The Light at the End of the Tunnel
by Noah Hefley
April 25, 2020
Cambridge Dictionary definition: “Signs of improvement in a situation that has been bad for a long time, or signs that a long and difficult piece of work is almost finished.”
I don’t know about you but I am so ready for this pandemic thing to be over! Are you with me on that? And all God’s people said: AMEN!! Okay, it’s unanimous—it’s time to put this coronavirus behind us. If only it were that easy…
I probably shouldn’t say it—alright I’ll say it: I border on being impatient, but honestly it is the state I am (still) in. I said to Rhonda this week: “Let’s go out to eat—find a nice sit down restaurant and order a couple of steaks. I’ll spare no expense…” She was all for it! So I did a little research and found that to do it we would have to drive to South Dakota. Hey, if I’m going to have to do that then, to make the trip worthwhile, I am definitely going to get a haircut while I’m there.
I’m not the only one who is ready to move on beyond this quarantine time. I have noticed in numerous conversations recently that tensions seem to be growing in some of our homes. Frankly, Rhonda and I are extremely compatible but I’m not so sure that every marriage and family situation is quite that comfortable. I think it was Chaucer who first said, “Familiarity breeds contempt.” (Later Mark Twain humorously added the words “…and children.”). But to the point—not every marriage or family does well in a confined space over an extended period. After a while the temperature seems to rise, nerves begin to fray and tempers begin to flare. Someone sent me a funny about a couple who recently decided to not have children so they called the kids to the dinner table to announce it. I saw another funny in which a husband said that his wife is so caring because recently when he woke up she was standing over him with a pillow to put over his mouth so as to protect him from Covid19. That’s not good!
But I will tell you what is good—I have begun to see the light at the end of the tunnel. I am so serious when I say this. I study the situation prayerfully and carefully, and I see a day not too far off when we will see things begin to get back to normal (as normal as things can be after a time when nothing was normal like before). But we will meet together and eat together. We will work together and worship together. There will be much fun and play. There will be lots of love and laughter and life. And this is in our near future. I may not be a prophet but I can guarantee it.
Even respected scientists are beginning to agree on it. The IHME (Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation) which provides the statistical models in the U.S. to the President’s National Health Team (such as Dr. Fauci and Dr. Birx) has not only gone on record to lower the original doomsday predictions from 200,000+ deaths to 60,000+ deaths, but now they are predicting that by June 1 all of the statistics related to new cases and deaths will flatline. I have studied IHME over this pandemic cycle and have noted how it has adjusted its computer models to social distancing practices, safe measures and new knowledge about the virus so as to become far more reliable as the weeks have gone by. All of this to say that our finest scientific researchers agree that (unless we blow it through bad behavior) this pandemic is beginning (ever so slowly) to wind down—for now.
I am even more optimistic than that. Though we may have cases in the fall of this year and the winter of next year, still with what we have learned and with coming treatments and even the possibility of a vaccine on the horizon, I believe the worst days will soon be behind us and a return to normalcy before us. That’s my opinion.
But here’s the thing: The only downside to seeing light at the end of the tunnel is that it indicates you are still in the tunnel. So we must exercise patience with one another and with our situation. It won’t be long—but we are not there yet. We must continue to practice the things we have learned about social distancing and safe measures. We must pray for our elected leaders to have wisdom and common sense as they make decisions about a return to life and work, and for those on the frontlines battling this disease in our hospitals and nursing homes, and for all “essential workers” who provide us our food and necessary services, and for those who have been laid off from their jobs or furloughed in recent weeks, and pray that we may all return to work, school and normal life soon.
One final word: If you are feeling tension at home or in your quarantined state, let me give you a word of advice. Give yourselves a little space and cut each other a little slack. Practice the Golden rule: Do unto others as you would have them do unto you. Be hopeful in your outlook and helpful in your actions. Stay positive with your words. Trust in your Lord and be kind to those around you. Be patient! Or you can get in the car and drive to South Dakota…
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