It is looking like our "stay at home" mandate is going to stick around at least through May. And even when the "stay at home" mandate is lifted, there will still not be a vaccine for COVID 19. We'll still need to take precautions against catching or carrying the virus. And when things are lifted, folks will begin to interact a good bit more, which may make the virus spread quickly again. We may have to "stay at home" again.
I didn't know how to voice it the first time, but I think I do now. In these moments, in all of the adjustments of these moments, and in the moments to come, I would like to have a Quaranteam. (Thanks to Mady and this CNN article for introducing me to this term.) I would like to have a group of people, a smallish group- 3 or 4 households (?) who covenant to being supportive community with one another in the midst of these moments. I'm not exactly sure what we'd agree to. I think I'd like to agree to cooperatively purchased supplies/groceries, weekly meals or interaction, childcare exchange, visits at each other's homes, and recreation or play with one another. We'd agree to stay physically distant from folks who are not on the Quaranteam. We'd share time, resources, family and spiritual practices together.
Ideally, there's be a couple households on the team who do not live in the thick of Charlotte...places we could escape to on occassion. Maybe there'd be a medically inclined person, a sports/recreation inclined person. a musician, a person who can fix things, and a gardener. There'd be some children too.
When all this started, I texted and emailed a bunch of people and said, "let's get on a call." At the time, I couldn't exactly discern what I needed, but I knew I needed to connect. Looking back, I see now that I'd love to have a quaranteam. A Quaranteam isn't anything different than an intentional community which, in a variety of iterations, I have been a part of for 15 years. The iteration we currently have is good and helpful. It isn't sufficient to sustain a "stay at home" or "off the grid" lifestyle. I don't imagine it ever will be.
I admire communities that have managed to organize sustainably and long term. The Bruderhof community, in particular, is one I wish I could retire to. There's something romantic and hopeful about a group of people covenanting with one another and with God to take care of each other for life. I guess that's also why I love those Ya Ya movies, the ones where the kids make a friendship pact and carry it through into seasoned adulthood. I know that there's nothing all that romantic about the real experience of #communitylife. I have experienced first hand the let down and disappointment of intentional community. Amidst all the pain has been great joys and deep growth, hard as it might be.
Even after all these years, I still long for something like the early church where everyone shared things in common so that all needs were met. Right now, I need someone to play with my child. I need a meal I didn't cook. I need to laugh at a funny story. I need to hear someone sing a song. I need to exchange knowing glances. I need to feel relieved when someone walks into the house, sees the dishes, and picks up the wash cloth.
These things are happening, by the way. We've got interns here and we've joined in Quaranteam with them. I'm grateful and also still feel like I need more.
Who would you draft onto your Quaranteam?
Oh, and btw, if I had to pic between the characters in the picture, oscar and animal would certainly make the cut!