Saturday, May 16, 2020

Pandemic Thoughts While Walking Jay

Since the weather started getting warmer in March, Jay and I walk almost everyday. I have learned to LOVE walks. I didn't hate them before, but I didn't enjoy them either. (Am I alone in that? Doubt it!) Yes, part of it is due to the Pandemic. Indoors for too long isn't good for the body. *grin*

So, we have a typical route we take, but it can vary depending upon how much time we have and if I need to be back here for a zoom meeting. I've enjoyed the apartment life so much more than I ever expected. I love my neighbors, who are super kind. I also like that we have A LOT of apartments here so we have miles of sidewalks to choose from. We're also surrounded by a nice neighborhood so we sometimes walk the neighborhood too. I let Jay choose the route most of the time, which he loves.

So tonight we started out on our usual route, and I noticed we STILL have a trash problem. Yes, let me explain. The past few days our dumpsters have been filling up to the point that the area outside the dumpsters are full too. I should also mention we have A LOT of units here. Just in my area alone are about 80 apartments. So, as you can imagine, that's A LOT of trash. I actually need to take some to the dumpster but am waiting because there's not any space out there. We even had an email from the main office yesterday stating that they were going to come to take the trash today, but they didn't. Yes, so that means when we walked around 5:00 there was a lot of trash out for the whole world to see. Yeah, so it got me to thinking.

A lot of people have said that 2020 is a dumpster fire due to the Pandemic. I understand why they say that, I mean, we've lost 80,000 lives to the CoronaVirus since March, and the list can definitely go on from there. However, there has been good out of it too. As usual, I think it comes down to what perspective you take on the situation.

I love how ABC Nightly News regularly shows positive stories out of this challenging season. We've seen Birthday Parades, people applauding health care workers, singing nightly in some neighborhoods around the country, and loved ones visiting their elderly family through the window (closed, of course) to celebrate birthdays. I could go on and on, but needless to say I have been pleasantly surprised at the amount of good I've seen in the midst of the challenge.

A week ago social media exploded with conspiracy theories around this whole thing. I have to admit I sat here and pondered the whole thing. I mean, this is new territory for all of us. I also realize there's still A LOT that we don't know about the virus, and what we do know seems to change almost daily.

I've been working from home since March 24th. It hasn't all been easy, but it has been worth it. I initially wanted to work from home so that I wouldn't get the virus. I think through the past 8 weeks I've discovered that even if I were to get it, I would probably recover and life would go on. However, something hit me HARD the other night.

A friend of mine made a comment on zoom that made me stop and think. She said we're not wearing masks to keep from getting it, we're wearing masks to protect those around us. I knew that on one level, but then something hit me. Since we don't know (as of today) who has it and who doesn't (I'll refrain from my whole thought process about testing in America, you're welcome!) and you can be asymptomatic and never know you had it, you can pass it and never even know it. Just the idea that my sneeze or cough can affect someone to the point of death, well, makes me more cautious. I don't want to find out how well I would handle it if I caused someone else to lose their life due to my actions. That's a perspective I didn't have before. For real.

So you may be wondering where I'm going with all of this. Here's the thing, the overflowing trash will be picked up eventually. It won't be fast enough for those of us living here, but it will happen. Then having the trash company come three times a week like they were before will be taken for granted again. I think the same will be true of the CoronaVirus.

With places opening up, social distancing being the norm, cleaning areas will be cleaner than ever before, and hand sanitizer will be carried everywhere we go. All of those are good things. And honestly, hand washing and cleaning frequently used areas should have been the norm before all of this. Was it? I doubt it. We're learning though...

It may be a while before sports teams start playing in front of crowds and concerts can be held again, and that's okay too. My brother made a comment at one point that has also stuck with me, "one life lost is too many." He's right.

So yes, now I'll take my lawn chair and sit outdoors with friends from a safe distance in order to visit. I'll also carry my own beverage and hand sanitizer too. I'll also wear my mask when shopping, even though I hate wearing it, to protect everyone around me.

Years from now we'll know things we don't know today. It might look silly that I worked from home for 8 weeks. It also may seem silly that Camp Barnabas was closed during the Summer of 2020. It might even seem silly that graduations weren't held on their original dates. All of those things are the right things to do at this point though, because we are still learning about the Virus and don't have a vaccine.

One thing's for sure, I will NEVER take for granted a smile from a stranger, a hug from a friend or student, or being able to hang out without a distance. That's okay too.

I think God gives us chapters in our lives to make us better, stronger, and closer to Him. Eight weeks in this apartment, and I can say I am closer to him than I was on March 23rd. I also think the lessons gained will last my lifetime. *grin* God's got this, my friends, we just need to have some more patience & compassion for each other. *grin* I mean, the trash will be picked up soon, and we won't be in this pandemic forever. *grin*

Even in a pandemic. *grin*

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