I survived COVID-19, 2020! T-Shirts to come...

I mean, I get it.  It's an illness we definitely need to acknowledge.  I may not know exactly what is going on in China or Italy, but I am intelligent enough to know that a pandemic is a pandemic.  And, as with any other illness (I tend to take them all rather seriously), I plan to be super diligent in attempting to stop the spread in my own house, as well as the greater community.

This is something atypical.  COVID-19 is something we are not used to dealing with.  And it IS killing people, albeit it tends to be particularly fierce on the elderly and the compromised.  In my book, if it kills 1, it is worthy of heightened awareness and diligence.  I desire to protect the vulnerable.  That is ALWAYS a high priority in this deep and caring heart.

Speaking of caring.  I have had a dramatic realization in the recent past.  I care...A LOT.  More than a lot of people, I am starting to realize...though, NOT about self protection in a crazy, panicking, horror-stricken, hoard-it-all-for-me-because-I-watch-The-Walking-Dead, kind-of-way).  I care about doing well and being kind, and doing the MOST good possible.  I care about life and living things and taking care of the earth in the best ways I possibly can.  I care about performance and doing well and over-achieving.  I care about helping and sharing and loving.  And...did I mention doing well?

Do you remember my stories about the fish?  Let's start with Monarch.  I lovingly took care of that precious little betta.  I changed his water regularly (I have since learned a more efficient and safe way, and I have purchased a special vacuum system, because failure is only valuable if we learn and improve by it.).  I carefully tested the temperature of the water to make sure it was safe to re-introduce him to his now cleaner habitat. (Please consider, this is all in the context of 4 kids, 2 jobs, 4 chickens, a rabbit, a garden, and so, practically a mini-farm.) We had a good thing going.

My help and support was (innocently and unknowingly) less careful.  Alas, that is how my poor Monarch met his fate.

I forgave Matt before he knew his error (because he has earned my good faith over the last 20 years)...despite the fact that it left me traumatized and dealing with a traumatized kid while trying to get several kids and myself out the door.  Instead of dwelling on what I could not change...I planned a strategy to fix things for us all.  A good deal of time later, I had carefully selected a replacement fish.  As you well, know...this careful selection process occurred multiple times (with traumatic loss) before I finally had Evan pick a betta at a different pet store.  I hope you will be relieved to know that Oscar is ALIVE and doing well.  Quite well.  We have a feeding process, just like with Monarch.  He recognizes me and looks for his food when I come.  💕  #happy 🐟

So...when I was telling this story in a school afterwards, and most students showed at least minimal signs of empathy, there was this one kid who said, "I had a goldfish once.  But I flushed it down the toilet, because I got lazy and tired of feeding it."  I LOST MY BREATH.  And, then, I had this moment of revelation:  There are people out there who do NOT care about EVERYTHING like I care about everything.

I am so confused!

And maybe that is why I am so infuriated right now.  I am ANGRY...like MAD.  Because I am seeing with my own eyes that there are people who care more about political agendas than the health and safety of the world.  There are people who are so selfishly motivated they are creating an even BIGGER problem for others with their panicked hoarding.

And maybe all of these local closures (because we've had 5 cases in MO and 6 in Kansas...so shutting down the system makes a lot of sense to me 🤷‍♀️), are really a good idea in stopping the spread.  What do I know?  (Please stop showing me charts.  I get it.  Flatten the curve.  Social distancing.  I would have participated if you hadn't asked me, but forcing me just chaps my hide.  And I got a thick hide, but my temper DON'T.)

And if someone could just PLEASE tell me why we are being so efficiently diligent (while that is something I typically would prefer), when we have failed every other time in MUCH worse cases and our current diligence is making life hard for a certain group of people.  Like...people who cannot afford to just shut down.

I just can't get past the feeling that there is something more and a LOT less RIGHT going on here.  Who will suffer from  closures?   Who is REALLY at-risk?

And speaking of at-risk.  My husband works at a hospital as a respiratory therapist.  (I hope I don't have to lead you to the connection here.)  If anyone is at risk of exposure it is us.  So, in case you think I might not be taking this seriously enough...🙄👿  I have a plan.  Let's "imagine" my husband came home late one night with a potential exposure.  Potential.  I'll tell you exactly what I would do.  I ALMOST wouldn't let him come home.  But if he pressed the issue...He would touch NOTHING.  I would require him to remove his clothes in the garage, though he would probably have been required to wear a contamination suit that would have protected his clothes.  Let's be safe, just in case.  I would open doors for him and escort him to a laundry room that was prepared with HOT water and store-bought laundry soap.  He would put the clothes in.  I would shut the lid.  I would then, escort him directly to the shower where I would have carefully placed a bar of antibiotic dial soap.  Then, I would consider Lysol-ing the door handles (and his car...and his shoes which he would have placed outside!).  I would probably not kiss him for a week, and ONLY when I found out the potential was definitely negative would I feel for sure we did not need to quarantine the entire family for the protection of the community and the world.

