So, here I am tucked away in my home, writing next week’s World column. And there you are, likely tucked away in your own home and already into ‘next week’, reading it. I’m pretty sure you have gone out at least a few times, as you have a copy of the paper in your hands or on the table in front of you, right now. Or, perhaps you are truly cocooned at home and looking at the online version. Either way, welcome to my world, in The World.
My wife was just commenting that this nasty invasive coronavirus has already changed many things in the way we live. At this point, we are obviously somewhat trapped and attempting to do everything possible to ensure the safety of ourselves and our loved ones. We have been somewhat forced into doing so, as we have been into removing our shoes at the airport, in the days when we dared USE the airport. What a world we live in.
Going to a store has become an ‘only if absolutely necessary’ thing to do; keeping extra food in the house has become the norm, along with, for some reason, emptying Stuff-mart’s toilet paper counter. Giving a friendly handshake or hug has become a thing of the past, and even touching your own face is taboo. Some of these precautions will also certainly pass into the past when this siege is over. Some, like handshaking, might be things that should, sadly, be continued long into the future.
Anyway, that is only part of what I wanted to share with you today. (I do tend to ramble. At least my fingers on this keyboard do.) What I also want to tell you about is a simple, practical, almost free action you can take to help people in your neighborhood in this stressful and dangerous time. It is an idea shared yesterday with us, by a good friend, via Facebook, so you may have already heard of it. In case you have not, here it is.
The idea is to buy a pack of various colored construction paper. Pull out the red, yellow, and green pieces, maybe paperclip them together, and include a note like this:
Please tape one of these cards to the inside of a window facing our home.
Green: if everything is fine at your house.
Yellow: if there is an errand that we may run for you.
Red: if there is an emergency situation that we can help you with.
Yesterday our family assembled two of these ‘kits’ in plastic bags and left them on our two neighbors’ back doorknobs. Both of those families, without having to contact us at all, have their green cards in a window facing our house. It is comforting to us to know that, so far, everything is fine with those fine folks. We will check for the cards each day until this virus is finally defeated. Would you be willing to do the same for your neighbors? If so, as they used to say, just do it.
Our thoughts and prayers are with our nation and our world as we together continue the vigilant fight against this tiny but terrible invisible enemy. Keep your head up, your guard up, and your faith active.