The coronavirus (COVID-19) has seemingly taken over our everyday lives. Social distancing and self-quarantine have become everyday words, as of late. As we lock ourselves in our homes and stay away from others, anxiety, depression, grief and fear enters as businesses, schools and public places close to prevent the spread of the virus.
Dr. Jon G. Rogers, a clinical psychologist in Huntsville, hearkens the current state to one of 80 years ago as America dealt with World War II.
“During World War II, there were shortages, rationing and restrictions forcing family to cut back, curtail its movement and do without many things that today we consider necessities,” said Rogers. “Without question, citizens accepted these limitations, pulled together and weathered a terrible war.”
Rogers said the virus is once again putting citizens in the country and the world with a tragedy affecting everyone.
“It is not only the illness that becomes a pandemic, but the same can be inferred about fear, mourning and despair,” Jacqueline Levin, a psychiatrist at North Shore University Hospital in New York writes in Psychiatry of Pandemics. “
Rev. Brett Hogland, of Faith Covenant Church of God in Scottsboro, said lives are being seriously impacted.
“I believe many people are taking it seriously and decreasing their going out, while others seem indifferent,” said Hogland. “My recommendation is to take it serious, if not for you, for others.”
Rogers says there are survival strategies that can help deal with the chaos and uncertainty.
“The enlightened answer would have to be that it is better to be united, work together, cancel name calling, cancel blame flinging and, constructively, try and arrive at a workable solution,” said Rogers.
Rogers said the best scientists are on the problem, but it will take time and there will trial and errors.
Hogland says he encourages people to be part of the solution.
“We are not having on campus gatherings,” said Hogland. “Our services will be online, along with a host of other new, creative ministry opportunities. This is a way for the church to be outside the walls and be creative in how they minister. It is also a way for families to reconnect together and in family worship.”
Rogers said grandparents and seniors can say, with confidence and experience, that this, too, will pass.
“Yes, the country did survive World War I, dust storms, World War II, depression, presidential assassination, Vietnam, 9/11, racial tensions and more,” said Rogers. “Individuals within every family have had to survive personal tragedies, illness, divorce, job loss, financial loss and untimely deaths.”
Rogers said it helps to tell these stories; it bonds families together.
“Does it help my granddaughter to know how my grandmother, as a single mother of two, survived in the 1920’s and 1930’s?” asked Rogers. “Her strength becomes our strength and our tradition.”
Hogland said scripture teaches us to honor our governmental suggestions unless they are in direct conflict with God’s Word.
“Here, they are not,” said Hogland. “In fact, Trump is asking us to pray. We can do that from home. We must do that from home.”
During this time, Rogers said don’t forget the children, who he says will assimilate this experience the same way children assimilated a world war.
“Children need contact comfort, hugging, loving, reassurance and to be listened to,” said Rogers. “Yes, let the children speak, ask their questions and tell how they feel. Maybe your best response is to hug them and tell them you love them and that everything is going to be ok. And it will. During these times, each town is ‘your town.’”