A few years ago, our house flooded so badly we had to gut the house and take it down to the studs. It was at this time that our contractor found some problems with our house’s foundation. There were some cracks and deterioration in the pillars that were holding up the house. My contractor explained that if we didn’t fix the foundation, we could do all the framing, drywall, painting to make the house look nice all we wanted but without making the foundation sound, we’d always struggle to have a firm structure.
Two years before COVID-19 put “social distancing” and “working remotely” into our everyday vocabulary, healthcare company CIGNA published a report about an epidemic plaguing the country: loneliness. The global pandemic has deepened that loneliness and brought profound losses in jobs, health, and lives.
Wedding vows declare the promises and expectations for a marriage, even though brides and grooms typically have little appreciation for what’s coming. I know I didn’t. My expectations for my marriage to Susan involved a lot of “for better” and “for richer” and “in health.” Sure, I promised “for worse” and “for poorer” and “in sickness,” but I didn’t expect hard times in marriage, until we had them.
The pandemic we are living through is history in the making. Stories will be told decades from now, about how this changed everything, how it altered the course of governments, businesses, individuals and families. Yet in the middle of it all, I’m struck by how important remembering the past is, how important it is that we “remember to remember” amidst COVID-19. Our personal and collective histories are critical to how we navigate these crazy days.