It’s Sunday; I think. I’m not hungover so I can’t be absolutely certain. This quarantining thing has turned every day into Sunday. I have managed to gain a bit of a grasp on the days of the week as my wife is video-teaching Monday through Friday. When I hear the sound of the Spanish language being tortured by school children emanating from our computer I know it’s not the weekend. So I have mastered the art of differentiating between weekdays and weekends, but that’s about it. Other than that it’s just one day after another on the COVID-19 merry-go-round.
The days of the week used to have certain characteristics that helped one keep track. Monday was the start of the work/school week. The Boomtown Rats once sang about a girl who hated Mondays. Wednesday was mid-week or hump-day, and of course, Friday was the only day with its own moniker – T.G.I.F. But since we’ve been confined to barracks in an effort to flatten the COVID-19 curve, one day just runs into the next. Our tabby cat, Ferguson, has stopped challenging me to nap contests as he now sees that I may well out-snooze him.
For Christians this is a special day, it’s Palm Sunday. The beginning of Holy Week leading to Maundy Thursday, Good Friday, Easter Saturday and ultimately Easter Sunday, the highlight of the liturgical calendar. Yep, not as commercial, but more important than Christmas. As a good Catholic lad, I am pleased that the Vatican has shown a fairly modern take on the coronavirus. (That may well be the first time the words Vatican and modern have been used in the same sentence.) Churches around the world have been shut tight, all masses, funerals, weddings, and christenings have been canceled. Or at least postponed until a future date.
Given the Church’s antiquated take on so many topics including homosexuality and the role of women, I had feared the approach to COVID-19 would have been something along the lines of nothing can stop our worship, don’t tell us what we can and can’t do. But no, science took precedence and the Church wisely toed the line and closed up shop. Needless to say, the distribution of blessed palm will take place at a later point in time. I just don’t know what all those Haitian and Cameroonian taxi drivers will find to hang from their rear-view mirrors until then!
For many Easter is synonymous with spring, although often in this part of the world Mother Nature does not see things that way and often Montreal Easters are cold wet affairs. You can’t beat a nice warm sunny Easter Sunday. People come out from winter hibernation and mingle after Mass. Well, this year there will be no Mass, and even if the day is mild and dry, social-distancing will put the kybosh on friendly gatherings.
Religion in a time of COVID-19: yet another call to adapt that most thought would never happen.