COVID: What they’re not telling you

In the absence of universal and reliable testing, there are no meaningful statistics on how many Americans now carry the COVID-19 virus without symptoms. I understand the need for the reassurance that comes from passing on a narrative we find reliable, or even alarming: we feel more in control if we can feel we have inside information.

But it is okay to be out of control. It is okay to admit we are suffering without anyone we can appeal to, to make it stop.

Read the Psalms: God is not insulted by honesty. King David repeatedly pours out his suffering: “How long, Lord? How much longer will my tears be my only food? Will you forget us forever?”

I’ve seen macho men at funerals, socially expected to be tough: they were unable to express any emotion except anger – and turning every feeling into anger ate their guts up inside. Allow yourself the freedom to experience your suffering, your frustration, your grief, and your helplessness, and have the honesty to express it, at least to God.

American popular religion treats “I am struggling” as a danger sign or a symptom of failure. Outgrow this attitude. The only salmon who is not struggling is the dead one floating away into the ocean; every fish that is pressing further up and further in is struggling, and that means they’re alive and have hope.

I am struggling and I hope you are too.