Coronavirus

[This post is a part of the Letters to an Adopted Child series. Read the series preface here.]

I write this letter to you in a state of near-total unknowing. While each of these reflection letters admit a certain level of unknowing (I don’t know where you are, or whether you’ve even been born yet. You are my controlled unknown. A hiddenness awaiting to be revealed. I have no doubt we will discover one another on a bright day and soon.), there is now a new and worldwide suspension of normalcy that has my thoughts.

This year in history, 2020, a virus has spread, sending waves of fear and sickness to the whole world. You might learn about this in school before I have a chance to tell you myself. And you might be skeptical: the world is very big, you may object. It is. But gently place your hand on the globe sitting on the bookshelf in our living room, and rotate it with your free hand. It takes only a few moments to touch every country, every island. The virus travels as fast as your fingers slide on the globe; it has left its hand print on the world. People are sick. Many have died.

The authorities have all but mandated that we stay inside our homes. First, we canceled large gatherings of people—concerts, sporting events, and the like. Then, it was suggested that we avoid groups of people, causing businesses to send their employees home—either to work or to not work. As the virus grew, we were told to stay inside our homes, to take shelter and to go out only for essentials, like groceries, and exercise.

I write this on the morning of April 7, 2020. Your mother and I have been taking refuge at home, leaving only when absolutely necessary, for twenty-one days. We don’t visit our friends. We can’t be with our families. Churches have dispersed, though some gather online. Schools are closed. All that we have left is the grocery store and the park up the street, but it is likely both of those will soon become unsafe, and that we will become completely hidden from the world.

Hiddenness causes unknowing, and unknowing takes up room in our mind. It is a hollow substance, and it grows each day. Like an aching cavity, the pain is unbearable; it’s impossible to ignore. We must either fill it or pull it out. What will become of us? Who can make certain the uncertain times caused by coronavirus? For now, this unknowing cannot be filled, cannot be pulled out. For now, what is hidden should not be revealed. But someday it will. Someday it will.