Whew child, this Rona (a nickname for the novel coronavirus aka COVID-19) has definitely disrupted our everyday lives and effectively put this world to a stop.
In Los Angeles on Sunday, March 15th, Mayor Eric Garcetti asked all bars and gyms to close and for restaurants to serve takeout only. On Thursday, March 19th, the mayor asked for people to stop nonessential travel and urged them to stay at home (CA governor Gavin Newsome issued a statewide stay-at-home order the same evening. Other states such as NY, HI, IL and CO have enacted similar orders.)
This virus has struck fear into people’s psyches causing them to behave in ways they would not normally – with greed and selfishness. Individuals are hoarding supplies and protective equipment, depleting grocery store shelves, and price gouging. Out of caution, the government has asked people to practice social distancing, yet in Los Angeles over the weekend, the park trails and beaches were filled with people not adhering to the medical advice that can flatten the curve and save lives.
Everyday I read a post on social media that curses the year 2020, claiming the entire year is bad. When I read these posts, I feel sorry for these individuals. Like many others, I was excited for 2020 and the blessings this year would bring. Unlike many others I see the beauty in this uncertain, albeit scary time.
Last week I was feeling anxious about COVID-19 and my therapist helped me to acknowledge the struggle I was having with my faith. To overcome this struggle, I affirmed my belief that God reigns supreme and whether I am here on earth or in heaven, God is with me and I will be okay. Just that fact alone calmed me.
We need a collective mindset shift.
Next, I wrote down a list of the things this I can do during this time.
- Spend more time with the Lord
- Reserve my morning for gospel reflection and prayer
- Clear out junk
- Focus on my business
- Get back to blogging
- Work on my next haircare and skincare product
- Create an online shop for my website
- Practice empathy for others
- Finish emergency preparedness plan
There are many things and some relationships I have neglected as I have been focused on promoting at my job, starting my business, etc. When Lent began, I said I would spend more time in prayer, however, I have slipped on occasion. I now have time to do everything I said I needed more time to do. I feel God is calling us back to Him, to ourselves, to our loved ones and we’re missing it. (Coincidentally, Pastor Heather Lindsey expressed a similar sentiment about returning to the Lord in her YouTube video earlier this week. Check out her urgent message.)
Instead of gratitude for this moment to have more time with our children, work from home, etc. we are complaining of cabin fever. This is literally the best time in history to be enduring a pandemic – we have the comfort of our homes, streaming services, delivery services – there are so many options that avail us the luxury to not leave our homes, to take advantage of the moment and we are not seeing the value.
What have you been neglecting in your life? Is it time with the Lord? Family, friends?
I charge you to list 3 things you can do while practicing social distancing. In case you’re stuck, here are some ideas:
- Check in with a neighbor or relative
- Share your resources
- Take fruit off your overloaded tree and place in a bucket outside your home
- Support a local business
- Buy a meal for someone in need
- Everytable, a company whose mission is to serve quality food in underserved areas allows you to Pay It Forward
Lastly, I would like to leave you with positive news regarding the effects of COVID-19. Since Angelenos have been telecommuting air pollution is down in Los Angeles. Mother Earth is breathing sighs of relief. As the nation faces a shortage of personal protective equipment, artistic people are sewing masks for healthcare workers.
When Hong Kong strictly practiced social distancing, they were able to flatten the curve. Consider the impact individuals and communities can have if they unite in their efforts to eradicate COVID-19. Imagine how proud we will be of ourselves when we come through this pandemic closer together than when we entered it. Stay safe, stay healthy, stay home.
COVID-19 isn’t bringing me down and you shouldn’t let it bring you down either.