In a poem, John Donne expresses the following:
No man is an island,
Entire of itself.
Each is a piece of the continent,
A part of the main.
If a clod be washed away by the sea,
Europe is the less.
As well as if a promontory were.
As well as if a manor of thine own
Or of thine friend's were.
Each man's death diminishes me,
For I am involved in mankind.
Therefore, send not to know
For whom the bell tolls,
It tolls for thee.
I read this quite often at funerals. Donne reminds us that we are in some small way interconnected. My life is formed not only by the influence of my family, teachers, friends, and mentors, it has also been formed by the billions of others who are unknown to me. Anyone's death, whether it is that of a friend or that of a stranger half a world away does effect me.
With some people, I can relate to the connection. On Sunday, I heard that the actor who played tv's Lou Grant, Ed Asner had died. I had never met him. But I had always appreciated his acting. I also saw that Mr. Asner supported many civil rights issues that I agreed with. So I am saddened by his death.
Also on Sunday, I read that Caleb Wallace had died. Wallace was a 30 year old father in Texas. He was known as being an arch conservative. He was a proud anti vaxxer and anti masker who spoke at several antil lockdown rallies throughout central Texas during the past year. He advocated that people refuse the vaccine and instead take IverMectin, a de-wormer used by farmers on animals, to fight COVID (Hundreds have been poisoned in the US by taking this drug. Yet the CBC reports that feed lot stores throughout Alberta are being barraged for requests for the drug). Wallace began feeling ill in July, was hospitalized in late July, soon put on a ventilator, and died on Saturday.
Just in reading the news coverage about Mr. Wallace, I don't think there are many things that we would agree about. He stood for so many things which I stand against. I think masks save lives. I know the vaccine, while not perfect, will save lives. I know the lockdowns were difficult, but they were a necessary evil in our fight against the disease. I tend not to follow Doctor Google and things that some guy or gal posts on the internet. I tend to trust the scientists and the experts. But I do not rejoice that Mr. Wallace is dead. I don't think if I had the chance to speak to him now, I would say I told you so. Rather, I grieve his death. He is one of the millions who this virus has snuffed out. I grieve for his young widow who now must raise her young family alone. Mr. Wallace might have been a very vocal voice in stating things that I don't believe in. Yet as John Donne says, our world is lessened with his death. Blessings.