At this time, our planet is enduring an epidemic. A virus spread itself worldwide and is getting an alarming number of people sick. Numerous states in America are declaring states of emergency and are attempting to keep people indoors. Stores have closed, and many folks have lost their jobs. On the front lines against the virus, essential employees like healthcare providers, grocery store clerks, automotive mechanics, and many more, are risking illness to help keep the world moving along.
What is keeping people from declaring everything a lost cause and entering a state of chaos? Why are the essential employees risking illness to help those in need? I posit that hope is the very thing that is keeping humanity going in these times. Hope during the pandemic is what will keep us moving onward.
The Tom Clancy Universe finds itself in the aftermath of a epidemic situation in The Division games. In the first game, which took place seven months before The Division 2, Dr. Gordon Amherst genetically engineers a smallpox virus, creating Smallpox Variola Chimera. This virus has a 95% infection rate in the general populace and is dangerously fatal. Dr. Amherst then laces dollar bills in circulation in New York City with the virus to set off an epidemic. Dr. Amherst is a militant environmentalist as well as a master virologist, and he creates the virus as a means of population control. His plan reaches fruition on Black Friday. He knows this day would allow for the highest number of people to become infected by contacting the contaminated cash.
The American government creates the Division as a group of agents who live and work in everyday society and could be activated at any time to work efficiently in times of emergency without any command input. They are called to duty during the events of Black Friday to help maintain control and order. Due to an overwhelming enemy force in angry citizens who have been forsaken by the government and private military contractors who have gone rogue, the initial efforts to save New York failed.
A second wave of Division members then enter the city, including the playable character. The Division then works to keep society alive in the aftermath of the virus. They had to ensure the safety of civilization from anarchist types who would steal and murder from those trying to build society back up, as well as the other angry citizens and the private military contractors. The Division agents also had to help with the organization of the community to help ensure its survival.
Seven months later, in The Division 2, the playable Division agent answers a distress call from Washington DC. The Division has a presence there and the group is under attack from multiple groups, including anarchists, former military personnel, and people who are seeking revenge for being violently quarantined. The agent arrives in DC to find the Hyenas, an anarchist group, attacking the other agents who are residing in the White House. With the help of the playable agent, the Division is able to repel the attack. Manny Ortega, the Division Coordinator for the Washington DC area, then asks the agent to assist with other budding hubs of civilization.
The agent then sets to work to aid these other areas. As The Division 2 progresses, you assist in various tasks that these community hubs require. These tasks include defending against attacks from other violent groups, finding essential supplies to help with the survival of the civilians, and assisting with Division activities to help increase their presence in the area. As you do this, you get to see the fruits of your labor in these settlements. For example, as you complete missions in the first area of the game, the theater settlement gains numerous improvements, including hydroponic farms to grow food, solar panel arrays, back up batteries for electrical needs, and a gaming area for the kids of the settlement.
The Agent of Hope
The agent you play as is a fantastic agent of hope. The leaders of the communities occasionally give you a debriefing post-mission on how your work is impacting lives. Slowly, but surely, the agent successfully helps to bring life back to a somewhat normal state in the Washington DC area. The agent is one of the great essential employees in the post-Black Friday world.
He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak. Even youths grow tired and weary, and young men stumble and fall; but those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint. ~Isaiah 40:29-31
Hope during COVID-19
While the current COVID situation does not quite represent the chaos and destruction that the Smallpox Variola Chimera virus sows, it is still paramount that we look outside the bounds of our social distancing to find hope. Just like the Division agents, essential employees are working every day to keep our civilization running. Grocery store employees are ensuring all the shelves stocked to the best of their abilities. Janitors and cleaning services are keeping multiple high traffic areas clean and sanitized to help stem the infection rates. Healthcare workers are going to work and caring for all who have become sick and injured. We can see that these folks are being extraordinarily selfless in their work to ensure all of us can eat and live without getting sicker.
The rest of the populace even shows its kindness when folks help to give our elderly neighbors food and toilet paper if they are unable to shop. People are assisting each other in shopping centers if essential items sell out. Large companies, such as Discord, are helping to increase server space for large numbers of students so they can keep up with their studies online. Other companies and private citizens are making or distributing personal protective equipment in large quantities and are donating or selling them to hospitals that sorely need the equipment. Medtronic, a medical device company, is even distributing data online for making life-saving ventilators to help combat shortages of these devices.
The Need for Hope
People need hope in all times of trial and tribulation. Hope gives us the drive to keep pushing forward, even if the way appears dark and dangerous. Hope is the very essence of emotional and mental freedom. With hope, we can face any stressors in our lives, no matter how big or how small. When we see our brothers and sisters working to help keep people fed, well, and alive, we see that the virus has not won. It has not destroyed humanity at all. We know we, collectively as a society, will pull through this.
As Christians, we also take this a step further. Not only do we see the manifestations of hope in our essential employees physically, but we also have the ultimate being with us in whom we can place our hope. We know that God is with us through all trials. God will not fail us, and He will keep us in His giant and competent hands. As Christians, our hope extends beyond even death. This virus can destroy our physical bodies, but it cannot hurt our spirit. It cannot separate us from the love of our God.
Don’t give up hope!
I cannot emphasize enough how important it is to maintain hope in these trying times. When all seems to be getting worse, look for the essential employees willingly going to do their jobs. When you cannot see things getting better, crack open your Bible and start reading your favorite verses. Not only will this hope help you endure these times we find ourselves in, but it may also quite honestly keep us all sane.
Finally, I extend a great big thank you to all our brothers and sisters who are risking illness and quarantine from their families while keeping essential services going. You guys are honestly beacons of hope, in my opinion. You are doing a fantastic job, and we are praying for your safety!