The western world has been a fortunate place for much of the time it has been settled.
We see images and sounds of war, pestilence, famine and death daily, weekly and sometimes monthly from other places on the planet and think that they will never affect us. For years people in North America, myself included, believed that the oceans and public health systems could protect us from radical changes in our societies and lives.
Illness on the scale you would see in Africa was but a dream, one that is now reality.
Communities are locked down, people are afraid and running to grocers and so many personal decisions are on hold, cancelled or disrupted in ways unthinkable a month ago.
I am personally in the process of getting married to a wonderful woman stateside. But, as the borders close and workers reduce capacity, I find myself filled with a profound and pained longing. Like a sailor who misjudges a storm on the horizon, I feel shocked at seeing what has transpired and am worrying about when I will see my beloved again.
Long distance is hard to begin with. You have to coordinate web-based activities, make sure you communicate as much as you can and come up with creative moments to make the other feel special. I am sure there are couples who are dealing with similar scenarios, but the enormity of the situation and its impact on the door to connection with someone that has now so suddenly slammed shut is a deeply bothersome anguish I pray ends fast.
So I will wait. I will see her again in time and know that, for now, all the wisdom I need to get through the situation can be found in just two simple and subtly profound words.
Wait and hope.