The COVID-19 pandemic is a crisis that has affected nearly every part of the globe. Infectious diseases are often hardest on the sick and frail, but disease doesn’t discriminate by sex, ethnicity or social standing. God sent the Great Flood of the Old Testament when His people had lost their way and fallen into self-pleasure and narcissism. Is the current pandemic a similar wakeup call? We have a society of excess: expensive homes, cars, clothes and other luxury items. Most felt entitled to fancy vacations, cruises and regular dining out. The Trump Economy probably accelerated this trend as unemployment was at record lows and wages were on the rise. Extravagance in every form is particularly blatant when it comes to celebrities in the areas of professional athletics and the television/movie industry. I’m not saying these folks aren’t talented in their own way, but why is it fair to be paid millions of dollars to read a script or play a game? These same individuals seem to equate wealth and publicity with wisdom and value to society. Inflated egos lead them to believe they know what is best for the average person. They readily “share” their wisdom with the media and believe that average people will blindly follow that advice. I don’t hear them giving us advice on how to solve this crisis; guess that shows the limitations of their wisdom! These same self-absorbed individuals host galas to award themselves “trophies” for what their own members judge to be quality performances. How many people in the service sector provide “quality” service every day and yet are never given an award? Each of the service industries provide an essential service that we ALL rely upon. I don’t rely on any movie or sporting event to keep my home warm at night or put food on my table. Every time I see one of these award shows I’m reminded of the bible scripture that reads, “He who exalts himself shall be humbled and he who humbles himself shall be exalted.” A crisis can be humbling to us all but the real heroes in a crisis are the ones who pitch in and don’t stop working until the crisis is over. Perhaps we weren’t as prepared for this crisis as we should have been. Hopefully this will prepare us for any future crises.
The value of an individual to a society is revealed during a true crisis. It’s apparent who are the critical members of our society. The movie industry is closed down and NO ONE is going to movie theaters. Athletic stadiums and arenas are shuttered and games cancelled. Those overpaid entertainers and athletes are USELESS in a crisis. The critical members of society are first responders (police, firefighters, EMS personnel), truck drivers (who transport 80-90% of all goods in America), utility workers, postal workers and healthcare workers at all levels of care. None of these ESSENTIAL people receive the type of monetary compensation that they deserve when compared to entertainers and athletes. Nurses, doctors, respiratory therapists and other support staff are working around the clock to save lives yet they make pennies on the dollar to a professional athlete or coach. An actor or actress can make more money on one movie than these folks will make in a lifetime. I doubt there is a single sick patient calling out for an entertainer or an athlete in their time of need. We needed a wakeup and I can only hope that Americans have learned more than one thing from this crisis The true value in this world is human life and concern for one another. We can’t allow ourselves to be focused on money and material possessions. One of God’s two great commandments is: “Love Your Neighbor as Yourself.”