Saturday, June 6, 2020

Louisiana Saturday Night

The song is much better than the current reality...

So how are things in your neck of the woods on this Saturday night, June 6th?  For me and most of my southeast Louisiana neighbors we are awaiting the arrival of a very early season tropical mess named Cristobal.  I've lived only one place in my life; right here in these parts give or take 60 miles; I do not recall any tropical storm or hurricane hitting directly on June 7th.  We've had an early one or two here or there but our historic bouts of hurricane hell usually come in August or September.

Now this thing named Cristobal is no hurricane Katrina or Camille or Betsy but if we can believe the forecast it will be another very inconvenient rainmaker with enough wind to disrupt power here and there.  On this Saturday night I am wondering if we should look at the remainder of hurricane season with heightened concern; this is the 3rd named storm only one week into a 26 week season and an early visitor to southeast Louisiana.

It's quiet at home tonight; no early signs of a storm, Wendy back in Slidell helping out with all things new baby and me and Delilah left to watch an old movie, maybe a little live Indy Car racing or the endless news stories of the ongoing aftermath of protests after the police murder of George Floyd.

As I'm reflecting on this Saturday night I'm curious about whatever happened to Coronavirus or Covid19?  Of course I'm sarcastic but whatever happened to the countless, almost endless warnings about all things social distancing and masks, remember, avoid large crowds.  Yes some have been willing to opine that these protests will lead to an uptick in new Coronavirus but it sure got pushed off the non-stop headlines.  Ironically, for us in Louisiana, where Coronavirus was tough on us, we finally got to look forward to Phase 2; a further reopening of our local economies and things like getting our people back into church.  But the new Phase 2 has been pushed way back into the collective mindset with the ongoing protests and now a tropical storm approaching from the Gulf of Mexico.  My family has been playing it super safe concerning Coronavirus since our newest grandchild was just born 18 days ago.  I've only seen Walker twice, outside from a distance of at least 6 feet.  Even Brennan, my precocious 27 month old can only see old Pops from a distance.  My family wears masks and takes every precaution possible.  I've finally returned to service inside the church building for things like assisting at Mass, offering Benediction and even one Baptism is the new reality in a Covid19 world.

This very weekend, today and tomorrow is the first weekend we can have up to 150 faithful inside the church building(we can sit 300 according to the fire marshal).  Well, along comes Cristobal.  I believe this is holding attendance down from what we could have and today we decided to cancel our Sunday evening Mass in an abundance of caution.  And what a wonderful solemnity we celebrate this weekend; the feast of the Most Holy Trinity; one God, three persons; Father, Son and Holy Spirit.  As a reminder to any local Catholics across the four dioceses in Louisiana that will be impacted by the tropical storm; we are all still dispensed from obligatory mass attendance because of ongoing Covid19 concerns so if you can't get to Mass because of the storm, it's good.  You are encouraged to watch a Mass on TV or live stream and pray the Spiritual Communion prayer.  And relax, we will all be back together again at Mass, in God's time.

My biggest prayer, personally, for me, is that no one suffers unnecessary damage from Cristobal, especially from rain and coastal floods for our neighbors to the south.  I also do not want to lose power especially since the generator is on the blink.  We all are thankful this is not a strong hurricane because believe it or not, much of our area still suffers from Katrina fatigue, 15 years later.

I also pray tonight that the ongoing protests remain peaceful; it at least appears to be the trend for the last few nights.  And I pray that we do not become dismissive or soft in our heretofore strong fight against Coronavirus.  It's important.

So I won't be getting down my fiddle or my bow, I'm here chillin and praying; this is my Louisiana Saturday night...

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