Today is Day One of the ‘Shelter-In-Place” directive issued for my town. Eleven days ago the senior apartment building where I make my home basically did the same thing. Areas cut off. No congregating. This place has never been so quiet. At about the same time, we had the social distancing order given by the authorities, and school breaks were extended. I live across from a school, so the traffic has been amazingly slow. I imagine it will get even slower. No kids wandering the streets, maybe a few people walking their dogs.
I saw people in and out yesterday, most of them returning with groceries. Getting ahead of the more severe “lockdown” like preparing for a snowstorm to hit…only without the snow. There’s a real difference in this kind of hunkering down. We had our first coronavirus report in my town, and in this area there has been a total of five. In the last week, the state reports have grown and deaths are happening. I am concerned about the first responders. I am concerned about the health care workers. I am concerned about all the essential businesses and services that stay open. I am concerned about all the young people who didn’t take the warnings seriously and are now getting sick.
I am concerned, yes, but not worried. My choice is to pray for those things that concern me and do what I can do to protect my own environment. I was walking back to my apartment yesterday from checking the mail and just as I got to my door someone called out my name. But instead of walking down to greet the person, I stood at my door and talked with her. I made sure she was doing okay, chatted about this and that, showed her I was wearing gloves (who knows who has touched what…my habits from working public health have returned full force) and I told her that I was in the process of cleaning, again, and went inside. I’m concerned about her. I am concerned about everyone here. So I do what I can, speak from a distance and pray.
A week ago we heard reports that this could last for a month or longer. Now we’re hearing other reports of a shorter time. It’s a minefield for anyone who is trying to maneuver their way through to determine what this will end up being. If we could vote, I’d vote it ends in two weeks. Well, that isn’t realistic. But, I can pray and ask God to intervene.
I also try not to hyper-focus on the economic impact of this virus because of the restrictive acts taken to protect people and stop the quick spread in the communities. Because I live simply and have next to nothing by choice, I am not as impacted as directly or as immediately. But there are so many who are. Another concern to be praying about. For all of us, that trickle-down thing will change much in all areas of our lives. Who would have thought stores would be out of toilet paper?
To keep my life as normal as I can, I write. I’m working on the second draft of a novel. And I’m trying to put different things here in my effort to connect. Because in that area, I am like so many. It is just me here. And The Cat, who is at least offers some company. I read an article on the mental health impact this kind of isolation can have. That is a concern as well. For me, keeping a schedule keeps me balanced. So I’ve changed the blog schedule and instead of two days a week, I’m doing something daily on this site.
Since we can’t attend any church activities, my church is offering something every day for all the groups via Facebook live streams. Our senior pastor does a devotion every morning. An associate pastor closes the day with a devotion and prayer at night. In between the morning and evening devotions, the children’s pastor, the youth pastor, and the women’s ministry director all have things they are sharing. Vital connections. Even for people who are by nature introverts and prefer alone time, knowing the options are next to nothing in seeing someone, it can become like bondage if not addressed. It is amazing how different life is if choices have been taken away, even if they are for your own good, and you see and agree with the importance of doing so. So, if your church, or workplace, or school, or family, or friends are offering a connection, please, please, take advantage of it.
And my connection for today is about done. Nothing new really, just thinking out loud. However, the study in Hebrews I’ve been doing the last two weeks has been impactful, so I’m hoping the next blog will finally be focused on sharing God’s Word.
Be safe. Remember God loves you. – Vicki