For months I’ve been trying to find the word that describes what I’m feeling inside these past 12 months. Is it fear? Is it dread? Is it anger? Yes, it is all of these things, but while those words are part of it, they don’t quite satisfy my need to find just the right word. Labeling things helps me keep track of them.
Last week I realized what I’m feeling and now I have a word for it. I feel unsafe. Unsafe is the word for what is going inside me.
There is this virus, right? You’ve heard of it. Corona Virus Disease 2019, or COVID-19. Some of us just call it “the ‘Rona.” Is it the virus that makes me feel unsafe, or is it the strange global reaction to it? Surely there are other illnesses that have caused more deaths. Cancer, for example. But cancer isn’t contagious. AIDS is another one. AIDS, while contagious, was seen as a lifestyle disease. However, there were no governmental mandates regarding the wearing of condoms during the AIDS epidemic.
Like most of the world, I feel unsafe regarding this virus, the problem is I’m not sure what I feel unsafe about. Is it the virus itself, the restrictions put in place, the economic impact, or the divisive behavior of friends, family and community. People are taking sides, and it doesn’t make sense. The enemy isn’t our fellow man, it is the virus… or it is? I don’t know, and I feel unsafe.
The governmental handling of this virus, the rules and restrictions that don’t make any sense. We have to admit that most of the rules and restrictions do NOT make any sense. Sure, it makes sense to keep distance between each other, wear masks around those outside of our regular circle. But, it doesn’t make sense that I have to wear my mask from the door to the booth, when dining in a restaurant, but then the waiter can stand just inches from me and take my order. Then the food, handled by the Lord knows how many people is put in front of me. I feel unsafe.
The economic impact of this virus and the way the powers that be are dealing with it is also terrifying. Small businesses are crumbling while the mega markets and the big corporations are thriving. I’ll discuss this subject matter more on a different day, but this makes me feel very unsafe.
There are rumors that business will soon require employees to take the vaccination or lose their jobs. Travel in and out of our country will require the carrying of “papers.” This is reminiscent of a time where certain people were very unsafe.
We are inaugurating our new President today. Never in the history of our country has an election been so divisive. There were no “hanging chads” in this election, but accusations of “widespread voter fraud.” I don’t believe “voter fraud” is the correct term, but “election fraud” is closer. We voters did our job, we voted. Those running the elections are the fraudulent ones. I have no doubt that there was election fraud. But, I believe there was fraud committed by both major parties; the Democrats were just more successful in their fraud this time. I don’t know what our new President’s plans are for the country, I pray they are honorable. But not knowing makes me feel very unsafe.
There are so many changes, nothing is the same was it was a year ago. The lack of sameness makes me feel unsafe. The lack of reliable things makes me feel unsafe. This feeling of being unsafe creates a panic within me that is overwhelming. I feel overwhelmingly unsafe.
How do I deal with it? I try focus on the reliable things. I noticed this lovely sunrise on my ride to work and I stopped to take Her picture. The sun rises and sets every single day without fail. The Sun is reliable. God is still in His Heaven and while I know He controls the Universe for the Greater Good. God is reliable. But, I am a fallible human whose faith falters sometimes. My faith is unreliable. This makes me feel unsafe.
The same Sun rises and sets for all of us. We all have a God we look to. Can we find community in the knowledge that we all feel unsafe, and help each other feel, if not safer at least not so alone?
I hope so.