‘O Lord, stuck in COVID again’

BY ANDREW TAYLOR-TROUTMAN, Columnist
Posted 6/19/20

Recently, I sat down with my guitar and learned how to muddle through the Credence Clearwater Revival song, “O Lord, stuck in Lodi again.”

But instead of Lodi, a town in California, I changed …

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‘O Lord, stuck in COVID again’

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Posted

Recently, I sat down with my guitar and learned how to muddle through the Credence Clearwater Revival song, “O Lord, stuck in Lodi again.”

But instead of Lodi, a town in California, I changed the lyric to a reality on my mind:

O Lord, stuck in Covid again.

Maybe you’d like to sing along!

Many folks in North Carolina have decided that they have had enough of being stuck at home. People are returning to business and social activities. Instead of the Covid blues, they are singing a different tune. People promise to practice patience tomorrow.

But the curve has not flattened. The rate of infection continues to rise. In fact, North Carolina had more hospitalizations due to the coronavirus last week than at any point in this public health crisis. “Returning to normal” is clearly against the public health.

Yet, I understand that people are weary of staying home and are also suffering financially as portions of the economy remain closed. What are we to do with these feelings of frustration and anger?

We should not be in denial, either of the danger of Covid or of our feelings. Psychologist Susan David points out that our emotions provide data. She describes how a raw feeling, like anger, can call our attention to what is important to us.

But David also maintains that not every emotion is a directive. Just because we recognize a feeling does not mean we have to act on that feeling. In fact, such forbearance is a sign of emotional maturity.

After I played that CCR song a few times, my 7-year-old son came into the living room. I asked if he liked my music. He shook his head.

“I’m tired of hearing your voice, Dad.”

My feelings were hurt. But fatherhood has taught me (often the hard way) that someone needs to be the adult in the room. Instead of reacting in anger or frustration, I simply put down my guitar. My son handed me a book to read. It turns out that he was really saying that he wanted to spend time with me.

While we are stuck at home this Father’s Day, we should remember that not everyone has the gift of time.

A friend texted me a picture of three small suitcases in a line. Each suitcase belonged to one of his young children. His kids were going to their grandparents’ home for an indefinite period of time while he worked as a nurse on a Covid floor in the hospital.

Honestly, I get tired of hearing the voices of my three young children. Especially when they fight! Then, I remember those three little suitcases. My friend doesn’t know when he will see his children again. My feelings of respect and appreciation for him and his fellow healthcare workers should direct my actions, not my frustration or weariness.

O Lord, we are stuck in Covid again. Emotions are data and we might be tired of certain situations. But we must be adults with emotional maturity. Not all of us work in healthcare, but we all must do our part to flatten the curve. We must wear masks. We must practice social distancing. We must support the brave women and men in the hospitals who sacrifice even more than us.

I wish you a Happy Father’s Day and hope we might join together in an old, old song: Love is patient, love is kind.

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