Tulsa neighbors are pulling out their holiday decorations and stringing up lights to change the crestfallen mood of the community.
It’s a wonderful idea that adds a joyful spark to a gloomy moment.
Americans are being challenged by the self-sacrifices being asked by public health officials during the COVID-19 virus pandemic.
Social distancing to tamp down the virus has meant closing schools, restricting restaurants and bars, and canceling public events. People are asked to stay in their homes as much as possible and keep a safe social distance in public.
Isolation has led to anxiety and frayed nerves.
As Auntie Mame would say, “We need a little Christmas!”
This is a perfect time to bring back the holiday spirit of charity, generosity, understanding and empathy.
Last week, the Hallmark Channel did its part with the announcement that it would broadcast its popular Christmas-themed movies.
Tulsa Mayor G.T. Bynum embraced the idea by decorating a tree in his yard with his children and encouraging Tulsans to do the same on his Facebook page.
“At a time when we can’t come together physically, a light can be a physical symbol to everyone who sees it that ‘You’re not in this alone. We will get through this together,’ ” Bynum wrote.
This is a national emergency that may last a very long time.
People are getting sick, and businesses are laying off workers. The situation will likely get worse before it gets better.
But it will get better.
Some holiday lights are not going to fix the problems of a coughing world; that will come with human cooperation and patience.
But what better way to remind ourselves of the important values that will pull us through this time?
Putting up lights isn’t just about having something to do. It is about preferring to light a candle than to curse the darkness.