders as we would like to be treated, not wasting our grandchildren’s natural resources, protecting what is necessary to survival of our human race and our planet and guarding our necessities in life like air, water, food and shelter?
We have been forced to do things differently, let’s make things better!

Chris Judd is a farmer in Clarendon on land that has been in his family for generations.


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