A young couple got married yesterday in Abbotsford, BC. I don’t know Skylar & Alayna, I just read about it in the news, but I mention it because they responsibly decided that even having a small wedding of around 40 people was going to be too big in this current pandemic. I mean, who wants to remember their wedding day as the day that one of their friends unknowingly infected all of their nearest and dearest and somebody’s mother ends up on a ventilator and somebody loses a grandpa? Not worth it. Instead, they had a very small ceremony with only their immediate families present, so they could social distance within the church, I guess. But what happened when they stepped out the doors of the church was wonderful. Instead of the traditional receiving line with germ-laden hugs and handshakes, their friends who could not attend the ceremony had formed a car parade, honking horns and waving signs as they drove past the couple to wish them well from a safe distance. They looked surprised, it was touching.
I’m sure this was not the wedding of her dreams. It was not the celebration they had been planning for months. But how many weddings make the local news? (Heck, I’m 800 km away and I heard about it, and now I’m telling you.) And seriously, what a prodigiously cool story they will have to tell their grandkids some day.
On the same day, but in a less formal situation, I visited with my sister out on my deck, standing at least 6 feet (actually, a bit more) apart. It’s still cold up here, so we were bundled up in our winter clothes, but we needed to see each other. If you’ve been social distancing correctly, you probably understand. The last time we got together (weeks ago) we sat shoulder to shoulder, working on a puzzle while we sipped coffee and shared some dark chocolate. We laughed till our eyes leaked, with our faces about a foot apart. The very idea of doing that seems surreal now.
Yesterday when my husband joked that if he didn’t win the argument, he would withhold his hugs, I rejoined that he couldn’t withhold hugs because they are an essential service now. Ha! Of course, that goes both ways, so do your best to stay on good terms with your self-isolation or quarantine buddy — they’re all you’ve got and there’s nothing worse than having to hug someone you’re mad at. Though, those in quarantine with no one to hug at all may disagree.
We’re living in weird times and the ugliness in people’s hearts is rising to the surface as the fear and boredom grows. We started well with the all-for-one mentality, but that seems to be giving way to a dog-eat-dog mentality day by day. For most of us, the sacrifices we’re being asked to make are small in the over-all scheme of things, and if we all do our part (SOCIAL DISTANCING!) this pandemic will be under control sooner, and we will be able to look at ourselves in the mirror and know that we are not complete and utter asshats, that there is hope for humanity.
Hug the people you can, call the people you can’t hug, and if you have to sacrifice your big celebration (whatever it may be) for the greater good, do it with grace and dignity and maybe you’ll make the evening news!
Wash your hands, sneeze in your elbow, stay home, and let’s be kind to one another!