Today, the 15th June 2020, is the first day since the beginning of the pandemic that we have recorded no deaths due to Covid-19 in the last 24 hours right across the island of Ireland. Setting politics and constitutional matters aside for a moment, we can see that this virus respects no borders- it respects nothing at all it seems. And so, infection in one part of the island can mean infection in another part. So, to be able to say that this day is the first day that we see no deaths reported on the island is a massively positive thing, for which we would rightly give thanks.
I met a man I know today whilst walking my dogs. We stopped and had a socially distant conversation. During that conversation, I said something in reference to the ongoing restrictions and he said, ‘but sure, is it not all back to normal now?’ I gently reminded him that it wasn’t!
We have no deaths recorded and we have a very low figure of people testing positive (with increased testing, which makes it even better to see a low figure) but that does not mean we give up on our efforts to beat the virus. After all, it is only because of those efforts that we can read about there being no deaths due to Covid-19 today. We have come so far, but the journey continues. Our efforts and our sacrifices (serving each other in those sacrifices) are required for some time yet.
Even so, let us pause today and allow ourselves a prayer of thanksgiving for the day that is in it. A prayer for a day without death:
God of life and goodness and all things holy,
Thank you for this day without death;
Death from Covid-19.
We have been surrounded by infection and death for what seems like a very long time.
And so to be able to end our day today knowing that no family have been bereaved through Covid-19 is a relief.
And how we need relief!
Relief gives us space.
In that space, God of healing, we pray.
We pray for all those who are ill- through Covid-19 and through all illnesses and disease of the body and mind.
We pray that they might know health again.
In that space, God of consolation, we pray.
We pray for all those who have died.
We pray that they are resting in the arms of a loving God.
We pray that their families may know the comfort of loved ones and the peace of eventual reuniting in our heavenly home.
In that space, God of hope, we pray.
We pray for an end to this pandemic that has caused so much hurt and suffering and death.
We pray for another day without death.
In that space, God of strength and wisdom, we pray.
We pray for the strength to make further sacrifices for the good of our fellow woman and man.
We pray for wisdom to make good choices in the coming time.
In that space, God of all, we pray.
We pray in thanksgiving for all that we have and all that we are.
We acknowledge you as the giver of all gifts and we thank you.