Bare shelf at Raley's.

What bare shelves can teach us

I don’t have any great web design or marketing tips this week. Just some reflection on the Coronavirus (COVID-19) and how it’s disruptive effect on our lives.

Lament and gratitude

First, before I moan about the shortage of toilet paper, I feel I must have gratitude that I have not contracted or perished from this virus. Thousands have. Thousands of human beings, made in the image of God, have already died from this virus. Many in other countries, but some very close to home, including two so far in Sacramento County.

What changes a week can bring

On Monday, March 9, I started my work week somewhat predictably. By the following Monday, the following happened:

  • We witnessed well-stocked stores and supermarkets transform into looking like something from last days of the Soviet Union.
  • We “watched” church online, as our church along with many others chose not to meet as an effort to prevent spread.
  • All of our extra-curricular activities had been cancelled or suspended for weeks (and perhaps longer), leaving us with back-to-back school nights of nothing we needed to do.

Those are the major changes we experienced. Elsewhere, entire countries are on lockdown for who knows how long. Some are predicting this will take several weeks, however even if everything returns to normal by mid-April, we have no idea how long the effects of this crisis will last.

Reorientation of priorities

When death is looking at you in the face, it’s a good time to reevaluate values and perhaps reorient priorities.

Having said that, I don’t yet have any outstanding enlightenment, or great revelation. It was nice having a weekend of nothing to do but hang out with the family. I found myself sitting down on the couch and reading a book, just reading it.

The experience of “watching” church online was awkward, but different this time as we knew hundreds of other families were joining us in mystical union for the glory of Jesus Christ. Next week, I’ll be running the cameras for others to watch, which will assuredly increase my great sense of duty in this ministry.

It would be a shame to go through this experience and not walk away changed somehow, hopefully for the better.

I also never thought I’d cherish toilet paper so much.