We are living in weird times.
I can’t say unprecedented; plagues were relatively common throughout history.
A while back I read a biography of Abigail Adams, and remember vividly the story of how she had her kids “vaccinated” against smallpox (which meant they were all exposed to a low dose and got sick) and then had to remain in isolation for three months.
Of course we’ve heard the parallels with the Spanish Flu, which killed 25,000,000 people. Keith and I visited the delightful Florence Nightingale museum last summer in London, which, at the time, had a Spanish Flu exhibit. When you entered, they gave you a card with a person’s identity on it.
As you moved throughout the stations, you learned what happened to that person. It turns out that I died and Keith lived.
My grandmother learned to knit at the age of 6 or 7 when she was under quarantine because her sister Doris had diphtheria (and little Doris later died from it).
Throughout history, people have lived with quarantines and illnesses and death. Perhaps the reason this is so startling is because our generations have been incredibly blessed.
Nevertheless, a lot of people are having huge disruptions to their lives.
Who knows if school will be resumed this year–or what will happen to students if it’s not? I think of all of those who had weddings planned for the next month or so (and know some of my readers did), or who were hoping to look for jobs and start new jobs.
I think of all of those who have been laid off, and are wondering what will happen to the economy.
I think and pray for the business owners who are so uncertain about what will come, and feel a responsibility for their employees as well.
In the four families who are part of the To Love, Honor and Vacuum employee community, we have three women in the latter stages of pregnancy. Will their moms be able to be with them after the birth? No one knows.
One of my friends lost someone to COVID19 over the weekend. I don’t have a personal connection to anyone else, but I suppose more will come. It’s likely inevitable.
And domestic violence is increasing rapidly. Those with abusive spouses now can’t get away, and children with abusive parents are especially vulnerable. Watch out for your neighbours, as much as you can. Call a hotline if you suspect anything. And if you’re the one being hurt, please call that hotline. You still can be helped.
And sometimes it’s just small things, but important things. Today is my niece’s birthday. We’re all going to FaceTime scattered throughout the day so that she at least has other people talking to her instead of only her siblings and parents, but when you’re 8 years old, it’s hard to have a birthday without friends. It’s not the biggest thing in the world, but these little things add up.
Once our self-isolation period is over (Keith and I are under mandatory self-isolation until next Monday, because we were out of the country a week ago), Keith may have to do shifts in the ER, depending on how bad it gets in our home town (it’s not bad at all yet, and people have been isolating for over a week now). if that happens, he’ll have to cut off his beard (and I’ve finally gotten used to it!).
And then there are the big questions.
How bad will this be? What will happen to the economy? And the one that keeps me praying hard–what will happen when it really reaches the Third World?
For me, personally, not much has changed.
I’m still working on my yellow chair in my living room, with the computer balanced on my lap (I know that’s not ideal, but that’s how I work best). I’m still knitting at night, and going for walks in the neighbourhood, and doing my yoga workouts at home. I’m still FaceTiming with my kids everyday. Not much has changed, except checking the graphs of the COVID spread every now and then.
Ironically, today’s post was all set to be on how to help your husband find community. I decided that was too much irony, and I’ll run it in a few months. But I thought I’d just pop in to say that, if you’re nervous, I get it. If you’re feeling anxious, I get it. May we all pull together and be kind to one another and look out for one another and protect one another.
Here’s my very uninformed thoughts about what should happen…
And just to start the discussion, here is my extremely uninformed opinion, based on reading a few news articles, which obviously makes me an expert (NOT).
Singapore and Taiwan have done a good job of keeping life relatively normal and keeping the spread of this thing relatively minimal and contained, even though it showed up there very early. What they’ve been doing is concentrating on tracking the actual cases and everyone those people have been in contact with. They have an army of police officer detectives helping to locate anyone a positive person has had contact with, sort of like a missing persons department. And then all those people are in mandatory self-isolation for 14 days. You must have your phone on you with geolocation enabled. Randomly throughout the day, you receive a text. You have five minutes to reply to the text with a picture of your surroundings.
It’s a big infringement on civil liberties, and we aren’t used to things like that.
But because of those infringements, they’ve managed to keep restaurants and malls and even schools open.
I saw a picture of schools in Taiwan; all the kids wear masks, and then at lunch a 3-way barrier is put up on the kids’ desks so they can take their masks off and eat. Then it’s back to work.
So these countries are focused on identifying the cases, and then containing them. But then regular life can continue for everyone else (with masks and precautions and lots of hand washing, of course).
I think we’re going to have to do something like that. Give a shelter in place in order, so that people can’t leave their homes for two weeks except for emergencies. That allows us to start from scratch again and know where the active cases are, and then track them. Then, after those two weeks, hopefully things can return to semi-normal for everyone else. But it will mean no one goes anywhere for two weeks. People can’t be stupid and have parties or visit friends.
I don’t know if that would work in North America or Europe, but it seems to be working in Singapore. I don’t know what other choices we have.
But again, I’m not an expert, and all I see is what’s in the news. I’m just praying that those making the decisions are making good ones, and that our governments will listen to the experts.
So, in the meantime, make the most of your quarantine!
Learn to knit! Take up a hobby. Organize your home and clean out closets. Don’t forget to check out my post last week on 15 things to do with your kids while you’re stuck at home.
And I’ll get back to finishing our manuscript for The Great Sex Rescue.
I had some good posts planned for this week on lust, which I’m going to run anyway, because I like them, and I’d like to give us something else to talk about. So check in this week–it’s going to be a good one (especially Wednesday! And the podcast).
And take care, everyone. Leave a comment and tell me how you’re doing, and if there’s any way we can pray for you. And as you read the comments, say a prayer. We’re all in this together.