A couple weeks ago Jason came home from Costco with enough bleach and sanitizing spray to last us for the next 5 years.
He said I needed to start spraying down the shop; I said he was overreacting.
Well, guess who's glad to have a stockpile of cleaning supplies now?
These are crazy days, indeed. Days likened to nothing the majority of us have ever experienced before. As the daily marches on, it's getting increasingly less normal, increasingly less familiar. "Coronavirus," a foreign word in any of our vocabularies just weeks ago, is suddenly the buzz word in all the news, social media platforms, committee meetings, and everyday conversation. For most of us, it's constantly in the back of our minds, and often in the forefront.
In our little corner of the world, preparations for the impending storm are in full force. Our normal expectations and whatever semblance of control we thought we had have rapidly been turned upside down, leaving us on shaky ground.
Travel plans cancelled.
Employers shutting their doors.
Schools and colleges sending their students home.
Parents scrambling to figure out plan B, then plan C, then D...
The best of the best athletes benched until further notice.
Businesses, small and mega alike, reeling.
Stock market crashing.
And all the above and more, with many of us being yet untouched by this virus creating so much havoc. We hold our breaths (and pump yet another squirt of hand sanitizer) and wait. Wait for the storm to make landfall. Wait to see how the next hours and days and weeks unfold. Such unfamiliar territory. So many unknowns.
I find it ironic that a short time ago I shared with you my focus word for 2020: "connection." Little did I know then that just weeks later "isolation" and "quarantine" would be society's new focus words. Little did I know then that I'd be second guessing dinner with friends in public places, extending my hand for a handshake, attending church, and the list goes on. Increasingly, we are being encouraged to disconnect (often with good reason and prudent precaution). And already many of us are feeling the emotional and psychological strain. We attempt to stay calm and carry on, yet the fear and tension are quite palpable, all the same.
Friend, I don't know how long this is going to last. I can't assure you that it's all going to be okay and we're going to ride this storm unscathed. Like it or not, it's already touched us, our loved ones, and our country as a whole. We certainly don't need virus symptoms or a positive test result to tell us that.
Yes, be cautious; yes, avoid large crowds, but I encourage you not to fully withdraw in fear and isolation. We are, indeed, stronger together and we will weather this current storm, come what may.
I encourage you,
Love your people well.
Text a friend, or better yet, call her.
Continue to support your local community - small businesses and non-profits need you now more than ever.
Open the windows - fresh air is good for the soul (and helps with the germs too).
Go for a walk, a hike, or a bike ride in the great outdoors.
Drink lots of water; and then drink some more.
Eat lots of colorful fruits and veggies (no, Skittles don't count).
Get good rest (void of 3AM worry sessions).
Wash your hands. Often. For much longer than seems reasonable (20 seconds, really).
Start a daily gratitude list - there truly is so much to be grateful for and so much power in the perspective we choose to take.
Share your fears and concerns, and offer a listening ear to hear the concerns of others - realizing we're not alone in what we're feeling helps loosen fear's grip.
And lastly, pray. Let's pray together for the health of those affected, the health of those not yet affected, wisdom for our government leaders, our school officials, and our community. And for peace; peace for our nation, our world, and for each and every one of us.
Friend, we can't predict what tomorrow holds, but we can support one another no matter what comes. During these unsettling times, please know that you are in my prayers - praying that "the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus." (Phillipians 4:7).
With love & peace (and a whole lot o' Lysol),