It feels odd to be alive at a time like this. The streets continue to get emptier and emptier after an order to shut down universities and schools, large tourist markets, entertainment venues and sporting events in an effort to stop the spread of Covid19.
The city lies cloaked in gray. Smog blankets the mountains, hiding the sun that should come out in blazing heat. The Air Quality Index shows the PM 2.5 to be over 360, at dangerous levels.
Our worlds have been uprooted, our safe schedules in upheaval. The ground beneath us is shaky, the sky above us is shrouded, the road before us is blurred with confusion.
Through it all hovers a brooding heaviness. Fear. Fear, waiting to latch its teeth into us when we read the news, when we discuss the crisis with friends, when we see the city streets emptying.
In a time like this, it feels sometimes like the distinct black and white lines that we like to draw are blurred and shaky, smudged into gray, like the sky above.
Life has felt like this for me in the past week. Selfishness seems to be the norm in cases I meet at my work as a translator. Anger flares over the smallest things. Hope seems to be ebbing low. Some of the kindest people I know are said to be the most corrupt. My own future and the dreams I’ve cherished are vague and unreal and look impossible. My school and internship plans for the next 5 months have been totally changed. Sometimes the things you believe with your mind don’t feel right with your heart.
It’s easy to let these things carry into my life, to begin carrying a heaviness that was not mine to carry. It’s easy to let the unknowns and gray matters and smog of life soak into my soul.
But when I stop and think of it, I can still trace some of the lines and truths. Through the gray, I can still see color. I can still see truth.
It is still right to be kind.
It is still right to be just, even in the face of injustice and corruption.
Being humbly truthful is still the best thing.
Unselfishness still speaks as loudly as selfishness.
Prayer is still the best response to an unknown future.
Practicing generosity is still one of the kindest and unselfish things you can do.
God is still in control.
God still keeps his promises.
God still loves this world.
And donuts still taste really, really good.