Updated: Jul 17, 2020
I write from an easy chair in our green bedroom, looking out on a grey March day at the rain beating a cadence on the window. Along with millions of other Americans and people around the world, I have shut myself in. We are trying to stay safe and keep others from getting infected. COVID-19 in Eastern Kentucky Others have to go out to work; their jobs are pivotal parts of our society and we depend on them. A few law clerks I spoke to yesterday in a nearby town reminded me to keep a gun handy. "People will be stealing soon to support their habits." They were talking about the levels of desperation that opioid addicts in our area of Eastern Kentucky may experience in the coming days as their typical sources of income dry up. That's what COVID-19 looks like in my neck of the woods. I suspect every town in America has its own version, its own distinct face of fear. Yet I see goodness too, in spite of the fear and the worry. The government's reaction and restrictions are giving many families a forced time of rest, slowing down a frenetic pace of life. Children are home from school, parents are working from home, and families are together. Two out of four of my own adult children are home too since their colleges closed. The unexpected time with loved ones is priceless. COVID-19 in India and Freedom Firm staff With just a handful of reported cases testing positive this week, the Indian government reacted swiftly and brought this giant population of 1.2 billion people to a sudden halt. Travel to and from tourist areas is prohibited and folks don't even want to shop, for fear of handing over their rupee notes into a possibly infected hand of a shop keeper. Our staff cannot travel to search the brothels, do home inquiries, or visit remand homes. They too must work from home. Burnout is a major problem for our staff; the work is unbelievably demanding. The respite is welcome. COVID-19 for the Red-Light Areas in India In red-light areas across India, young girls usually raped every night, are experiencing an unexpected reprieve. Our correspondent on the ground in India, Jacqueline Olivia, says, "Most red-light areas are empty due to the Coronavirus threat. Customers don't think twice about visiting the brothels and spreading venereal diseases, but now they are scared about contracting this virus from little girls. Go figure. But we are thrilled for the respite and that the girls won't have to see customers for a while. We hope that brothel keepers are taking good care of them and ensuring they remain virus-free." A Parting Blessing All my loved ones are healthy right now, and I hope and pray that you and each of your loved ones are well, too. Lean into this time and embrace both the challenges and silver linings you will find in the coming days. Greg and I echo the India team's blessing to you today, "Be safe, people, and take the necessary precautions to keep the virus at bay. Don't live in fear, life is precious and beautiful, virus or no virus. "