Well, I am sure everyone has been affected by this by now. It is very unfortunate, and I hope it passes soon. I am in the healthcare profession and we have been hit hard; however, I cannot speak on how hard it has hit the system because I am not aware of the depths. I can only speak from my own perspective as someone who works in a community-based oncology office.
My patients are scared. The majority of my patients are receiving treatments which cause immunosuppression, and most of my patients are over the age of 60, which puts them in the highest-risk group for contracting this virus. But on the other side of this, my patients are receiving treatment that is practically saving their lives, so as much as they would rather stay home, they keep coming to the office because they are trying to fight cancer.
Thank God my company has implemented many safe practices to screen and help protect our vulnerable population, but it still is a stressor for my patients. My life personally has not significantly been affected because I still go to work daily due to the nature of my job. I have had minor impacts such as having to cancel a trip, my gym has closed down (probably the thing that affected me the most), my church group is meeting virtually, and church services are being held online. Even though the impact for me has been minimal, my heart goes out to the families that are affected financially due to the virus and the kids who are home from school, and the general sense of fear everyone has at this moment. Personally, I think fear is most apparent in the grocery stores – when you look at the faces of the people shopping, you can clearly see the fear as they are picking up the remnants of what is left on the shelves.
I am not afraid, but I am overwhelmed. I am being bombarded with so much information daily about COVID-19, from the news and the radio to the Internet and people I know. That is all that is talked about right now, and I get it, but I think majority of the talk is not helpful. I personally think the majority of the information stirs up anxiety in people and that is transferred from person to person. I found myself getting anxious after reading a few articles and scrolling through Instagram. I told myself that I needed a break.
I have decided to definitely participate in social distancing, but I have also decided to limit the amount of information I let in about COVID-19. I know my family and friends are just sharing out of love, but I do not read everything anymore. I do not follow people down the rabbit hole of “What if?” I can’t; it doesn’t lead me anywhere but back to being more anxious. I have decided that I am putting my trust in God. I do not know what tomorrow will bring. I do not know how long this “lockdown” will last. I do not know how long COVID-19 will be a threat but I know at the end of it all, I will be fine.
The Bible verse that has come to mind repeatedly in this season is Matthew 6:27. “Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life?” Matter of fact, Matthew 6:25-34 is entitled Do Not Worry. I think it is very appropriate to read that at this time. At the end of the chapter, Jesus says, “Therefore do not worry about tomorrow for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.” That brings me so much comfort. I am reminded that I don’t have to figure out tomorrow. I just need to live in today and worry not. Worry does not change my situation. Worry does not give me answers and worry sure doesn’t make me feel any better. So, I have decided I will not worry, and I will not be afraid. I will take the necessary precautions such as washing my hands often, avoiding crowds and avoiding touching my face.
I definitely recommend taking the necessary precautions the CDC recommends to protect you, your family and community from COVID-19. I also recommend staying prepared and stocking up on supplies (I do not recommend panicking and going overboard!). But above all else, I recommend staying grounded and rooted in Christ. He is our healer, protector and comforter. Pray, read the Bible and trust in the One that has given you life.
I will leave you will some verses to encourage you:
Joshua 1:9 “Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.”
Deuteronomy 31:8 “The Lord himself goes before you and will be with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged.”
Psalms 42:11 “Why am I discouraged? Why is my heart so sad? I will put my hope in God! I will praise him again—my Savior and my God!”
“Whoever dwells in the shelter of the Most High
will rest in the shadow of the Almighty.[a]
2 I will say of the Lord, “He is my refuge and my fortress,
my God, in whom I trust.”
3 Surely he will save you
from the fowler’s snare
and from the deadly pestilence.
4 He will cover you with his feathers,
and under his wings you will find refuge;
his faithfulness will be your shield and rampart.
5 You will not fear the terror of night,
nor the arrow that flies by day,
6 nor the pestilence that stalks in the darkness,
nor the plague that destroys at midday.
7 A thousand may fall at your side,
ten thousand at your right hand,
but it will not come near you.
8 You will only observe with your eyes
and see the punishment of the wicked.
9 If you say, “The Lord is my refuge,”
and you make the Most High your dwelling,
10 no harm will overtake you,
no disaster will come near your tent.
11 For he will command his angels concerning you
to guard you in all your ways;
12 they will lift you up in their hands,
so that you will not strike your foot against a stone.
13 You will tread on the lion and the cobra;
you will trample the great lion and the serpent.
14 “Because he[b] loves me,” says the Lord, “I will rescue him;
I will protect him, for he acknowledges my name.
15 He will call on me, and I will answer him;
I will be with him in trouble,
I will deliver him and honor him.
16 With long life I will satisfy him
and show him my salvation.”
Hope this gives you some peace during this difficult time.
Till next time.