Jason Berghorst

Song lyrics harbor what's missing in daily life these past two weeks

In Other Words

‘So many things I never thought I’d see happening right in front of me.’

       Seldom do the lyrics of a country song ring more true than those words do now.

       The refrain of Brad Paisley’s 2009 song, “Welcome to the Future” includes that phrase.

       The lyrics of the song highlight how things change over time and how surprising those changes are when looked at over a lifetime.

       You and I have experienced changes in the last two weeks that probably should have taken a lifetime to occur.

       Indeed, so many things we never thought we’d see are happening right in front of me because of the coronavirus pandemic.

       Local and national businesses are being closed by the government.

       Items are sold out or rationed at stores.

       The Mall of America, Times Square, and even the Las Vegas strip are empty.

       The LHS choirs and band performed a concert to a camera in an empty gym.
As far as I know, there were no public church services in Luverne on Sunday.

       The state high school and even NCAA basketball tournaments did not happen this year.

       And, most important to me, all schools are closed indefinitely with a brand new system of  distance learning scheduled to begin on Monday.

       And, oh yeah, we may not have prom or even graduation in 2020.

       I definitely never thought I’d see any of those things.

       I never thought we could completely revamp in two weeks’ time how we’ve taught for decades.

       I never thought so many people would suddenly work at home or, worse, have no income at all.

       I never thought so many kids would actually want to be in school.

       And I can’t believe we don’t know how long this is going to last.

       Perhaps that’s been the worst part of all -- the unknown.

       It’s exhausting. It’s scary. And it’s just plain frustrating.

       So what do we do?

       For me, my whole focus has been to remain as positive as I can.

       I’m writing down what’s going on and saving every edition of the Star Herald and Star Tribune to document these historic times.

       I’m working hard to get ready to teach history and psychology online.

       I’m leaning on my faith, which now means “going to church” online at home.

       I’m washing my hands more and staying home as much as I can.

       And I’m really looking forward to handshakes, teaching a classroom full of kids, watching live sporting events, singing in choir, and going to a restaurant in the future, whenever that may be.

       And, to remain positive, I’m even looking forward to a possible graduation ceremony, or at least open houses, to celebrate some amazing seniors who deserve to experience that milestone.

       Sure, right now it feels like we may never see those events.

       But, then again, sometimes the things we never thought we’d see … happen right in front of me.

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