Flatten the Curve

We’re in year two of two weeks to flatten the curve. Our hospitals were never in danger of being swamped. Often they get a surge during flu season, but C19 did not break hospitals. As happens with almost every government mandate, there was a lot of collateral damage.

Our churches and religious gatherings were one. The Mass and the Eucharist, considered the source and summit of our Catholic Faith, were suspended for several weeks. After hearing my whole lifetime about the treatment of lepers in Jesus' time, our worship – once resumed – reflected treating ourselves and everyone around us like lepers. Don’t get too close. Cover your face. Don’t touch each other. Don’t use Holy Water. Don’t sing.

My own Opus Dei “Circles” meetings and Evenings of Recollection were cancelled – initially out of the concerns all of us had that first month, but later because no parishes had the courage to host them.

Tonight we had our first local Men’s “Circle” in a year. Interim meetings had been hobbled together by means of Zoom. It was so nice to meet these men again face to face, without fear, and reflect on today’s Gospel and (because of the upcoming Feast) the role of Saint Joseph. Afterwards we sat around the table, sipping decafe coffee, nibbling on cookies, and discussing all sorts of topics. It lasted for an hour because we all had a lot of catching up to do. It was so full of fraternal camaraderie. I missed it.

At the initial C19 outset President Trump reminded the public and our medical professionals that the cure can’t be worse than the collateral damage. the collateral damage of lockdowns can’t outweigh those spared of catching C19. [Be careful writing late at night…] As an engineer I often remind my kids of the curse of one-dimensional thinking. For instance: optimizing for minimizing hospitalizations or death rates while not looking at the vast collateral damage. All three of my boys have lost a lot of zest for life and learning. I’m struggling to regain the fitness I had before gyms were closed. Unemployment and under-employment. Suicide rates. Missing important family events. The effects of remote learning on children.

It was nice for at least one night to remember how things were before we surrendered so many rights and liberties over fear and the need for security. I look forward to more such gatherings in the future.