|Posted by firstname.lastname@example.org on May 19, 2020 at 12:55 AM|
Health and Wellness
By: Magon Saunders
It is May 2020, and the world is in the grips of the Coronavirus pandemic. In Georgia, my office just completed the 9th week of 100 % telework. In the past nine weeks, I have driven less than 10 miles and have only left the house for fresh fruits and vegetables and for a funeral. It is a strange time!
When I navigate the very quiet world outside of my home, I ensure that I wear a mask, sanitize doors, cart handles, my hands and my purses, before I return to my car and home. I also follow all social distancing rules, although these can be hard to follow in the grocery stores and or farmers markets. On my side of the world, the big concern has been the growing number of family members and friends affected by COVID-19. While several in the United States and England have recovered from their infection, unfortunately, we have one family member so far that have died from the virus. At the time of writing, the United States was approaching almost 90,000 cases of COVID-19. Death seems all around us and many are scared to leave their homes, go to the store, participate in worship, etc. It is indeed a scary time, but what do we do as believers do? How do we navigate this current world? What will our lives look like once this virus releases its grip on our world?
No one really knows the answer to these and other pressing questions since most of us have never experienced anything like this in our lifetime. For instance, no one seems to know whether the virus will truly go away? Whether it will have a second or third wave? How many will die in the first wave, and how far the droplets from a sneeze or cough can spread in the air. Is it six-feet or 23? Does it make sense to wear a mask in public? Will we ever have a time when we will see toilet paper back on the shelves? Will we always have a shortage of meats and poultry? When will things get back to normal? I will venture to say, only God truly knows the answers to these questions that fill our mind.
Most importantly, the economy is upside down, and 34 million Americans that are unemployed are wondering when and where they will find work, and how they will survive post pandemic? Many reported that the “stimulus check”, if they received one, was gone before it came. Many have applied for unemployment, yet two months later they are still waiting for that mysterious unemployment check. Many are broke, and the people who rely on them for support are terrified. Unfortunately with funds tight, many unemployed Americans are joining the lines at Food Pantries, and TV stations are reporting very long lines at Food banks where over 70% of clients have never requested this service. According to Feeding America, in Georgia, 1 in 7 adults and 1 in 5 children struggle with hunger. The COVID-19 pandemic has just increased this need.
So, this is a frightening, yet a very reflective time. Frightening as we are all fearful about contracting the virus, losing our jobs, or the impact of the pandemic on our finances. Yet, this is a reflective time, since the world has come to a major pause and many are forced to stay home and to enjoy their own company or spend time with their family. Mental health and physical health needs are heightened, and as a community, we have all had a chance to reflect on our lives. Questions such as these have cross my mind often: Are we where we want to be? What needs to be changed to get us to our personal goals? As many die around us, we have all reflected on whether we too are ready to die? Speaking of death, even death has been impacted by the virus as many funeral and other burial rites are ignored or limited with the social distancing and the limitations added to the number of people who can congregate.
So, as we approach Memorial Day and the beginning of the summer, what are we to do? The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) suggest that we do the following to continue to stay safe. These are as follows:
- Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.
- If soap and water is not available, we should use sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol to cover all of our hands, rubbing them together until they are dry.
- Keep your hands out of your face, mouth and eyes.
- Cover your mouth and nose with a cloth face cover when you go out in public.
- Cover your coughs and sneezes.
- Routinely clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces such as kitchen counters, door knobs, etc.
- Avoid close contact even within your home, especially if a person is sick.
These and similar tips can help us survive this pandemic. For now, let us pray, let us unite to fight this virus, let’s work together to save lives, let’s keep practicing social distancing, let’s continue to be grateful for what we have, and let’s share our stories. What is your pandemic positive? Please write to us and share this with others as we work to get back to some semblance of normalcy in our lives.