Nearly a year ago, entire people groups throughout the world experienced their governments telling them they could not leave their homes except for essentials. Almost immediately, some saw that this was a huge power grab and began to fight back. Others cowered in fear. Welcome to the tale of two such families in the United States.
Initially, no one knew what to expect when the panic ensued. Both the Gratis family and the Aislar family thought the government’s information about a deadly pandemic to be forthright and honest. However, when “two weeks to stop the spread” did not pan out and everyone was being bombarded with fear narratives that did not seem logical or grounded in reality, the Gratis family began to question things. Never before had the country experienced such intense government restriction. The numbers did not seem to add up. The information being disseminated kept changing, and it was discovered that what was used to cause panic in everyone were just projections and not reality. This did not make sense. Members of the Gratis family began extensive research into what was happening, and what they found revealed nothing but lies, smoke and mirrors, being regurgitated by the government. It was a well-scripted narrative.
The Aislar family hung on every word the government said. They hunkered down in their home. Certainly, if the government was telling them how horrific it was going to be, it must be true! There was no reason to question the government. After all, the government is there to protect you, right?
The entire country was told not to celebrate Easter. Although spring was coming, they were told to stay inside. They were told to restrict their movement. Businesses were shuddered. Everything was shut down. Life as they knew it ended. They were told, and even often forbid, to see treasured loved ones. They were warned not to be the one who caused grandma to die from a deadly virus. Moving into the summer, they were told not to engage in athletic events, not to celebrate Independence day, and not to have weddings or graduation parties. More restrictions followed as time passed. No family gatherings, no holiday celebrations, no church. Totalitarian reigns became the norm for many governors as entire state legislatures became impotent.
The Aislar family bought it all hook, line, and sinker. They completely avoided any person that was not in their immediate family. They even avoided seeing their children, grandchildren, and other loved ones. They avoided public places. They isolated as they were told. Family ties appeared all but severed. Major life events were avoided or ignored. After all, Grandma did not want to die of the deadly virus.
The Gratis family was quite the opposite. Grandma and Grandpa spent time with their children and grandchildren. Easter, Thanksgiving, and Christmas were celebrated in grand style. Not a life moment was missed. In fact, because everything had been cut off and shut down, the family was able to spend a lot more quality time together in person. Relationships grew and strengthened. Memories were made. Life was lived. Not a moment was missed.
Here we are more than a year later. Both the Aislar family and the Gratis family have not lost a single loved one to the virus. Sure, most of them have had the virus, but all of them have recovered. The virus did not turn out to be the monster the government had made of it and continues to make of it. The only difference is that the Aislar family lost an entire year of their life while the Gratis family did not. The Aislar family missed major life celebrations and events. They missed spending time with their loved ones. They missed seeing the smiles and experiencing the hugs of grandchildren. An entire year of family…vanished.
The Gratis family did not miss a thing.
I ask the Aislar family, was it worth it? Was it worth not living your life to continue to have life? Was it worth living in fear and isolating yourself to miss out on an entire year of your family’s lives? Yes, you may say, “But I’m still alive.” So is the Gratis family, and they actually continued to live their lives. They continued to make memories and spend time in the presence of their loved ones. They continued to live, love, and laugh with their children and grandchildren in person and close enough for hugs.
Many people have been played the fool by their government. Many people have lost an entire year of living…I mean really living…because they bought into the fear. Looking back over the past year, knowing what we know now, was it worth it?