The past few days of unpredictability has halted life’s mundane activities. COVID-19 is the new normal. Fresh concerns have come to the forefront: Do we have enough supplies to maintain our lives as we isolate ourselves? Did we grab everything we needed from our desks as we stare down remote work until further notice? How do we keep things as routine as possible for our families, especially for those too young to understand?
As childcare centers, places of worship and schools close, society is working through this. The unknown has become real. Social distancing is in, shaking hands is out. But as we prepare to isolate ourselves, there are new practices to adopt. Author Taffy Brodesser-Akner shared these thoughts from Rabbi Yosef Kanefsky via Twitter:
“Language is a powerful shaper of thinking. And the very last thing we need right now is a mindset of mutual distancing. We actually need to be thinking in the exact opposite way. Every hand we don’t shake must become a phone call that we place. Every embrace that we avoid must become a verbal expression of warmth and concern. Every inch and every foot that we physically place between ourselves and another, must become a thought as to how we might be of help to that other, should that need arise.”
As we retreat inward to our homes and deliberately pause many aspects of our lives, let’s not forget that we must also face outward. God has given us each a light that shines so brightly, a light we must shine toward those who need it most. So let’s check on our neighbors, particularly those who are elderly or unable to leave their homes. If you are healthy, supervise playtime for an hour for the mom down the street. Bring your time and talents to those in need, because we are all in this fight together. It is a fight we must win.