The rise in cases during the holiday season meant bringing in the New Year, 2022, at home. No parties or gatherings, no big celebration. Just the family at home.
Don’t get me wrong, we had plans. Plans for family and friends to come over and celebrate together. Fijian music playing, tanoa and a mix of kava ready to go, kids ready for our tradition of swimming in the pool when the clock strikes midnight, the first swim of the year.
With the rise in cases though, we knew we had to be smart and think of each others health. With family members who are immunocompromised, a newborn and new mother, and just general health in mind, plans were cancelled and unfortunately excitement for the new year had died down.
Some may think that this is an overexaggerated reaction to our highest spike in COVID positive numbers, but isn’t it better to be safe now than to be sorry later?
It’s a new year but we are now three years into this pandemic.
It’s a new year but many still live in fear of their health being compromised.
There are people who are genuinely worried about their health, or the health of a loved one, a friend, a coworker, a teacher, a church member. The list goes on.
We are not out of COVID. We are not post-COVID.
I understand the frustration of being locked down and restricted during this time but rushing back to ‘normality’ still isn’t the answer.
We still need to be responsible of how we act and react, to care for our neighbours and ourselves. To care for those who are vulnerable.
So as we continue into 2022, I hope that we reflect and think upon how we continue our ministry during COVID. How we gather and why we gather, whether face to face or online. How to love each other and ourselves during this time. How to care and help each other in safe ways.
Yes, we have been doing this since 2020, the start of the pandemic, but this is a reminder to continue to minister within the framework of the safety and care of all of God’s creation.
“A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another.”
Ofa Foiakau is the Field Officer (Central/West) and Youth/High School ministry lead as a part of the PULSE team.