Saturday, March 28, 2020

Snake Oil: all the sanny's been magpied

Most of us are trying to look for sunshine amid the gloom of the worst pandemic in our lifetimes. We're adjusting our behaviour in response to advice and regulation. Flexibility is the key because flexible thinking enables adaptivity. We're finding ways to continue living when much of what we have taken for granted for all of our lives has been taken from us, albeit temporarily. People are becoming accustomed to the COVID-19 world; even slowly desensitized to the surreality, the sickness and the death.

Humour, as always, is proving a powerful weapon in the fight against the contagion of anxiety and negativity associated with this rapidly spreading virus. An anonymous genius has coined some new slang which I've already adopted, as many others will. People are making humourous videos and sharing them on social media platforms. We're joking with each other about the lighter, more trivial aspects, like the lack of toilet paper. Humans are incredibly resilient, as has been proven time and time again throughout history.

Less well known or acknowledged is how we are designed to survive, and to lean each other, as much as possible to get through hard times. The so called 'will to live' is an exceptionally important part of our programming. The magpies taking all the toilet paper and fighting over what is left are not representative of us. We're better than that because God made us better than that. In times of trouble we come together, we help each other. We make sacrifices for others because we care. In all this we reflect God's character which is, above all else, love. We love because God first loved us. Love only seems natural; in fact it is supernatural.

I'll finish with a couple of funny experiences. One at a Coles supermarket, and the other at Domino's pizza. There was no toilet paper on the shelves but I asked a manager-looking type and he got me a four pack from the storeroom. I felt very conspicuous as I paid for the toilet paper and then carried it under my arm through the entire length of the mall. I couldn't stop myself from thinking, 'they're coming to get me. They want the toilet paper.'

At Domino's we proceeded to the counter at the appropriate time having been forewarned not to enter the store until our pizza was ready. While we stood at the counter, sorry 1.5 metres from the counter, two staff set up chairs at either end of the social distancing line, then made a chest high line of duct tape to prevent people from crossing the line. I was momentarily thrown off by this. How was I to get my pizza? The young lady behind the counter and I looked at each other. Stupidly, I asked the question: 'How does this work?'

Another customer arrived and demonstrated how two outstretched arms easily covered the social distancing gap. As I said, these are strange times we live in.

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