LOXLEY, Ala. (WKRG) — Pastor Brian Wade with Loxley Church joins us. As cases drop and vaccines go up people are looking at what could be a post-COVID world. How do you rebuild and what needs to be rebuilt?
Guest: Social interaction needs to be rebuilt among people, there is such a fear in people in society today because of COVID concerns that you just have to give people a chance to come back to as close as normal as they feel comfortable, you don’t pressure people. Don’t make them feel guilty if they don’t want to come. You slowly get them back in, you do the social distancing requirements so people feel comfortable coming back, just maintain those distances, encourage people to wear masks and those kinds of things.
Anchor: What are the new issues you see families facing that the pandemic either created or helped accelerate?
Guest: There are two things I’ve seen that have been the biggest issue. One is the education of children. Parents have had to make very difficult decisions, teachers are having to learn new skill sets. I would say being a teacher right now is one of the most difficult jobs in America because of all the things they’re having to do that they’ve never done before. Parents are having to learn new skills and students. That’s a big issue. A second big issue I see is the inability of families to be together in doctor’s offices, in hospitals. It is very emotionally draining when they have a loved one in the hospital for days or even weeks or months or they can’t spend any time with them they can just talk on the phone. Those are some issues that will have to be addressed in the near future.
Anchor: What is the extent of damage you’ve seen brought about by the social isolation of viral concerns?
Guest: Here at the church we have a lot of people who still come but we have a lot of people who have isolated themselves to such a degree that it’s going to take them some time to get back into the swing of things. I think that a lot of people who are very quiet people who don’t like being around others this social distancing has been great for them, they don’t really like being around people anyway. There are a lot of people who really thrive on social interaction, especially when it comes to spiritual things, like prayer, spiritual growth, and understanding the Bible. I think the isolation has hurt those who really thrive on social interaction. We’re going to have to provide opportunities to ease back in, we’re doing that in the church. That’s through small groups, through Bible studies with social distancing online, it’s working but there’s a lot more to do.
Anchor: How can communities start to repair the damage that was done?
Guest: I think following up on the people who are in your circle of influence. It may be a phone call, it may be through texts, going to someone’s house and standing in the yard and talking through a door or window. I think engaging people who have disengaged is going to be very critical over the next six months to a year.