As a nonessential worker, I’ve been fortunate to spend the last 3 months at home. That’s given me, and I’m sure everyone else at home, lots of time to think about COVID-19 and how it’s affected our world. I don’t want to forget what I’ve learned and what I’ve been reminded of during this time so I thought I’d write it all down. I’m also interested to know what you’ve been reflecting on during this time.
Here we go.
1 How privileged I am
I never quite so clearly understood my privilege until the virus hit. I have had the ability to stay home and protect myself from the virus. As a teacher, I haven’t had to worry about losing my job. Being required to teach online wasn’t a problem, because I have my own computer (which I actually bought right before everything shut down). I’ve been able to face the pandemic with little chance of infection and no financial stress.
2 I need other people
I cannot imagine experiencing lockdown alone. Getting married at 30 has made me especially appreciate my husband, but I’ve been more grateful than usual to have someone literally by my side during this time. As God said when He created Adam in Genesis 2, “It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper suitable for him.”
This need we have is obviously not only for a husband or wife. We also need friends, people around us to encourage us, to eat with, to seek advice from, to play games with and to share our lives with. When you can’t see your friends in person, what do you do? Worchihan and I have sent a few cards to friends here in Thailand to let them know that we’re thinking about them and Worchihan has even sent homemade food to a couple of them. We’ve also received homemade food, homemade masks, homemade hand sanitizer and cards from friends and each gift absolutely made our day.
3 How little I appreciate the people who serve me
When have I ever appreciated doctors? Nurses? Grocery store workers? Mail carriers? Sanitation workers? Honestly, never, and yet these people have been the ones risking their lives to treat the infected, keep food on the shelves, deliver our essential (and nonessential) orders and keep public spaces clean. These people are the heroes of this pandemic and deserve to be acknowledged, appreciated and celebrated. I’m especially overwhelmed by the selflessness of the medical workers who left their homes for New York City or came out of retirement to treat patients.
4 I must be prepared for death
My great-uncle passed away from the virus in May. My parents and I last visited him and his wife in Connecticut the summer before I moved to Bangkok. At that time, he was already in a care facility. My great-uncle was an anthropology professor at the University of Connecticut and along with his wife, wrote a book about an Afro-Brazilian cult. I didn’t get to see him much when I was growing up, but we used to write letters to each other when my family lived in Fiji about the culture we were experiencing.
My great-uncle was incredibly smart and professionally successful, but I’m not sure that he was prepared for death. When he came home from World War II, he came home an atheist, and we are not sure if he ever returned to the faith in Jesus that he had grown up with. My heart aches for my uncle. He died all alone and he most likely died with his faith placed only in himself.
None of us knows when we’re going to die, but we do know our death is coming. We have to be ready with our faith placed in God alone and our trust in Jesus’s work on the cross.
5 This world is not my home
When God created Adam and Eve, He brought them into a perfect world, one without sin, sickness and death. Life for them was actually perfect until they disobeyed God’s command and ate from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.
Jesus’s death on the cross gave us a way back to a relationship with God, yet our world remains broken. But we still have hope! When I get discouraged by what’s happening in the world or by a certain circumstance in my own life, I’m comforted by the fact that our stay here on Earth is only temporary. When I die, I’m going to be with Jesus. For ever. FOR EVER.
I’d love to hear what you’ve been thinking about during this time. Please let me know in the comments.