This time last year the world had just started experiencing the deadliness of the Covid-19 virus. It had begun to spread through the western world and it was around this time that the first case was detected in Nigeria. An Italian man had travelled to Nigeria with the virus. By the end of March, schools were closed. Churches too, and all the usual places of public gathering. Before we knew it, we were under lockdown and the fear of the virus blossomed.
I do not want to recollect that initial lockdown, because it was full of fear. With eyes glued to the news channels everyday, we watched as the numbers grew and the fatalities increased. It was all I could do to get out of the house. Even taking a walk within our estate was considered risky, in case I met people on the way. I recall passing by my Chinese neighbour on my way to the front of my house to throw away trash. Despite the fact that he was within his boundaries and our houses were divided by a fence, I quickly did my business and ran inside the house, afraid he may be infected. It didn’t help that I had heard him coughing loudly earlier in the day.
Today, the fear is abated somewhat. Now we know how deadly the virus is, but we have also seen close friends and family survive it. There is greater awareness about the way it is spread and how we can protect ourselves. Unfortunately, a lot of people have died and the virus has hit harder with the second wave. Unlike the first wave, when a few politicians and some unknown people died, the second wave struck close to home, with close friends and family members either getting infected or even dying.
Getting to the end of 2020, it was assumed that the virus would disappear with the coming of a new year. Unfortunately, the festive period saw the introduction of a new strain of the virus which proved to be swifter and deadlier. Many people who participated in the various celebrations of the season, compromising on the COVID protocols ended up contracting the virus and some died from it.
Here we are today, still alive and a bit sober. A bit more willing to wear the masks and wash hands regularly, unwilling to be a statistic of the virus. All glory to God for keeping us. Like Jesus said in Luke 13, verses 1 to 5, those who died were not greater sinners than those of us who are alive today.
We are alive today and we are grateful for this, but I believe this is a season of sober reflection. We must not waste our survival. Rather, having gone through the past year, we must reflect on the things that have changed in our lives and find ways of optimizing our living in the new normal.
I believe we are alive at this time for a reason. And whatever we need to survive and thrive in this world has been made available by God. When we look to Him for guidance and help, He will provide all the help that we need. He says “Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest” Matthew 11:28 NLT
In this season, let us go back to our Maker and ask Him to show us His plans and strategy for this time. Those things that He has written in His book concerning us and the good works He has purposed for us to accomplish. In the midst of the current difficulties, we can find meaning and hope for a better tomorrow. We can find joy and strength to go on. It is not over yet. The best is yet to come. We will overcome and look back on these days with thanksgiving.