A little over a year ago, we started in fear and panic.

Stores closed and those that remained open were out of essentials.

If we ventured out of doors at all, we crossed the streets to avoid faceless, 

masked strangers.

There was fear, death, isolation, desperation, and depression.

As five turned to ten turned to a hundred to a thousand and on

As numbers of dead became too staggering to seem real any longer.

And we were alone.

But we also were not.  

We created communities out of the void.

We found friends and loved ones and embraced over a thing called Zoom – 

A thing many of us had not even heard of before 

And it was now our lifeline.

Imagine if we had not had it at all…

Yes – Funerals were attended by two or three people in person

Baby namings were celebrated online. Weddings were postponed

And yet…

At those same funerals and shivas and namings we came together

By the hundreds from the four corners of the earth.

Those who could never have been able to attend in person

Were there.

They could speak and share their love.

It was a silver lining on a very, very dark cloud.

We prayed for a vaccine.  And then we feared a vaccine that came so quickly.

Every conversation began with questions

Where can you get it?

When can you get it?

Did you get it yet?

Did you react?

And the biggest question of all…

Now what?

How will we heal?

How will we return?

Will there ever be a normal again?

And what will that be?

Who are we now?

Who CAN we be?

Will we become better people?  Will we care more?

Will we help one another and support one another as we “return?”

And in Hillel’s famous words:

“If not now, when?”