The Covid Effect

Purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean; wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow. Psalm 51:7

My first article of the year was titled 2020, A Year for Perfect Vision. After all, perfect sight should inspire a person to see things more clearly. I imagined rest for the weary, purpose for the unfocused, mindfulness for over indulgers, and answers for the sick and hurting. But I never imagined the events that would actually unfold. At first glance they looked dismal. From the pandemic through the election, we witnessed growth in corruption, abuse, depression, and suicide … thus hopelessness.  

On the other hand, we saw what I termed as The Covid effect. People grasping change and learning creative ways to work and minister. Families growing closer via zoom. Virtual celebrations, car parties and social distancing which made milestones new and festive.  But the biggest change I witnessed occurred on a beautiful day in November.

The day itself was unusually warm, sunny and filled with vibrant beauty. November weather here on the east coast is normally cold, gray, and requires bundling up this time of year. Yet, there we sat on the beach in short sleeves, enjoying the sights and sounds of summer.

After a few hours of decompressing: reading to a background of crashing waves, toes at play in the sand, soaking in the sunshine, I glanced up to revel in the heavens. It was like I opened my eyes for the first time. I noticed things I had skimmed past. The sky seemed bluer, the ocean appeared clearer, the water cleaner.  I sent a picture to a friend who confirmed the water indeed looked blue, instead of grey.

Over the next week, I did some research to learn about The Covid Effect. When Covid-19 became a pandemic the majority of air, land and sea travel were stopped. This resulted in cleaner air, water and land masses.

Below are some stunning before and after pictures of the Covid Effect. To see more follow this link.

The awakening of the environment enhanced my hope. A return to cleaner air meant overall health improvement and renewed appreciation for nature. God calls us to be good stewards of everything He places under our care, and that includes creation. Not that we should value creation over human life or above the Creator, but we should take good care of the world He created.

Then, a deeper meaning began to surface. The reflective discipline of cleaner living and mindful behaviors don’t thrive in an urgent, busy lifestyle. Destructive habits tend to gain speed when we’re preoccupied with tasks that require our immediate attention. Making this time in history a positive development that has forced us to eliminate non-essentials from our routine.

True it has socially starved us as well…

But is that a bad thing?

We are presented with a rare opportunity to clean up our internal environment. To evaluate what’s polluting it and work on lasting change, where we can see bluer skies and radiant life. It takes solitary quiet to truly consider what’s important. For many, this time has caused them to reflect on God. Is He there? Does He hear our prayers? Does He care?

He is. He does. And yes, He cares.

So, as we look back on this unusual year, let’s also take the opportunity to reflect on our state of mind. The things that are truly important and those which are not.

Family, friends, connection, but most of all communion with God.

In the song “Hosanna” the writer “sees a generation rising up to take their place with selfless faith.”

I see that in the generation who is churched. But that’s not the majority of this generation. The last descriptive expression I’d use for them is selfless or faithful. 

How do we change that?

On our knees in prayer and as the lyricist states, to ask God to “heal our hearts and make us clean, open up our eyes to the things unseen.”

Our self-righteousness rather than God dependence is the largest area of personal reflection in which we should seek change. Because it speaks directly to our hearts of pride. Humility requests that God would heal us of sin. To show us how to love as He does. But mostly to break our heart for what breaks God’s heart. Like-mindedness with Christ is a worthy and our greatest endeavor.  

The world is wrought with problems. If we have seen anything in this Covid year it is that. But we’ve also seen a way to restore what’s been lost. And that is to seek God and His mercy because one day we will walk from earth into eternity.

May we rearrange our priorities and put all our efforts into God’s kingdom cause.

Have a Merry Christmas celebration.


  1. Val Sarkady says

    Interesting!! Every little bit helps.

    • Jewell Utt says

      Thanks for reading and taking the time to comment. Step by step He charts the way and we follow in good stewardship.

  2. Hosanna. Blessed be the rock of my salvation! 2020 leaves with it many questions, but 2021 brings with it the knowledge that God will see us through. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

    • Jewell Utt says

      Yes, Hosanna will walk through it all with us. Merry Christmas and many blessings in 2021.

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