We're being "pretty safe" - masks everywhere, no crowded places, social distancing, just a little socializing. But writing about COVID-19 and me...the emotions are all over the place
The Explosion of COVID-19
We went to church on November 1, and have not been back since. We were planning on having some vulnerable people for Thanksgiving dinner, so we planned on being as safe as possible for their sake. Our church is doing church God's way - and nobody is turned away so there's little opportunity for "social distancing". Masks are a matter of conscience so there's no guarantee that those who have the virus are not spreading it.
COVID has exploded in our county. Since we only had 35(ish) cases in our county since the beginning, we didn't feel as though we were risking others to go. I checked our county's counter on Thanksgiving Day and there were 346 active cases...and 30 in our church...yikes! In the space of three weeks, we were over 900. At that point we felt really okay with our choice to not be in church.
The Current Situation
New cases in our county are starting to decrease. One next door neighbor (a couple) both had it. A local nurse lives on the other side and said that it's as bad as they say (our local hospital only has 32 beds)
The Emotional Impact of COVID
I miss going to church. I miss hearing the voices of the saints gathered around me in worship. Live-streaming is not the same and I can't listen to the music or I just sit there and cry.
The wise thing to do is to stay home for now. My kids are coming into town on Christmas Day and will be in three different airports. I don't want to add an extra layer of exposure.
Processing the "why"
My dad told my husband, about five weeks before he died, "take care of my little girl." Part of doing that is keeping me safe, even when it's hard to be safe. Honoring my husband and my father means being content and helping Phil keep me safe.
Our pastor put out a video-devotional and asked, "do we need to be afraid of COVID? No."
The first reason is that for a Christian, there are worse things that dying. True, but I have a hard time making a life or death decision for somebody else, especially those family members who are not believers.
The second reason is that COVID really has a pretty low death rate. True, but the long-term affects can be pretty bad. We saw a man at the gas station who could barely walk...he said that it was neurological side-effects of COVID. So even with a low death rate, *NOT* dying could leave me being a burden on my husband, and more.
The third reason is that we should trust God. But...there is a line between trusting God and testing God and I want to be on the right side of that line. Asking God to protect us when we doing what we can to protect ourselves is one thing. Asking God to change the nature of how a virus works so that we don't have to do what we can to keep ourselves safe...that's another thing.
**NOTE: the line where people trust God or test God will be in different places for different people. Maybe it's a lack of trust that has me feeling that I'm testing Him. I have no judgement whatever (and perhaps feel a bit envious) toward those who are attending church services.
We're planning on socializing with families that we know are doing their best to be as safe as they can be, all things considered.
We're going to enjoy time with my kids, without going to crowded places.
After the holidays, we're going to stay away from church for the 10 days and revisit how we feel at that point, taking into consideration what the county numbers are.
At this point, I think that we're honoring God with out bodies by keeping our loved ones as safe as we can.