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By Ron Baker

Well, this has been a year – and we’re not even close to half done!

My mother sits in a care home in Gravelbourg, Saskatchewan. She has some dementia and the aches of an 87 year old. Otherwise she is healthy.

Her home is locked down. The closest that we could get to her Mother’s day was . . . not close at all. She may have been sitting looking out her window, with perhaps birds chirping and the sun shining. She loves to hum, and so a tune may have been on her lips. But the children and grandchildren will not receive a kiss, or wave goodbye, or brighten her day.

Such is living in our 20/20 world.

I was reading the Golden Rule in my Bible today. “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.” Not a bad reminder in the midst of rampant virus encroachment and efforts to maintain a healthy life.

I am like others of you. I would like to have some time together with you all. Just a chat or a handshake would be great. But if that hand shake then passed to another and to another and finally ended up with my mother . . . I would be saddened if her death were partially attributed to me.

So I physical distance – no handshakes. And I social distance – no visiting without physical distance. And I find ways to connect and encourage and be there for others – just as I would like them to be there for me.

I performed a funeral – with ten people around the gravesight. Two were funeral home directors, there were the pallbearers. Only two of the immediate family were present. But there was a live video happening with other family members.

I helped officiate a wedding – with ten people present. The couple, one set of parents, officiants, witnesses, photographers – and by then you are up to the limit. The ceremony was live broadcasted with family watching and friends in Romania and Japan.

This past weekend my niece got married in Canada. Her parents live just a few hours south, across the American border. After the ceremony, the couple came to a border crossing and saw the parents. She is medically trained and understands well the effect of transmitting disease – while also being open to new and innovative ways to provide connection and relationship.

I’ve been watching four church services on a Sunday – my own church, my brother-in-law’s church, my sister-in-law’s church, my wife’s former church. I feel even more connected with their circle of life than I did before.

There is something to be said for this pandemic – in doing unto others as I would have them do unto me, I’m also connecting more with others than I would have in a “normal” situation.

Maybe the “new” normal is not so bad!

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