Shelter in place, turn off the noise and listen. God has something to say.
Updated April 3rd, 2020: In these uncertain times, we decided early on to shelter in place and wait out the storm if at all possible. Now, for most people in the U.S. it is a directive. Social distancing and media fatigue both give us an opportunity to turn off the noise and rest.
Certainly, as a society, the ones who can isolate should, so that the ones who can’t will get the medical care they need. Those on the front lines do not need your added illness to the growing numbers. Take the time to regroup, to spend time with those in your home and get off the treadmill of job and road running.
In addition, by easing away from our laptops, cable, and phones more, we might actually have a chance to live differently for a few weeks (or months).To shelter in place is an art form, and can be a blessing if we let it.
At the end of January, President Trump angered many with a halt of flights to and from China where the virus raged, but the virus was already spreading rapidly through other countries. Before the end of February, the virus seemed distant and separate through quarantine and small numbers. Like it was before Pearl Harbor, Americans watched from afar.
Then, the first three weeks of March with COVID-19 in the early stages took us from very few cases to thousands and people grew fearful. Friday, March 20th, United States cases topped 16,000. New York catapulted to thousands of cases. By Sunday afternoon March 22nd, the U.S. cases had doubled (38,000 plus) and deaths were at 400. Monday morning totaled 500 deaths. We are at the gates of what many feared, but they have barely opened.
Currently, as of 4/3, there are over 6000 deaths and 245,000 cases in the United States. 53,000 deaths and 1,000,000 cases worldwide.
Stay home, because sadly, until recently, some did not take the pandemic seriously and we need to stem the tide.
So, be still.
I believe the virus malaise was caused by the media screaming “We are all gonna die” every other week for the last four years and attacking the President. So we tuned them out.
The media is one big scream with so much of it sheer nonsense. Hence most people’s detached and collective yawn until the week of March 20th.
However, there is some good news to be found.
When President Trump started doing daily briefings on the severity of the virus and what we are going to do about it, people started to pay attention. When he conferenced with the Governors and a plan of action was announced, we knew we were headed in the right direction. The daily briefings with surgeons and the powers that be assure us that those in charge are doing everything possible to slow this down so we can get the care we need when we really need it.
Every day I pray over my family and loved ones and ask God to be in charge of my life and my family, to put a hedge about them, keep them safe and healthy.
With home in mind, let’s take a deep clean breath, and practice the art of sheltering in place.
Don’t run to the store unless absolutely necessary. Not having your favorites in the fridge is not a good reason to expose yourself and family to the virus. By staying aware and using our brains, we can give our medical community time to catch up. When we slow the rate of spread, the hospitalizations won’t overwhelm our medical services. To do that, we need to keep at least six feet, our own four walls, and other protective measures as our mindset going into another week and weekend, another month.
Maybe for a while, because we don’t want everyone to get sick at once.
It is up to us. We can take off our own lens/our own filters and see what is actually happening. To ignore the political blustering and media tantrums, we should just turn off most of it.
The tide seems to be turning but I understand it will get worse before it gets better. To flatten the curve we have to curb the outbreak.
We can use our shelter in place time as a precious gift.
My husband and I are working on a vegetable garden, starting seedlings first. I also have pruned my roses and looked for places to plant them. We have cleaned up some things, cleared out some things, and spent a lot time in front of our big window bird watching and talking. It took a few days, but we have rolled to a stop and let time just be.
I’ve watched bird families, a sunset, and the greening out of our trees. One leaf, one tree, one hill at a time. Slowly, the light green has spread over our property. There is a silence in the hills and on the roads.
So, go outside, but also stop, be still and listen. I think God has something to say. Maybe on a day when we see the sunrise from our own porch, deck, or window, we will feel his presence and listen.
When we are still and quiet, we can hear his voice.
Like the formerly murky canals of Venice, where the sediment that is always stirred up and makes the water cloudy has sunk to the bottom and cleared the water, we can get clarity.
As we shelter in place, let everything settle and get quiet.
God has something to say.
Barefoot in the quiet and listening,