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The Wrath of Righteousness

Not a lot of people in my rural southern town are wearing masks out in public. Meanwhile, Omicron is spreading like wildfire among both the vaccinated and unvaccinated in my community. My friends, my extended family, my husband’s boss, my favorite local shop owners, and more have all gotten sick over the holidays. I know more people who’ve gotten COVID in the last 30 days than in the 20 months prior.

As I shop for groceries, watch my daughter’s dance class, drop my daughter off at preschool, or attend story time at the library with my son, I can’t help but feel the wrath of righteousness. Why aren’t these people just wearing a !@#$% mask?! Why can’t we do this one simple thing to help protect those in our communities who cannot get vaccinated or protect themselves with a mask (like my 20-month-old)?

But then I think—I’ve made the choice to go out in public with my kids and some would certainly (and perhaps rightly) judge that choice. They would say that I’m being reckless. But this global pandemic has been around for my son’s entire life and almost two-fifths of my daughter’s. My husband and I have decided that it would (probably?) damage them more to isolate them for years of their lives. So far, they seem to be robust and healthy little people. They would (probably?) be fine if they got COVID. But what if they spread it someone who would not? (Can you feel the acid rising in your esophagus as well?)

I want my neighbors to love their neighbors by getting vaccinated and wearing a mask in public, but I can’t live with myself in this state of constant judgement and blame. It’s exhausting. I just want to love my neighbors as they are. I also want to be with my neighbors. I’m tired of being at home.

At the beginning of COVID, it seemed like there were clear good and bad choices. Now, it just seems like a free-for-all. What are we to do? That’s why I’m grateful that Lumunos has chosen “Loving Our Neighbors” as our theme for 2022. It’s more important now than ever before to keep asking ourselves how to love our neighbors in this very complicated time. None of us may have any clear answers, but at least we’ll be trying. Becca Perry-Hill


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