How long will our patience last?

Published April 13, 2020

They say patience is a virtue and I believe it is. That does not mean Man’s well of patience is unlimited. So far, I think Americans’ efforts to self-isolate are impressive, for the most part. But how long are we willing to go on like this?

For people who have lost lives, loved ones or livelihoods, patience is not a choice. But for those of us who are self-isolating until the doctors and scientists tell us it’s okay to come out from under our rocks, our patience may eventually wear thin.

Yesterday was Easter – not a holiday that means anything to me, but still a time we’d always get together with my wife’s family for a big ham and other fixings. Not yesterday, though. Yesterday, my wife and I spent the day by ourselves, despite having kids and grandkids living less than a mile away.

One of the main reasons we moved to California last fall was to be near the kids and grandkids and spend holidays like this together. It’s taken awhile for us to get settled but we were just about there when the coronavirus hit. Now we’re waiting that out.

We wondered yesterday if we are going overboard. None of us has gone anywhere for weeks except my wife, who works at Target. If she didn’t work there, the kids probably would have come over. The precautions my wife takes to keep the virus out of our household are beyond responsible, bordering on draconian. But we still decided it wasn’t worth any risk to our daughter’s family.

Now I’m looking at Mother’s Day, May 10. I can live with avoiding all contact till then if need be. But by May 10, I fully expect to have a Mother’s Day barbecue with a half-dozen people. I thought the risk yesterday was minimal. I believe by May 10 it will be even less. That seems rational to me. Something drastic would have to happen between now and then for me to change this expectation.

Or am I just running out of patience?