Navigating the Pandemic

Reading-a-mapThere hasn’t been much in my journal beside the coronavirus and its impact. That’s what this post will cover, navigating COVID-19 the second week after it was found in my state.

The first change was that church moved online. A wise move in hindsight after the news of another church mostly infected was reported. In their defense, it was before the restrictions were put in place on the number of people that could be in a group. It also proves the wisdom in why you should move church online.

I watched leaders step up. My Facebook was filled with live videos of church services. John, a senior co-leader at Reach Deaf Ministry, interpreted our church service from home and posted it.

Others figured out how to teach online. I racked my brain for how I could do the same. My problem is I can’t explain religious concepts well with my level of signing.

By the next Sunday, I did a Facebook Live to touch base and offer words of encouragement, then pray for those in my class. An hour later, I hosted a watch party of John’s second interpreted service.

At work, the question’s been, are we going to shut down? Our customers and suppliers had already, though we’re still behind on orders. Risk-management.

I haven’t filed for unemployment in 15 years. It’s depressing to do. Emotionally, I swung between the peace that surpasses all understanding (Philippians 4:7) to wondering how I’ll be paid if we close. Will it affect my seniority and upcoming paid parental leave? It’s already been wrecking our plans.

Two baby showers are on hold because it’s too risky with elderly family members and many of us working in the medical field. Our childbirth class was canceled, along with the newborn CPR. One did offer an online course and threw in a free breastfeeding class for the inconvenience, which is cool because we hadn’t signed up for that one.

Because I’m a five on the enneagram, I watch the Johns Hopkins University’s COVID-19 map. To keep from freaking out, I weigh the percentages in the higher case countries between who died and who have recovered. I also remind myself there are billions of people in the world, and not even half a million are infected.

There are 7,530,000,000 people in the world.

As of 3/29, there are 681,706 confirmed cases.

Worldwide, 145,696 have recovered.

31,882 have died.

Big picture. Yet, it still hurts if someone you know is sick, or worse, dies.

Closer to home, I’m watching Arkansas’s numbers, and my county’s, so I can weigh the odds of someone being sick at work.

I’m studying more because Pastor Rod said focus on God more than the news. So far, he has preached on Matthew 6:33 and Phillippians 4:19.

“But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.”

“And my God will meet all your needs according to the riches of his glory in Christ Jesus.”

Two verses I’ve been focusing on with Sam’s imminent arrival.

With this pandemic, we have to be realists. Don’t run toward a laissez-faire attitude or full-blown prepper panic. Take off the aluminum foil hat and just wash your hands. Stay home.

Remember, if it seems sensational, it probably is. Especially the projections I hear politicians throwing around. Recovery is winning. China and Italy are leveling out. No one has reanimated into a zombie. 

The cases will go up as more people are tested, but a majority of tests are negative. 

Take care out there. Love your neighbor by avoiding them. Remember, the church is a people, not a building. Reach out and encourage others online and by phone.

Don’t spread the virus or fear. Instead, spread love and informed calm. 

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