The Coronavirus, as it is commonly called. What a week, or should I say month, huh friends?
I’ve gone back and forth about what I would actually say, if I would actually say anything about what is going on in our country, let alone the world. But for my little corner of the internet, I thought it would be appropriate to tell my story, my experience, so far, as a little memory capsule for years to come.
So, in my normal routine, I get supplies for the house about once a month and groceries once a week. Starting at the end of February, Michael and I decided to go ahead and get March’s supplies and two weeks’ worth of food for the pantry, plus a few nonperishables. At the time, I’ll admit I thought I was being a little overreactive, but even at that point, there was no hand sanitizer on the shelves and very little Clorox wipes available either.
Then last week happened. The Stock Market started tanking. The first states to be hit with the virus started shutting down and taking more extreme measures. The President addressed the public several times. The CDC went from just washing hands to social distancing recommendations. And the number of people affected by this virus in our area started to climb.
My dad works at one of the biggest grocery chains in the country. He told me stories of people waiting by the stock room door for pallets of toilet paper to come on to the floor. They get picked up before they even make it to the shelves. By Saturday, every department was hit with empty shelves as people continued to buy in double the normal average amounts.
But the reality is this. We are not running out of food. Employees are working overtime to make sure we can get the things we need. And I am so grateful for them. And I’m also reminded that I need to not let myself succumb to the hysteria while still being alert and informed.
There is a lot of unknown and scary right now. Anxieties are high. My anxiety has gotten the best of me several times. I’ve had to designate phone-free times during my day. I’ve also had to designate clean-free times as well, because I will stress-clean (as my husband calls it) obsessively. I have to be really intentional about down time and self-care. I haven’t finished a book in over a week because every time I try to sit down and read; my brain won’t turn off.
One funny example from last week, I made myself some tea and was going to curl up in bed with a book while my son napped. But first, I needed to clean off my bedside table, and then my headboard, and the other bedside table, and might as well wipe down the dresser. I knew I was in trouble when I found myself kneeling on a chest wiping down the frames on the wall. So, I have started using timers. I also bought myself some puzzles. For some reason, puzzles can take that obsessive aspect of my brain and keep it occupied.
And of course, I’m leaning on God. He is revealing things about His nature through this experience. His faithfulness to our family, His love and strength. I am so thankful that He is in control, and no matter what happens in the next few weeks and months, I know He won’t leave my side.
I hope you are finding ways to bring calm and sanity into your life. Whether it’s gratitude for the hard-working men and women at the grocery stores or organizing and structuring your life to keep you from obsessively cleaning (or is that just me), or leaning on God morning, noon, and night. I hope you stay safe and healthy and find new ways to stay connected to both God and the people around you.
And as always, wash your hands.