COVID19 came to the Peace Center this week; not because of sickness or death, but because we had to close. Last week we kept the center open especially for our after school kids who now had tons of work to do and often needed our computers to do it, but also for the new folks who stopped in because they had just been laid off and now had to fill out applications for SNAP. Completing SNAP applications is no easy task and online is really tough. The work was done and the applications filled out but now we “shelter in place” and pray for all of this to end. Contingency plans now include setting up a schedule for phone calls to our senior adults, some walks around the neighborhood on weekdays when we usually were not able to do so, setting up a neighborhood ambassador who could tell us if someone was in need that we might not know about and could help. Many folks do not have cars so we can offer to go to the store for them.
There are lots of people offering advice and suggestions for how to stay sane during these days, but it is the human presence that suddenly seems so vital. As we walk through the neighborhood, we will stop and say a prayer or greet those sitting on their porches and just let them know we are here and will do what we can and are allowed to do for them.
Let us pray for each other and look for new ways to stay connected that somehow won’t stop just because life might return to normal. Nothing is going to be normal again for a long time so what can we do to bring peace and hope to someone who is anxious and feeling downcast, and how do we prevent ourselves from having those same feelings? So, let’s take a breath, pray a lot and connect with each other as best we can.