Sheltering in Place: The Natural Order of Things
Sheltering in place is turning out to be too hard for some of us, but it is the way of the world. Nature’s world at least.
The Mother Robin in her nest outside my window reminded me this morning.
While robins from all over the neighborhood were responding to the alarm cries of a few who have been gathering in the fir trees, a sure indication that the great horned owl is out hunting, Mother Robin was on the nest, quietly feeding her hatch-lings, then settling herself down, sheltering her babies from whatever threat might be lurking outside their little world.
This got me thinking about how mothers respond to crisis. In most species, they quickly gather their brood under their wings, or in the center of the herd, or back into the den, and they wait out the threat, choosing fight over flight only when it is absolutely necessary.
I’ve been taken aback by the violence and virulence of some of the anti quarantine protests, and completely appalled by some of the social media posts those who are leaning that way have shared online. It is easy to ignore such things when shared by strangers, but when seemingly reasonable, well intentioned people I know share things that promote harmful, erroneous and inflammatory information, it gets my attention.
Why are these Americans reacting so vehemently? The whole world is dealing with the same crisis, the same threat, the same restrictive attempts to tamp down the spread of the novel corona virus. Yet so many Americans view it as a personal threat to their liberties, rather than the unfortunate reality of life during a pandemic.
And of course, there are plenty of agitators ready to exploit peoples frustration and fear by casting blame and suspicion over people who are trying to help–The people who are actually doing constructive things to try to find the solutions we will need to ever get back to “normal” again.
People like Bill Gates who is spending tons of money through his foundation building labs and sponsoring R&D hoping to find a vaccine that will knock this virus down to manageable levels. People like Anthony Fauci, who has been working 20 hour days for months during the crisis trying to balance the needs of the politicians in Washington with the demands of a health threat like we have not seen in one hundred years. And getting death threats for rolling his eyes during a press conference. Really?
And there are governors who have been working tirelessly trying their best to juggle the responsibilities of literally saving lives while trying to keep their state economies from cratering and causing widespread economic suffering, which requires them to make really difficult decisions.
Yet some purport that they are simply exploiting this virus outbreak in order to “take over”. Take over what? The worst economic slump since the depression? The highest death rate in the developed world? A nation in chaos?
You have got to be kidding me.
That is some crazy reasoning. And it is absolutely hurting and not helping the effort. And every day more people are jumping on the bandwagon, showing up at rallies where they are spreading the virus around, believing in their own immortality, screaming about their rights while ignoring their responsibilities as members of civil society.
Not. Helping. At all.
Lucky for me, I know far more people who are instinctively going into protective mode, just like Mother Robin. They are staying home. They are taking precautions when in public. They are doing all they can to contribute to the effort. They are making sacrifices. And they aren’t crying about it.
Many of these good folks are mothers and fathers and grandmothers and grandfathers. They are learning patience and perseverance and how to make sacrifices for the greater good. They are grateful to the health care workers exhausting themselves on the front lines. They are supportive of the public officials who are making protecting their constituents their number one priority even as it becomes less and less popular.
They are praying for the people in the labs who are working tirelessly to come up with vaccines, treatments and a working understanding of a virus that is not like the flu or a common cold but is dangerous and deadly and appears to have characteristics unlike others we have dealt with.
For now, I am keeping my eye on Mother Robin, and observing how she so steadfastly applies herself to the health and well being of her brood.
She shelters in place. I hope you will do likewise.
Stay safe. Stay healthy. Stay steadfast.
Do not grow weary in well doing.
Thank you for your efforts. And Happy Mother’s Day.
©2020 by Ilona Elliott