So a few days ago I had groceries delivered, as I mentioned. And as I mentioned, I really tried to keep everything contained – wiped things as they came from bags, then set aside to keep from touching anything that didn’t need to be handled or used immediately (to give any remaining virus a chance to die before I come in contact with it), etc.
And then bundle up a subset for my folks.
That whole process was just beyond exhausting.
Here’s the thing though. Some items were like kits of stuff with fresh items inside. And I have to use them (fresh ingredients) but there were like (hyperbole) 100 parts to the kits, all of which must have been touched by someone to put them together.
So the smart thing, I decided, is just to make everything. Get things cooked that will be. Get things prepped that will be, so that their packaging can all be discarded. Get everything that can’t just be left alone for a while, in order.
Guess what? That’s exhausting too.
I tend toward keeping things clean under normal circumstances, and it’s not like me to be a germaphobe. But for a little while, I got too caught up – I kind of lost my mind. I think I got 2000 steps just cooking one meal, because of the constant circling back to wash – my hands, everything I might have touched, or laid anything on, or – well honestly every surface I even looked at. And still second guessing. What did I miss? What did I unknowingly cross-infect?
So, since I feel myself getting crazy and panicky, which is not my natural state and is not helpful, I think I need to mentally reset…
Not to be grim, but I just need to go there. I promise I’m coming out lighter and brighter on the other side of this mental exercise, but you don’t have to come with me if you just can’t right now.
1. I didn’t mess with the kits until after mom and dad already had their stuff. This process will not have impacted them. Nothing I might have cross-infected today is going to kill anyone else.
I want to, but I can’t control or protect my folks or anyone else beyond that.
2. As for me, the germs are here, or they are not. Making myself crazy isn’t going to help. It is what it is – I can’t see them, I can’t know what is or isn’t cross contaminated – so what’s done is done within these walls. In a few days any virus left here will die. In the interim, I’ll catch it or I won’t.
And okay. Let’s play that out. Worst case scenario of outcomes in this house. I might get COVID-19. That could happen. And I might even die of it.
A lot of people have, and more will, and that’s absolutely heartbreaking to think about.
People will die, and that’s a hard truth at this point. Every one of them is special. They matter to someone – maybe a lot of someones.
I’m not any more special than anyone else. And even if I was, a virus does not care.
Doesn’t care what I think, who I love, how I vote.
It. Does. Not. Care.
Sure, I’ve isolated as much as I possibly can. I’m about as protected physically as I can be, and I’m doing what I can not to infect anyone else.
Beyond that, I just have to be still and pray and trust, because beyond that, it’s not in my control.
And here’s the thing – even if I don’t get COVID-19, short of the end of days arriving first, I am still going to die. We all eventually do.
But I belong to Jesus, so I’m as protected spiritually as I ever need to be – and in that sense I don’t really have anything to be afraid of.
Which of you, by worry, can add a single hour to his span of life?
Actually there are innumerable verses reminding us do not worry and fear not and assuring us that our Father in heaven cares for us. Some right here in this same passage in Mark 12 (and even optionally set to music).
When to live is Christ and to die is gain (Philippians 1:21) then I don’t have to let the panic break like a wave, at this moment, or the next, or the next.
So yes, I’ll continue to self-isolate as instructed, And I’ll no doubt have occasion to scrub the kitchen again. If for no other reason than I do like to keep things clean.
But not as an act of panic.
And I’ll also pray as usual for my family, my friends, and all of you.
But I will very pointedly – forcibly if necessary – fight myself to let go of being afraid, when the wave of it wells up.
It doesn’t do me any good anyway.
Plus it’s exhausting.
I also wanted to share this post from the Daysman that came out just after I thought I was “done” writing this –– may I love His will above my own.