The absurdity and necessity of hope in another COVID Christmas

Are we too weary to rejoice?

Christmas and COVID.
(Image credit: Illustrated | iStock)

Sometimes brutal prairie blizzards descended in the winters of my childhood. With nothing to stop the Texas Panhandle wind except the occasional fence line or solitary house, windblown snow piled up to the eaves. We lived nearly 10 miles from town, and it might be days before county snowplows would get to our highway, leaving us marooned in the meantime. There was always a hint of danger in the air — a generator that might not start, a food shortage, livestock's frozen water troughs. The blizzard could morph these simple inconveniences into emergencies. But this also felt strangely exhilarating. We'd count heads of cattle and call neighbors, checking to make sure all were safe and well, and then we'd hunker down to wait the storm out, knowing it would pass.

It felt like that in the early days of the pandemic when an unexpected natural force, smaller than a snowflake but with even greater fury, suddenly transformed our world. In March and April of 2020, ordinary errands brought with them a hint of danger, and we turned towards each other, even if we were six feet apart.

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