Although there are still four months left in this year and a lot can happen in four months, I have a feeling the year 2020 is going to become known as the year of confusion.

At last week’s school board meeting someone said, “Every day the rules are changing.” That is so true. From one day to the next the rules are different than the day before, and no one knows for sure what is happening.

That confusion is only adding to the confusion and causing even more confusion, as many people have chosen to take the law into their own hands. We have seen rioting, looting, shooting, murders and so much more. Anyone reading the local police reports will see that crime is not limited to the cities; it seems that each week the area police report is larger than that of the previous week.

Many of the reports involve fights among family members, who are supposed to be our greatest source of support, not our biggest enemy! Many of the reports are sad, such as someone arrested for shoplifting baby clothes, if that truly was a need. Some of the reports, like the two last week of toddler girls allegedly being sexually assaulted, bring anger, disgust and prayers of healing for those little girls and justice for their attackers.

There is confusion at our medical facilities, where seeing health care providers is becoming more and more difficult. Patients now must attend their appointments alone, without the emotional support often needed from family and friends.

Nursing home residents are at the mercy of the new and changing rules, too, often denied the privilege and necessity of seeing family members. One very dear friend is 94 years old and has been in a nursing home for more than a year. Because of the coronavirus rules in her state she has not been allowed to have any visitors, now not even window visits. She told us just the other day that she is very lonely, pretty much isolated because there have been cases of COVID-19 in the facility. Always one to keep her hair trimmed and curled, she has not been able to have her hair done for several months now.

But perhaps the greatest confusion comes in the form of a little thing called a face mask. Health experts said it has been proven that wearing masks helps cut down the spread of the coronavirus. Every store and public building I have been in the past few months have signs and posters at every entrance saying masks are required for admission to the building. But once inside the store, there are lots of people running around without a mask.

Some might truly have a health condition that makes wearing the masks difficult, but there are people who have health conditions who are still obedient to the recommendations of the health providers and the orders of the governor. Sure, wearing the masks sometimes makes it difficult to breathe, but if there is even a small chance that wearing the mask will protect me and my family, then wear it I will. There is probably no way of knowing, but I often find myself wondering how many people who have been infected with the virus were among those who refused to wear the masks.

Now, as schools are reopening, there is even more confusion. Should everyone wear a mask? Should students learn only at home with their computers as their new best friends? Will the additional hours of virtual learning damage the eyes of the students from spending so much extra time in front of a screen? Will there be sports competitions this year, and if so, will anyone be allowed to attend? Confusion, confusion, confusion, and it keeps growing every day.

No one on earth has the answer. Perhaps the only answer is for all of us to try to work together. Instead of seeing only the confusion, anger and rebellion that is all around us, perhaps we need to focus more on the blessings we still enjoy, for there are also blessings all around us, if we have the eyes to see, the ears to hear and the heart to believe.

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Thought for the week — There are only two ways to live your life. One is as though nothing is a miracle. The other is as though everything is a miracle. (Albert Einstein)

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