Of all the cruelties of Covid-19, perhaps the most cruel thing is the isolation it imposes.
It isolates those who are hardest hit with the disease, when the best treatment available is a ventilator. For the patient to endure this treatment, they have to be sedated, and they are left without the comfort of human interaction, even with the strangers caring for them.
It isolates all those who are hospitalized with the disease, because everyone who enters the Covid-19 treatment environment is put at risk for the disease. Family and friends cannot follow, cannot visit in person. Only healthcare workers who tend the sick at a risk to their own lives can be allowed to be there.
It isolates all who have been diagnosed with Covid-19, because suddenly they have become not only a human being but also a vector of disease. They must isolate themselves completely from everyone, lest someone be infected.
It isolates those who are known contacts of the infected person, because the disease is so contagious that they have to sequester themselves lest they infect another person.
It isolates the vulnerable healthy, those with underlying conditions that put them at risk for the worst of Covid-19. Every human contact carries risk for them, so to whatever extent they can they must isolate themselves. Their isolation is necessary but often psychologically brutal. It is painful to go months without so much as the touch of a human hand or an in-person smile.
Covid-19 isolates everyone: those of us who hide from it, and those who are perceived as carriers. It even isolates the who don’t believe in it, because they are left stranded in a make-believe world that endangers them and the people they love.
Oh God, who created each of us in Your image, who created the potential for this deadly disease, hear our cries and deliver us from the tentacles of this misery!
Inspire us to find ways to reach out to one another for comfort, while keeping ourselves safe.
Help us to retain our humanity while we avoid this virus.
Help us to treat one another with compassion.
And please, please God, let justice and mercy guide those distributing the vaccines.
O God, who listened to the cries of Your people in Egypt, hear our cries now and heal us.
And let us say, Amen.