Dispatches from Covid-ville: Not Yet

This series is about life within our new global community, Covid-ville. As our world universally moves into shelters and sanctuaries to fend off this vicious disease, here are some stories from our bubble as we navigate this time with a perspective on mental health, adoption, foster care and family life.

These are tough economic times. I breathed a sigh of relief the other day when my paycheck had enough in it to cover our medical insurance. I’m one of the very fortunate ones. We’re basically living off of Chrissy’s income and our savings. Yet, we’re ok for now and and we can weather the next few months.

Not broken. And not yet.

I’m ready for the quarantines to be lifted. I’m ready to not wear my mask to Target or stand in line outside Aldi waiting to enter. I’d love to resume our post-church Mexican lunch routine with our friend family. I’d like to have my parents over for dinner. As a travel agent, I need to book trips and groups and come alongside organizations to send humanitarian and missions workers back in the field.

Friends have been laid off, are expecting to be laid off or have seen their income streams altered by the economic side effect of the coronavirus quarantines. These times are the hardest many have experienced in America since our grand and great-grandparents weathered the Great Depression.

But not at the expense of my children. Not at the expense of those most vulnerable around us.

I will continue to wear my mask, limit my trips, watch church online and video conference with family and friends until the public health experts say it’s safe to do so. Because I am not a public health expert. I do not understand epidemiology. I have worked with infectious disease experts and I respect them very highly. Those who are say not yet.

I am restless, but I will wait. For my parents. For my friends. For my children.

Social media, with all of its faults, has become a greater part of our lives these past few weeks. As humans, we have an innate need for connection (even our introvert friends). I’ve been intentionally reconnecting with many I’ve lost track with during the course of life. Old friendships are rekindling and current ones are being maintained. Some of my family connections are becoming stronger by the day.

But I’m also seeing peoples fears and worries and anxiety playing out in the posts they share. Or the words they type, seemingly without thinking of their neighbors. We’ve all seen them. Things like the cure can’t be worse than the disease. Or, let the restrictions be lifted and the fittest among us will survive. It’ll only be the old and sick among us that die.

Really? I’d like to hope we’re better than that as a society.

Those comments recall a story line in the “Man in the High Castle,” a streaming series that imagines what would happen if the other side won WWII. A prominent Nazi official in New York finds that his son has a chronic disease that isn’t visible and won’t kill him, but it makes him not worthy of living per the values of the state the father is sworn to uphold.

Last night, I stopped in my tracks at a photo on Instagram. My good friend, who’s son is extremely medically complex, posted a picture of him holding his son on their porch. The caption basically read something like, the more I see the thoughts about opening the economy at the expense of those most vulnerable around us, the more I just want to hug my son. I hear you, brother.

His child is not broken. My children are not broken. I, with my asthma, am not broken. My parents are not broken. For their sakes, I suck it up and stay home. For the sake of the medical professionals, I stay home.

A blanket pause on society for the betterment of “the least of these,” is reasonable and not an attack on me personally. It’s funny how, when you place a keyboard in front of some, they become constitutional lawyers, epidemiologists, emergency managers and pro-birth (not entire life) advocates just. like. that. It makes me think of the biblical phrase, “zeal without knowledge.”

Today, my county announced the easing of some restrictions. More will come in the weeks ahead. This international pause affects everyone equally and will go away just as it came.

I encourage you to think before you click “share” or type something that equates your finances with being more important than others’ health. We’re better than that. At least, I thought we were. I know we can be.

We’re going to get through this. We will recover. We will get back to a version of normal soon enough. Just, not yet.

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