It has been exactly forty days since we cut our spring break short and made the decision to take social distancing and quarantine seriously. Forty days we have wandered this dessert. Each day we log on to see what the new numbers are, what new developments have sprung up over night, to see the good news and the bad. Each day has become more insane and unbelievable than the last.
When you hire a clown, expect a circus.
Collectively, the nerves of a nation that demands autonomy and expects instant gratification, have become thin and frayed. Forty days is a long time to be cooped up. Just ask Noah. Forty days is a long time to go without. Just as Jesus. Like the Israelites wandering the dessert we have become grumpy and discontent. We no longer trust those who speak with authority and the golden calf of manicures, haircuts and highlights is calling our name.
After forty days those who entered the wilderness barley scraping by are wondering when the manna will fall from heaven. Small business loans and stimulus checks are not enough to keep the lights on.
Healers who have risked their lives urge us to stay the course but they too are worn down. For forty days we have cheered them on from a distance. Banged our pots and pans, honked our horns and flashed our brights. But flashing lights and honking horns have not provided them with the proper equipment and tests they need. All those beautiful tests that were promised forty days ago.
So on day forty-one Georgia volunteers as tribute (or takes the bait to turn stone into loves) and on day fifty-five we will see if they are our hero or our martyr.
Social distancing from our friends and family for forty days is really hard. But we are not the first to experience hardship. There have been longer days and harder trials. Can we do more or will we give up or somewhere in between? Maybe we’ll have the answer on day forty-one or forty-two or forty-three. Or sixty.