09 Nov An Invisible Enemy
Unfortunately, in the last two weeks, COVID-19 hospitalizations have increased 16 percent across the nation and coronavirus is still wreaking havoc across the world causing much of Italy to go into another lockdown and London as well. Yet in our communities, there are many who are acting with a cavalier attitude towards the three ‘Ws’, Washing hands, Wearing masks, and Watching ones distance.
Recently, I had an epiphany about this very subject. Imagine if you had a fruit fly infestation with the little creatures flying at you. You would do whatever you could to get rid of them. Then, after sterilizing your counters, scrubbing and spraying and thinking your all done with them-if you notice a few new ones, you would be greatly alarmed that maybe it’ll start all over again. It dawned upon me that if we saw the coronavirus microbe, we would have an altogether different attitude towards it. We would be wearing helmets and hunkering down to dodge the deadly thing. But, since we cannot see it, COVID-19 fatigue has caused us to want to believe that that it’s not a problem anymore, notwithstanding the fact that all of us know that people are still dying and are aware that people are being hospitalized and even intubated.
This ability to be acutely aware of the existence of something even though we cannot see it is actually a very big part of successful Yiddishkeit. One’s quality of davening hinges upon whether one can envision that he or she is standing in front of Hashem although they can’t see Him. One’s very yiras shamayim, the inhibition of not sinning because Hashem is always watching also hinges upon one’s ability to be aware of what one cannot see. And, our ability to prioritize our activities with the aim of acquiring Olam HaBa is also basing our lives upon that which we’ve never seen.
A closely related skill is what ChaZaL teach us, “Eizehu chacham? Haro’eh es hanolad – Who is wise? One who has foresight.” People are getting sick unfortunately and even worse, they’re dying. Practicing the three Ws certainly saves lives but you have to have the smarts, the foresight to act on this knowledge. Masks are bothersome, they are uncomfortable and they chafe. They make you out of breath and might make you nauseous, but if there’s even a chance that they can save someone’s life, or even your own, it’s a no brainer. This is besides the Kiddush Hashem we make when we mask and thus behave like the Ahm Segula, the Treasured Nation that is supposed to be the light and example unto all the other nations.
In the merit of thinking about others and not taking the easy route but rather the right way, may Hashem bless us with long life, good health, and everything wonderful.