Graphic text "We Have a Disease"

Four months. That is the brief span of time we have spent learning a whole new way of living. We have discovered more about the behavior of SARS-CoV-2 and the range of illness it can produce. We have also learned a lot about ourselves, our society, and our values. Most of us have managed to stay safe. As our resilience has been put to the test, we have found ways to adapt to our new circumstances.

Graphic text "We Have a Disease"

 

Rayshard Brooks.

Last week we added his name to the long list of Black people in our country who have been killed at the hands of police. The one-two punch of the pandemic followed by the resurging awareness of endemic racism in our society has left many of us reeling. In the midst of complex emotions, I find myself wondering what I should do, how can I help?

Graphic text "We Have a Disease"

We have a disease. It is highly contagious. Although it has afflicted millions of people, we still do not fully understand how it is spread. The severity of the illness is highly variable, as are the specific symptoms and duration of acute episodes. It can produce irreparable injury, and sometimes it leads to death. In its sinister nature, it has the capacity to mimic Salmonella typhi or Mycobacterium tuberculosis, hiding quietly in the primary host while leaping out to inhabit others, creating outbreaks and terror among the people.

Shot of a young man listening to music in the city

The nation began the process of reopening over the Memorial Day weekend. This sparked jubilation in certain areas and anxiety in others. The ongoing tension between the desire to protect people from illness and the desire to avoid widespread financial ruin produced conflict and occasionally overt expressions of anger. Even within our own institution, the compelling urge to resume our important work has provoked heated disagreements.

Shot of a young man listening to music in the city

The labyrinth has been around for a very long time. Examples have been found dating back to the Neolithic Period. The design was developed into increasingly intricate forms in the Middle Ages and became associated with certain religious and mystical practices. Though there is some overlap in the usage of the terms labyrinth and maze, there are important distinctions. A maze is filled with false paths leading to dead ends and one true path that leads to escape. In contrast, the labyrinth is a unicursal passage full of switchbacks weaving toward the center; the way in is the way out. Recently, there has been a resurgence of interest in the labyrinth as a tool to promote meditation and spiritual enlightenment. The walker follows the winding route to center and back, emerging with a new understanding of goals, centeredness, and mission.