Dear Chalice Members and Friends,
I don’t know about you, but I am finding this pandemic ever more disheartening. As many of you know, I am a physician, an obstetrician with an entirely hospital-based practice. We are seeing so much Covid right now. Every day I am donning up in a gown, an N95 mask, gloves, goggles, and a hat just to walk into a room to do a simple check on a patient. I don’t feel the fear of dying as I did at the beginning of the pandemic but the whole process of gowning up makes me feel alienated from my patients. I go into the room less and when in the room feel more separate from them than pre-pandemic.
One of my colleagues was chatting with me today about her son who is 7 and tested positive with only a headache as a symptom. The rest of the family, herself, her husband, the 4-year-old and baby all tested negative. So now they all have to wear n95 masks and her 7-year-old son has to eat his meals alone. It’s only for a week or so. She said to me she just wants to give him a hug and cuddle with him.
These are minor inconveniences; donning gear to see a patient and isolating your 7-year-old. They do not compare to losing a loved one to Covid. But they exemplify to me the alienation and loneliness that Covid has caused. I know we all want to get back to Chalice in person. We miss that connection so much. Zoom just doesn’t satisfy the heart like sitting in a room full of fellow humans to say a prayer or listen to a sermon.
Along with this worsening sense of separation, I am feeling more disheartened because I am afraid to hope. I am afraid to hope that Omicron will relent and leave more people with natural immunity. I am afraid to hope there are no more variants coming. I am afraid to make plans. We’ve been fooled before.
We will get through this. I know we will. It’s hard right now for us to see the light at the end of the tunnel. When will we be together again? Soon, I do hope soon. I want to stand in a circle, probably outside with masks on, and sing:
Spirit of Life, come unto me.
Sing in my heart all the stirrings of compassion.
Blow in the wind, rise in the sea;
Move in the hand, giving life the shape of justice.
Roots hold me close; wings set me free;
Spirit of Life, come to me, come to me.
Feeling disheartened, I do ask the Spirit of Life to come to me. May we ask for this together.
With love as always, Anne