While I hope for the pandemic to end and for less lives to be put in danger, I also hope that the experience of quarantine, which has forcibly and suddenly shrunken our individual and collective freedoms and capacities, can be an opportunity for able-bodied folks to think about how this is, has always been, and will always be the “normal” that people with disabilities must live with.
COVID-19 patients are dying alone. They may die before their family members have had a chance to phone in or visit them. Families are no longer permitted to stay inside the room to watch over them or stay overnight with them, being physically present as they transition out of this life.
The point of a public health crisis is that, like the wound of history, we are forced to pay attention to our bodies and what they feel. Doing so may save our lives as well as those around us.
I am reminded that a world anew, already in motion, is not a one-time transformation, but rather, enacted by living into an ethics that ... is part of an ongoing struggle for liberation, healing, and right relationship across ecosystems and injustices.
What tempts Christians to offer platitudes or unfounded reassurances? It is the same temptation that the loud, white, male pastors we see in the media are currently succumbing to during the coronavirus pandemic. It is the temptation to avoid the reality of suffering. And it stems from a gross misunderstanding of what faith in Jesus actually means.
While the media reports on and profits from interpersonal racist incidents that result from exogenous shocks, minor feelings and racial melancholia encompass the daily, interminable despondence of racism.
During this global pandemic, we’ve all had to bear overwhelming stress and devastating losses while also being cut off from the people, activities, and places that bring us joy and help us cope with distress in the day to day.
As the job losses mounted, the number of tithes and offerings coming in each week dropped precipitously. Church budgets bled red ink and congregations began laying off staff and selling property in order to keep the lights on. But that was back in 2008 during the Great Recession.
I fear for my mother’s health every day that she goes to work. U.S. Postal Service workers like my mom and her 600,000 plus colleagues are in need of protection on the job, now more than ever. Despite precautions, almost 900 postal employees have tested positive for COVID-19 and 44 have died during the pandemic.
About three weeks ago, churches across America began to close their doors. In an unprecedented act, many pastors took the courageous stance to support national and local healthcare guidelines that encouraged physical social distancing, as the novel coronavirus began to spread widely across the United States.
I live a 15 minute drive from Life Care Center in Kirkland, WA, a nursing home where 81 of its 120 residents tested positive for COVID-19 and 35 people died.