We have a large tower of toilet paper in our living room. The tower is as tall as the children and quite unstable. Using gymnastic rings, the children one by one swing over to the tower and kick it over. The room is full of laughter, joy and giggles.
Dinner is in process, but I decide to join the fun and video a few clips. Everyone has their own style when kicking over the tower. One does a fancy karate kick and another swings back and forth first to gather speed. The toilet paper rolls fly impressively across the room, only to be gathered and rebuilt. This happens time and again.
This is not something new in our home. Every once in a while, if we’ve bought a large amount of toilet paper, the children create the most creative games with them before they are put neatly in the cupboard to await use. It is similar to cardboard boxes. Both are inexpensive but a good toy for a short while that encourage creativity.
The concerning coronavirus has brought many side effects into our lives, and one of them is that many have bought large quantities of toilet paper. This in turn has caused many humoristic posts and memes on social media. Humor has always been a means of survival when things become difficult.
In the news there are reports of borders and ports being closed. There is anxiousness in the air, we are preparing for the unknown which can be frightening. We do not know how we will come out, there is uncertainty around us.
It has been a long time that we have had to, as a nation stand together and think of the ones around us in society. My generation has not faced a challenge such as this, unlike our grandparents that have faced war. During recent decades we have very individualistically been able to come and go.
We have been instructed to avoid unnecessary physical social contact. It is important to remember that when we social distance, we are protecting the weakest among us. The healthy and young may carry the coronavirus with little or no symptoms, but for the elderly and those that have chronic illness it can be serious.
I am thankful that we have skilled health care workers and officials making decisions on our behalf. We can trust their wisdom and judgement. Wisdom is a gift from God. We may also trust in the power of prayer.
The coming days contain many unknowns, but I do dare to predict that this will change us as a society. I hope that it will bring us emotionally closer together, just as President Niinistö encouraged. Many businesses and entrepreneurs will have difficult times ahead of them, but others will benefit if they are able to produce the good and services that people currently need. Perhaps we will start to favor locally produced goods for the simple reason that goods produced far away are harder to find.
This situation encourages us to pause at what is most important in our lives. Life perhaps will become more calm, when gatherings and hobbies are cancelled. We are spending more time at home, baking, cleaning, and enjoying the outdoors. We can reconnect with our loved ones. We may notice all the good that is near us. Sometimes something very good comes out of something so bad.
Even though we could not go to services on Sunday, we were connected to other believers through the internet. With our little ones we participated in virtual Sunday school and together as the whole family we later listened to services. In the evening as I was putting the babies to sleep, I listened to the Reisjärvi opisto presentation. The initial plan was that they would have traveled to Oulu to tell potential students about opisto life. Since all physical gatherings were cancelled, it was broadcasted over the internet. The presentation and choir music was full of hope for the future. It calmed the mind and heart.
During the opisto-presentation, the words of one student remained topmost in my mind, “It is best when one can ask for forgiveness and forgive everyday. With the power of the gospel, it is safe to continue.”
We were physically far, but emotionally close by. And my mind was at peace when I went to sleep.
Text and translation: Laila Uljas
You will find the original blog post here.
Monet suunnitelmat ovat tänä poikkeuksellisena keväänä muuttuneet. Muun muassa perhejuhlien järjestelyjä on pitänyt miettiä uudelleen. Tämä on koskenut myös avioliittoon vihkimisiä. Nyt vihkimisiä on toimitettu niin, että koolla on ollut vain joitakin läheisiä, ja muu juhlaväki on seurannut tilaisuutta ehkä virtuaalisesti.