Quarantine forces you to take stock of yourself.
It shows you were you are right now.
Everything you've done up to this point is done.
And anything you haven't done, well...it's either hard or impossible to do it now.
Owe money than can only be paid via check or cash? Too late.
Need to run an errand? Need more rice? Call a repairman? Fill up on gas? Visit someone? Get somewhere? Too late.
The grocery store I chose to patronize today was out of every single kind of flour. I do have flour at home, but wanted to acquire more.
(BTW, there's a large supermarket nearby probably with flour, so I'm not stuck, but I chose this store to support heimishe people. I hoped there might be at least a couple kilos left, but no. And anyway, I do have some flour left.)
So yes, there is a lot of material stock-taking, especially with so many people forbidden from going to work here.
But there is also spiritual stock-taking.
This kind of quarantine forces you to look at your relationships, especially if you will be closed in your home with your relationships.
How do you all get along?
How do you REALLY get along? (The stress test!)
This could get interesting.
For example, I'm a real homebody, so being forced to be at home even sounds relaxing, but half my family are vibrant, energetic, active types who literally need to get some exercise and a change of scenery.
We'll see how this goes...
(And one is still at yeshivah & may get stuck there, although he really enjoys the whole thing — the staff, the accommodations, the learning, the other bachurim — so that will probably be okay. He thought of coming home last night, but decided to stay, which is best as far as Torah-learning & sweetening judgement goes.)
Anyway...what do you talk about when you're all forced to be together?
Or do you just escape into hi-tech gadgets as long as you can?
Even kosher ones, like the frum radio station or the telephone.
And what about Pesach?
I overhear neighbors fretting about how they're supposed to clean for Pesach with all their small children at home.
That's a big challenge!
And what about getting matzah? How long will this all last?
Going deeper, what about emuna & bitachon?
Fear can either blast one's nerves to smithereens OR plunge one into a state of denial, like: "Why is everyone so stressed about the spread of Corona? As long as beer-drinking takes place in moderation, everything should be just dandy..."
People whose livelihood depends on schools, restaurants, stores, pools, offices, and more are finding themselves cut off from income, especially those who earn their living by the hour or the sale.
Yet at the end of the day, uncontrollable events encourage us turn to Hashem.
The Corona Edicts
Like, if the government just decided to close yeshivahs & frum schools, or limit minyanim and weddings to 10 people, how infuriated would we all be?
What if the government decided to limit our parnasa and ability to accomplish tasks right before Pesach?
We'd be frothing at the mouth and cursing the Erev Rav or Jew-haters with all our hearts.
Torah is under attack once again!!!
But the exact same thing is happen under completely difference auspices.
How's that for food for thought?
This feeling that there are new edicts every day, or even every few hours, decrees which crimp our lifestyle, both materially and spiritually — it's very similar to historical precedents committed out of hatred only.
To me, that's the biggest message that all this is cultivated directly from Hashem.
Hashem loves us so much and really wants us to turn to Him as we would a loving Friend who is always Compassionate & Forgiving.