Things have been, and still are, pretty rough here in Italy through this coronavirus time. And not just because we’ve had such a high rate of cases and deaths. But because in addition to the usual restrictions, like social distancing, masks, gloves, diminished freedom, company closures, and loss of jobs (like my husband’s) – our restrictions have been extra confining, making life a bit depressing.
Rules and heaviness
We are now hemmed in by rules that make life heavy.And they’re saying this, to a degree, will be our new normal.
Some experts, in fact, are stating we should expect some of these things to continue for some time to come, even into 2022. But hopefully not with these extra rigid measures they’ve enacted over here…
What we can’t do:
1. No going out at all
We’re not allowed out of our homes at all except for food shopping or medical reasons. Not even for a walk, to run, or jog. And only one family member is allowed out at one time, wearing mask and gloves. I’ve barely been out of the house (except for our garden) during the past 2 months.
2. No leaving town
Except for medical reasons or work, even though hardly anyone is working. And if I go in the car with Hubby, I’m required to sit in the back seat. (Even though we sit and sleep side by side at home!)
We haven’t been out of our town for 2 months. And that, perhaps, is the hardest part, especially for residents of smaller towns like ours. We only have really small food stores here with higher than normal prices, that now keep climbing.
3. No ceremonies or celebrations
All ceremonies and celebrations have been put on hold, no matter how small. No one can get married. And people get buried with no ceremony and no family members present at all, even if they didn’t die from the virus.
They call all these things shelter in place, lockdown, isolation, quarantine, and social distancing. To me, it seems more like house arrest – even though we’ve done nothing wrong.
The new normal?
They’re saying all this will be our our new normal. But there’s nothing normal about it.
There’s nothing normal about not being free to move about. There’s nothing normal about lack of community or being fearful of others. Or about not being able to care for others in more tangible ways. And there’s no normal in not being able to get married, or being able to say our final goodbyes.
A normal life, according to God, is an abundant overflowing life. A life abounding with joy, peace, love, freedom, and hope. A life of being connected to God, others, and the world around us.
Perhaps the experts may be right and we’ll have to deal with some of these things for some time to come.
But I refuse to consider them normal, and will continue to hope and wait for a return to the more normal life that we had before all this happened. The life that was at least a little closer to that which God has in mind for humanity.
Because normal is supposed to be a life of abundant hope, peace, joy and freedom!