Hope for the best but prepare for the worst
We are of course praying for an early end to this pandemic. We pray for the healing and recovery of those are sick, especially those who are struggling for life in the hospitals. We long to be back to normal times as soon as possible, when we can freely move about again, when we can report regularly to our jobs, when we can pursue our respective means of livelihood. We look forward to the day when the schools open again, when we can eat snacks and dine once more in our favorite restos, or even just walk and run in the park or enjoy the beach. We long for the day when we can attend mass again in our churches, receive the sacraments once more, or gather for our worship.
While we so hope, the nagging thought does not disappear – what if the pandemic remains, or a second wave comes?
There are indeed welcome signs of normalcy, of certain establishments opening up again, albeit gradually and varying from place to place and from country to country. However, there are also warnings of the pandemic coming back in the fall and winter, especially as no cure or vaccine has been found as yet.
Many areas are certainly not out of the woods by any measure. Some mention months and even years before this is over. There is reputedly a document from intelligence sources that estimates 18 months before this pandemic will disappear. One benchmark we can consider is how the Vatican acts, which obtains information from many sources. Through the Pope, it has postponed major events by one year, specifically the World Youth Day and the World Meeting of Families. Also, scientists and medical experts have indicated that a vaccine can be ready but only after one year.
Amidst these, there are posts that mention many good things that have happened because of this corona virus pandemic. Our planet earth, our common home, had a welcome breather, the air is cleaner, pollution by many measures is significantly lower, the ozone layer has been cleared in some areas. Many are rejoicing that traffic is much lighter, and the price of gas is much cheaper. Notably, people have generally realized what is really important, what really matters. Families have become closer, parents have time for their children. All churches may be closed, but many homes have become small churches. People have become kinder. Even lay groups have adapted to the new situation—worship, meetings and conferences are now online. There is no substitute for actual meetings, but these online meetings have turned out to be advantageous in many respects—reduced trips, no expense for food, no cost for venues, and so forth. These are real benefits too.
Thus, some think it should not be that bad even if this pandemic continues a bit more, for as long as jobs and means of livelihood can continue and are protected. This is really what is key, that the economy holds.
What would be prudent therefore is for people to welcome an end to the pandemic but also prepare for a continuing period of modified lockdown and quarantine. Hope for the best but prepare for the worst.
In the end, we simply place all these in the hands of the Lord. Mankind will do its best, confident that God will do the rest. We pray for what He thinks is best for us. He knows, and he loves us. We put our full trust in Him.