How are you doing? I feel like I’ve been spinning on a child’s toy top. I’m still in a daze with the immense challenges we’ve experienced in our country in just two weeks. As all of you know, in a matter of days, our world has drastically changed. This world-wide pandemic called, COVID19, or Coronavirus, has now placed it’s ugly hands on the USA, and many other countries. To be honest, I’ve struggled at times. I’m prone to anxiety anyway and this has been a battle. One hour I’m okay, the next hour I have a hard time drawing a deep breath.
A mere two weeks ago many thought this disease couldn’t last long or touch us in personal ways. Each day, and each hour, new developments flooded in. By the middle of last week, colleges and universities began closing, going online for the rest of the semester. Major sports organizations shut down. Thursday and Friday all Michigan school districts closed. Last weekend we were told to keep gatherings under 250, then 100, now ten people. The first confirmed case in our small city came early this week.
“Social distancing” is a new term to most people, as we’re told to keep six feet away from others. The governor’s order by mid-week closed all restaurants and bars in Michigan for dining in. Some fear-mongering reports are negative with the sky is falling attitude. Others are calm and reassuring, but this is uncharted territory no one has ever waded through before.
Health care workers are stressed to the max. Unnecessary surgeries are put on hold, pregnant ladies face difficulties for appointments and deliveries. Even spouses aren’t allowed inside with a hospital patient. It’s lonely for the critically ill or rehabilitation patients, without visitors.
Life is suddenly different. We’ve had privilege for a long time. Our parents were part of the Greatest Generation, who lived through the Great Depression or WWII. We certainly aren’t afflicted to the level they were. My generation had a prosperous life which made it look easy to our kids, the millennials. For many of them this could be their first real hardship.
This whole thing reminds me of 9-11. That was a time when the world as we knew it profoundly changed. I’m an introvert at heart, but this is way beyond. I miss my peeps and normal routines and activities, the daily markers to keep us in step. Humans need humans.
Every day, more things are being postponed farther into the future. When I see another “cancelled” notice in emails and on Facebook posts, my heart drops a little bit more. Even most church services are online or moving to much different formats. I see the president or the governor on TV, and think, now what? What are health experts trying now, new therapies, how many tests, how many sick, how many died, how many hospital beds, how many ventilators….. on and on and on!
STOP!!!!! It has to be a bad dream. Let me off this spinning top!
For some reason, God placed us all at home. He knows what’s happening because He is an omnipresent and omniscient God. He never promised us a perfect life. In fact, the Lord promised in this world we would have trouble, but He has overcome the world. (John 16:33) The fact is, we live in a sinful world which includes sickness and death.
This quieter time can be wasted, or used as an opportunity. If you’re prone to any kind of depression or anxiety, this is a very challenging period for us, but we can overcome with the help of the Holy Spirit. He wants us to draw near to Him.
Here are things I’m doing or have heard about, to combat negativity during this strange era when most of us have to sit home.
1. Pray, pray, PRAY—alone or with whomever you’re “quarantined” with. Pray warfare prayers, praise, supplication and listening prayers. This is a good time to get your prayer book/journal organized. Pray for doctors, nurses, health care workers, police, fire, and emergency workers. Pray warfare putting on the armor of God. Pray to Jesus for healing of our people and our bodies.
2. Pray for our president, vice-president, governor, medical experts, the presidential coronavirus task force team—for wisdom, discernment, and health. Put aside political opinions during this critical time.
3. Read the Bible. Get going on your Bible study, or begin something new online. Memorize verses and passages.
4. Catch up on all those books, e-books, kindle books you’ve had on your list for a long time.
5. Turn off your TV! I can only stand the news about one hour per day. The media creates fear, don’t buy into it. That background noise will only imbed negative thoughts. Guard your heart and mind.
6. Love the ones you’re with. Practice kindness, good deeds, patience.
7. If you’re a young mom—you don’t have to create a utopian homeschool for your kids. Relax and do what you can. Especially READ to and with them.
8. Classes, virtual national parks, zoos and museums online can teach you something new, or educate your children. Learn a language or a musical instrument.
9. Order online books and resources from your local library.
10. Write letters to lonely people, such as nursing home residents and send them in the mail. Facetime with parents, grandparents or elderly neighbors. If they don’t use that technology, make actual phone calls.
11. Texts, Facetime, Facebook live, Zoom, Skype, Google Hangouts, photos or videos are all ways to keep in touch. We are fortunate to have so many means of communication.
12. Talk to your neighbors from a good distance across the yards and driveways.
13. You can journal, write stories, rake the yard, haul wood, ride bike, take a walk, scrapbook, clean house, cook, freeze some meals, bake, sort out closets, gather for Goodwill, play games, create a family theater production.
14. Find good podcasts of sermons, pastors, church services, Christian artists on You-Tube, movies and videos with positive values, praise music on your phone, radio or TV.
15. Use a diffuser with calming oils, take baths, do “Christian yoga” online, relaxation exercises and deep breathing techniques.
16. Fast and pray about this virus. I wrote a story specifically about fasting here: https://myrnafolkert.blog/?s=fast
17. Speak life to yourself and others. If it’s not helpful then don’t say it, text it, or send it. No one needs more negativity right now in any form.
I’ve had this verse on my mind this week:
Philippians 4:8 – “Finally brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable – if anything is excellent or praiseworthy – think about these things.”
Reach out to others, speak honestly and don’t isolate too much. Let someone know if you are anxious or depressed. We’re in this together. The Lord will get us through because He promises He will never leave us or forsake us. Be encouraged friends!
Aren’t we going to have a wonderful celebration when this disease is over?