East Mississippi schools, parents adapt to closings

Bianca Moorman/The Meridian Star

Wesley House staff members Allakie Smith and Courtney McGrew pass a lunch bag to a parent on Monday. The agency started a program called "Feed the Children" to make sure children are eating while schools are closed during the COVID-19 pandemic. 

By now your hands are raw from repeated washing. You surely notice that when you offer them up with prayers.

With each passing day since the president declared a state of emergency due to the coronavirus, you have noticed other changes, too.

You may have closed your business. You may have lost your job. You may have seen your retirement fund depleted.

Maybe you’ve faced only minor inconvenience … a canceled getaway weekend, a long wait at the checkout, a shortage of toilet paper.

Before COVID-19 has run its course, we all likely will know someone close to us or an acquaintance who has become terribly sick. Some of us may experience the worst, the death of a loved one.

This is no longer an obscure malady in a far off corner of China, but rather it is a crisis that we all face together.

Together – now there’s a word that can provide comfort.

We can look for the organizations that are providing meals for children who are left without school lunches.

We can look for the individuals who are running errands for elderly neighbors.

We can look for healthcare professionals who place themselves at risk to heal the sick.

We can look for families who gather in their homes, no longer dashing off in different directions.

We can look for houses of worship that are reaching out to their congregations through live stream services, Facebook connections or Facetime.

We may even look for rival political leaders attempting to find common ground and relief for all the suffering this virus is causing.

In all of that looking, maybe we can finally find that salve to soothe our divisions and bind those wounds.

A crisis has a way of making us see our similarities are much greater than our differences.

In these days when we’re told to stay apart, our wish for all is the epiphany that we are together.

We thank all those who are making it so.

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