So, yeah....I am NOT ignoring this thing.

However, I am ALSO NOT going out and frantically buying 90 rolls of toilet paper to appease my selfish desire to protect myself and my own.  What the heck is tp going to do for you anyway?!!  (In case of emergency, I am prepared to use a cotton cloth.  🤷‍♀️  I have been preparing for this ALL my life.  Yeah...I can knit that/grow that/make that/bake that.  What do you need?)  I'm starting to think we are more afraid of the quarantine than the virus.  And I am just fed up with social media and the obsession with spreading panic.

Let's talk about fear, for a minute.  I'm not saying all fear is irrational.  A wise woman once told me that there IS healthy fear out there.  For example, I do not touch a hot stove, because I know I will be burned.  I am afraid of being burned.  It hurts.  (Though I grabbed my new meat thermometer right out of the oven, because...my old meat thermometer didn't go into the meat...or the oven...while it was all still cooking.  #technology Lesson learned...after about 3 fails.)

However, as with everything, there is a line.  And, I'll admit...the line is sometimes hard to find.  And I realized this week, that, as a counselor, I should be far more empathetic with these people who are panicking and making very irrational decisions (which happen to be threatening to send the entire world into a tail-spin, but let's face it...I am ready...THEY are not. 😢)  So...I will continue to evacuate every last ounce of the dregs of my patience to appease the masses.

Let me provide you with an example:  Evan and Eden have a cold.  Of course, it is highly doubtful that 2 of my kids (who go to two different schools) would have been exposed to a virus that has only been documented in distant cities.  The closest recent contamination was 30 minutes away in a nursing home.  Odds are that's NOT what they have.  However, I know that it would cause hysteria in a town that is closing EVERYTHING if I were to take my little guy, coughing like a madman to a skating rink birthday party.

*Real me.  I contemplated doing it, and generously volunteering to a fellow line-stander, "He has had this cough ever since our European tour.🤷‍♀️    I think it must have been the London fog, because the weather in Italy was divine."  (Well, it's funny to me.  The end.)

However, for my children's sake, I currently value my life, and I am fortunate to have a 14-year-old daughter who likes planning fun things with her little bro.  They had a little sicky bonding day.

So, for the sake of the masses, I patiently withheld.

And so, I will patiently wait this out. We will "flatten the curve," despite my desire to just get it done.  Listen...I hear, daily, that the hospital is already overwhelmed.  I understand we do not need an influx, boomer.  (That was bad.  I slapped my own hand after I typed it.  Do you forgive me?  🥺  PLEASE TELL ME YOU DO...)

I mean, who am I to complain about being forced to stay home with my kids?  It is something I really enjoyed before I realized there was more need for me in this crazy, scary, paranoid, needy world.  My goodness...I am good at what I do, but if you force me to take a break.  Hella AMEN!  (That was inappropriate.  Please see reference above.)

I mean.  I am already benefiting from COVID-19. (I refuse to write the common name.)  My daughter doesn't have to take her college tests on campus, and that makes her happy.  And Disney released Frozen 2 early to cheer the nation.  Disney...I HIGHLY commend you for this grand and historical moment.

We have not had family movie night in a LONG time.  For as long as I can remember, I have come home collapsing after giving everything I had to the world.  There has been very little left for my beloveds.  And today I was honored with a gift, and I snatched it.  I made special chicken and cookies and brownies from scratch (because I'm brushing up on my Apocalypse skills).  And we had the BEST family movie night we've had in a LONG time.  (Evan says the last one was Black Panther, and, maybe so...that one WAS good.)

Friends, I refuse to fear.  But also, I refuse to allow myself to wallow in self-righteous indignation.    So, I pray...for those panicked and hoarding, for those angry and irritated with the ridiculousness, for those terrified of all the closures that will affect their meager income, for those with agendas, for those without love, for those...I have yet to remember.  I pray.

Please let me encourage you.  In GOD, we will remain.  For, "greater is He that is in you, than he that is in the world." 1 John 4:4.

And in Jesus, we have peace, for He says, "In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.”

I don't know about you, but I feel like an over-comer.


John 14:27, "Peace I leave with you, my peace I give to you: not as the world gives, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid."

Amen!  💕 G-night.