I’ve never been a massive fan of shopping. I have always been an ‘in and out of the store quick’ type of gal. You can imagine how quickly I am shopping in 2020. Last week, my friend and I decided to go grocery shopping because we heard that there would be a sharp rise in the price of protein.
Upon arriving in the parking lot at our favourite supermarket, my friend and I grabbed our hand sanitisers, I had a face mask, and I also handed her some disinfectant wipes so she could wipe off her shopping cart. Although I try to prepare myself before going into a store these days, I could still feel the anxiety of others as I walked in. I asked for a key for a power scooter shopping cart from the front desk, and off we went.
I had difficulty keeping my face mask in place, and that had me a bit flustered. Because I suffer from allergies this time of year, I had hoped the mask would disguise an occasional cough or an involuntary sneeze. I am sure I earned a few stares as I fiddled with the mask before I stuffed it in my coat pocket. “I know, I know!” I silently protested as people looked my way. I knew as soon as my hands that had just touched produce touched the mask, it was no longer useful. I since discovered the mask was too small for me, but that didn’t help me in my first launch of wearing PPE in public.
A few minutes after the masking disaster, I heard a high-pitched beep coming from my scooter. “Oh no,” I thought. I knew what that sound meant. The battery needed recharging. I was at the back of the store. Dumping my shopped items into my friend’s cart, I urged the scooter to its spot, wincing as the beeping continued. People stared. By now, I was sweating. I used my feet to push the stupid scooter along. Fortunately, there was another cart waiting, fully charged, and I grabbed it.
The rest of our shopping excursion went without a hitch, but I am dreading my next trip.
I was one of ‘those’ people you see at Walmart or Superstore. You know, one of ‘those’ that you try not to stare at but who you silently wonder they don’t have their act together?
Yesterday, a friend shared a similar story. One of her relatives breaks out into a sweat easily. He just is one of those people who overheats and is comfortable in summer wear year-round. Standing in line at the check-out, with a shopping cart full of items and wearing a mask, he began to sweat. He doesn’t enjoy shopping much either, so that didn’t help his situation much. Walmart employees spotted the sweat on his brow and pulled him out of line, assuming he was ill. He was a target for speculative stares as store staff escorted him to the ‘special’ till and then out of the store.
We don’t know another person’s story. We are all going through this COVID-19 storm together, but we are not on the same boat. I don’t know who wrote this, but it carries a lot of wisdom. The financial numbers listed indicate American stimulus packages, but I think it still speaks a universal truth.
WE ARE NOT IN THE SAME BOAT…
I heard that we are all in the same boat, but it’s not like that. We are in the same storm, but not in the same boat. Your ship could be shipwrecked, and mine might not be. Or vice versa.
For some, quarantine is optimal. A moment of reflection, of re-connection, easy in flip-flops, with a cocktail or coffee. For others, this is a desperate financial & family crisis.
For some that live alone, they’re facing endless loneliness. While for others, it is peace, rest & time with their mother, father, sons & daughters.
With the $600 weekly increase in unemployment payouts, some are bringing in more money to their households than they were working. Others are working more hours for less money due to pay cuts or loss in sales.
Some families of 4 just received $3400 from the stimulus while other families of 4 saw $0.
Some were concerned about getting a certain candy for Easter while others were concerned if there would be enough bread, milk and eggs for the weekend.
Some want to go back to work because they don’t qualify for unemployment and are running out of money. Others want to kill those who break the quarantine.
Some are home spending 2-3 hours/day helping their child with online schooling while others are spending 2-3 hours/day to educate their children on top of a 10-12-hour workday.
Some have experienced the near-death of the virus; some have already lost someone from it, and some are not sure if their loved ones will make it. Others don’t believe this is a big deal.
Some have faith in God and expect miracles during this 2020. Others say the worst is yet to come.
So, friends, we are not in the same boat. We are going through a time when our perceptions and needs are completely different.
Each of us will emerge, in our own way, from this storm. It is very important to see beyond what is seen at first glance. Not just looking, actually seeing.
We are all on different ships during this storm, experiencing a very different journey.
We might not all be in the same boat, but we will make it through if we make sure we are in the same boat as Jesus. He is the one who calmed the storm that terrified seasoned fishermen who were well used to the wind gales that hit the Sea of Galilee, and he is the one who can bring us through uncharted waters.
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Until Next Week,
©2020 Katherine Walden