Easter looks very different for most of us this year. No nieces and nephews. No great nieces and nephews. No Easter baskets. I was originally depressed by this, then someone posted on Facebook about the fact that they would be working a 12 hour shift in the ICU at their hospital and I realized my gloom was trifling by comparison.
All the nieces and nephews are home safe and sound. None have coronavirus. None will be in a hospital praying for a ventilator and bed. None will be too sick to enjoy this day with their kids. I will not be waiting on the phone call to tell me they didn’t make it. And while I may not be able to hug them, they are still healthy as I write this.
Both of my parents are safe and healthy(ish). I am not praying a ventilator and bed becomes free for them. Both of my parent-in-laws are also safe and we will not be spending Easter hoping they recover.
And for that, I am thankful. I am thankful that I will be spending the day with my mom and husband and will be working on making the mask holders instead of hoping my family members aren’t struggling to breathe with a nurse to comfort them as they quietly pass from this world.
So, yes, Easter will be different this year. It will be quiet. There won’t be a noisy excited toddler teasing my dogs. There won’t be a newborn crying because he isn’t happy about something (possibly the noisy toddler). We will not have an Easter feast and there won’t be an egg hunt. But, I can forego that this year to instead have peace of mind.
And realistically, what I have to give up this year is nothing compared to what the healthcare workers in this country will face this Easter. Or what the families of people with COVID-19 will face. What I am giving up is so minuscule by comparison I can’t even call it sacrifice. So, as you sit depressed missing family and friends and “normal life” take a minute to think about the nurse who lost a patient within minutes of coming on their shift and the doctor that must now call their family to tell them their loved one has died. Take a minute to think about the CNAs and orderlies that are cleaning yet another vacated room because the patient died and the bed and ventilator are both needed immediately by yet another sick patient.
Those are the people who will be sacrificing this Easter. They are the ones that will end the day without celebration. They are the ones that will cry on the way home because the madness never ends for them now. Every shift is physically, mentally, and emotionally exhausting. And many aren’t going home, instead they are heading to makeshift quarters where they won’t be likely to spread this pestilence to their own families.
Yes, it sucks that most of us will miss Easter festivities. But it is not the end of the world for us, it is just another Sunday and we will celebrate next year. And what better holiday? Isn’t Easter meant to remind us of what true sacrifice is? Now, by comparison is your isolation on a single holiday truly a sacrifice when many others will lose so much more than ham and egg hunts this year?
For those not intending to skip it and continuing with the holiday dinners with family, will you walk away and in 2-14 days realize you sacrificed your health or the health of a loved one simply because you didn’t want to give up a celebration?
This shall pass. I don’t know how long it will take, but it will. Every great plague in history has ended eventually, even the plagues God visited upon Pharaoh. As Stephen King once said “everything is eventual.” One holiday without the grandkids or great grandkids is not worth death of yourself or someone you love.
I read an article recently about a woman who had gotten coronavirus and didn’t know it and she passed it along to her parents, one of whom died. She was mainly talking about how guilty she felt – a mixture of survivor’s guilt and guilt because she felt she had murdered one of her parents and for what… a few hours out of the house with them. Are you willing to make that kind of sacrifice to celebrate a holiday?