Today we hear from Fr Kevin Ward. Kevin, originally from County Meath, has been ministering in India for many years now. Presently he serves as a priest in the Diocese of Nongstoin in the West Khasi Hills of the North Eastern state of Meghalaya.
He shares his perspective on the pandemic from his Indian experience. Meghalaya has been one of the states in India that has not suffered the brunt of the pandemic. They recognised early that the pandemic had created the fear of a loss of life and of the loss of livelihood. The regional Government acted swiftly to mitigate the spread of the virus. One of the actions it took was to consider every person in the region as an asymptomatic carrier of the virus. This step was taken by the local Health and Family Welfare Department to prevent the threat of community transmission. Its understanding was that the moment someone thought they could be Covid positive, their behaviour would change — they would be more cautious and feel responsible for their actions, and thus help in reducing the risk of community transmission.
Paul Williams reflecting on social distancing and staying at home, calls it an act of love in action.
When you go out and see the empty streets, the empty stadiums, the empty train platforms, don’t say to yourself ‘It looks like the end of the world.’ What you’re seeing is love in action. What you’re seeing in that negative space, is how much we do care for each other, for our grandparents, for our immuno-compromised brothers and sisters, for people we will never meet.
People will lose their jobs over this. Some will lose their businesses. And some will lose their lives. All the more reason to take a moment, when you’re out on your walk, or on your way to the store, or just watching the news, to look into the emptiness and marvel at all of that love.
Let it fill you and sustain you. It isn’t the end of the world. It is the most remarkable act of global solidarity we may ever witness.
Spend a moment considering how you have shown this love in action in these difficult times. Did I consider myself acting out of love in these times?