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Learning to Live Underwater

There is an old Unitarian Universalist joke:

Hearing that a great flood was coming, the Catholics said their rosaries and the Buddhists used their beads, the Congregationalists joined in prayer, and the Unitarian Universalists formed a class to try to learn to live underwater.


Well, friends, I believe it's time to start up those classes. For us, it's not living underwater, it's figuring out how to learn to live under quarantine.

Smart people are looking at what has happened thus far with coronavirus, and what our country is not willing to do, and it seems clear that this is not going to be a short inconvenience. We have to face reality. Many of my choral musician friends are in grief this week, because they are doing just that. They are looking at the information available, and concluding that "there is no safe way for singers to rehearse together until there is a COVID-19 vaccine and a 95% effective treatment in place, .... (estimated as) at least 18-24 months away."

Whew.

Okay, first:

Take time to absorb this. Take time to grieve. Remember that grief presents in many different ways, including anger. Try not to do too much damage to relationships as you grieve.

Please don't kill the messenger, however the news comes to you. If you want to protest, I'm not going to argue with you. I hope the experts are wrong. I hope I'm wrong.

And - preparing for this does not mean that we can't change it all if suddenly a vaccine occurs or a significant treatment. Wouldn't that be great?

But after you've fully grieved ... take a deep breath, and begin thinking of this as a period in which we will do things in a different way. Church, definitely. Perhaps school. Work.

Love. How will we love one another during this time?

We are not the first people whose lives have suddenly changed and will remain changed for a while. After Pearl Harbor, people in the United States did not expect the war to be over in a couple of months. They didn't know when it would end, but they knew they were in for a long haul.

It's time to learn to live underwater. Not for forever. This will end. But for a while.


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