Time Out

The world has become a crazy place.  I can say with assurance I have heard that statement at least once a day in my encounters.  People are stressed.  Societies in all nations have mutated to the point where people scratch their heads wondering, “What next?”

COVID-19 is what’s next.

A germ that started in a wet market (despite many believing that it was the yield of some sinister plot by a mad scientist to threaten the world) has brought the entire globe to a screeching halt.  Who would have thought?

Religious zealots claim that the world will come to an end (as described in the Bible) and that end can be identified as NOW – except now has been 2000, 2012, etc.  It has always made me curious that people who claim such extreme devotion to God and His word are more intent on realizing the end of time rather than living their own entire life.  Weren’t our very lives a gift from God?

People have lost trust in their governments and, for that matter, their neighbors.   This one is an idiot; that on is dishonest; this one has a drug problem; that one is lazy and doesn’t do his/her job.  Every day is loaded with criticism of someone other than us and that disgust has since circled us like a tornadic wind stirring up more.

We are very conscious of children, however.   When a young child acts out, talks back or otherwise loses control over his/her behavior – the typical response is to put him/her in time out.  “Go sit in time out for XXX and think about what you just did.”

Let’s get back to COVID-19.  Where are we?  We, the whole of society are in time out.  For some of us, it was a welcome break from the so-called work/life balance treadmill rat race that people with young families find themselves caught up in.  For others, they are feeling the affects of having been caged like an experimental rat trying desperately to get through and out of the maze.  That first wave saw all of us hyper-shopping to ensure we would have enough to sustain our every desire while penned up.  Then, shelves stocked, fridges full and here we sit.  What next?

Musicians have taken to the balconies, streets and airwaves to entertain both themselves and the masses; most of which is done out of the goodness of their hearts.  Some regular folks have taken to Instagram, Facebook live and YouTube to stream whatever act they have thrown together with their quarantine mates.  Some of us just troll Facebook like voyeurs hoping for some stimulation to keep us sane. 

Simultaneously is the fear setting in for those who are no longer earning a paycheck.  For the first time ever, people are being instructed to STAY HOME FROM WORK which has resulted in those recipients of the most meager of wages to forfeit their money entirely.  If they manage to go out and work somewhere, they contribute to the demise of their community.  If they follow orders, they contribute to the demise of their own household.  Do the needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few?

I can see where this scenario will reduce thought to “it’s us or them”.  This time out is now scheduled for another 30 days.  Our time out has been extended for another 30 days.  Is it going to be us or them?  For myself, I have concluded that I am them.  I am the neighborhood grocer who is trying desperately to stay well AND provide for the community while maintaining their business.  I am the high school senior who just had the rug pulled out from under hearing the news that graduation will amount to no more than receiving a diploma I have waited twelve years to walk across a stage and get in the mail. I am the nurse, or even the family of the nurse who is frightened for their family member being on the front line and themselves for having to quarantine themselves from that family member.  I am the mom who had to surrender her child to an ambulance crew taking her baby to the hospital to be treated for this ominous disease.  I am even the homeless who find themselves with nowhere to go while everyone is being told to “shelter in place.” 

As the world begins to settle down; and the pollution dissipates from lack of fossil fuels being used; and people find a new routine in the midst of all the fear and confusion, perhaps we will take this much needed break to discover the challenges of our neighbors and reacquaint ourselves with what is important in our lives.  How can we experience love in this?  How can we spread joy to our neighbors and friends.

Raf Simons Quote: “I'm not an isolated person. The more I connect ...

Take this time to reach out.  Reconnect with those you otherwise have not had the time to chat with.  Find something that engages you; be it art, music, writing, anything.  Give yourself an outlet and share with others.  If you discover a way of helping your neighbor – do it.  If all we think about is us – us is all we will have left – and if that were enough, we would not be so threatened by isolation!

This is 2020.  It is not 1970 where a worldwide quarantine would have found us LITERALLY isolated from each other.  We have internet, Facebook, cellphones.  We can connect with each other.  Spread love and joy – not fear and hate.  And don’t forget to wash your hands!


Posted in


  1. Ann Joyce on March 30, 2020 at 4:21 pm

    Well written I will take your advice.

  2. Jane on March 30, 2020 at 5:13 pm

    Well said , as always. Thank you for your insight!!

  3. Lesley Alles on April 4, 2020 at 2:38 pm

    Very good and so true

    • the Roaring Ellie on April 4, 2020 at 3:21 pm

      Thank you for reading Lesley!