The signal has been given to begin returning back to normal through the gateway called, “the new normal.” Questions continue to swirl around like water in a toilet bowl about how many can and should be tested or whether we can even think of normal until everyone in the known universe both in and out of the womb has been tested.
Knowing is a precious thing. Imagine going to visit a loved one and being surveillance tested at the door. You entered the building without any assurance that you were safe to see your loved one but after a swab or finger prick, you are told the good news. You tested negative for the virus. What a relief! As you leave the visit however, a morbid realization comes back over you—you are clear at this moment but that only lasts until you touch the next contaminated surface and then touch your face (no matter how many times you’ve been told to stop touching your face!).
Knowing is evidently temporary. It always has been. The winners of the Super Bowl take a break and then return to spring training because they don’t know if they will win again next year. They are the reigning champion only until they are tested again and found to be the losers. No wonder some people think we should all stay in our houses until there are billions and billions of test kits waiting for us out there.
Parents and spouses have known this reality since the beginning of time. Adam and Eve spent all that time in paradise only to have their son kill his brother. Noah took his family through the most harrowing days of deluge and death only to be found naked and drunk. We are only in the clear briefly no matter what danger we are describing.
What test can be given to family members to assure us that we know? We already do it! When we get up in the morning we smile and say, “Good morning.” When we prepare to leave the house, we embrace and kiss and say, “See you this evening.” When we come home in the evening, we hug and say, “It’s good to be home.” When it’s time to get some sleep, we say, “I love you,” and close our eyes. These tests get us through each day. We never say, “If I ever change my mind, I’ll let you know.” That is regarded as a sick joke. Everyone needs constant testing to be assured of their place in the heart of the one they love.
I want to encourage continued testing! Let your loved ones know where they stand. Be constant, be vigilant. Act like you’ve never said it before. Maintain the love and maintain the relationship.
The supply of test kits for our family relationships is as plentiful as our capacity to love. If we have learned anything from a disease that could take an otherwise healthy person and make them unconscious in the ICU a few days later, it is to communicate our affection and say what we should never leave unsaid. The miraculous recovery of some from a coma and ventilator tells us that even greatly wounded relationships can thrive with proper testing and treatment. We knew these things from other dangers like car wrecks and other diseases like cancer but now it has become internationally obvious.
Maintain your love by testing! Reassure your loved ones with words, notes, calls and hugs. Be safe but continue the expressions that feed the hunger in the heart of all of us.