Side effects of the pandemic will be remembered


It is well past a year now since our lives were drastically changed by the COVID-19 pandemic.

At the very outset, I think as individuals we were almost in shock. Then restaurants closed, businesses other than “essential” closed; employees other than “essential” were told to stay home.

Protective gear became commonplace. Upon leaving home for any reason at all, someone would surely ask if you had your face covering or mask or whatever you called it when not in public.

Soon schools were seriously affected. That was when my heart reached out to both students and teachers!

I am not electronically gifted. If some little (or big) thing fails to perform as expected, I am at a total loss. And that happens frequently on Monday afternoon/evening or Tuesday morning first thing – when I need to write this column. I try all the ways I can think of to get that computer to comply with my needs. After that I contact the computer repair guys, who will work it in if they can or give me some other pointers.

Worst case scenario, like today, miss my usual deadline and get the column turned in as soon as possible.

When schools were closed, I don’t doubt there were many teachers, not to mention students of all ages, who faced what seemed like insurmountable odds to perform their duties in some new electronic manner. This far into the situation there are still many who are uncomfortable in the current ways. I think also the never knowing from week to week or even day to day what the next week or day might hold is a challenge in itself. All anticipate a back-to-normal educational situation soon.

When I began teaching in the Kentucky mountains, I was somewhat out of my usual way of doing things. I made mistakes. Sometimes I could correct those mistakes, sometimes not. But, all things considered, I suspect those years in a one- or two-room school were some of my best teaching years. I drew on a raft of techniques I didn’t know I possessed to impress those children with the need for education. I can count some success stories as well as failures on my part. But I did the best I could.

I think that is what today’s teachers will see when they look back at this time in their teaching tenure – I did the best I could. We can ask God’s blessing on each one daily and encourage them as time marches on. But these are the days that will grab a place in the long-term memory.

Let’s be careful to uphold them daily asking God’s blessing on each teacher and his or her students. If we take them in prayer to the throne of grace, we can look back and say “I did the best I could.” And that’s all God asks of us. And He asks that only after we have accepted Jesus as Savior.