Welllll, the first half of March was fairly normal and some fun things happened!
We had Lindsey and Travis over for dinner. We celebrated Willow’s 1st birthday with Taylor, Grayson and Savvy at Lucky Dog Bark & Brew in Charlotte! I had lunch with Meghan Cavin as a late birthday celebration, lunch with Meagan Denouden, and Luke and I lunch with Jaimie and the boys one Sunday after church. We had a fun OTC gathering for Trivia, we had small group, I met with Matthew to discuss worship at OTC … things were good and quite normal.
March is the middle of tax season for our office, so things were pretty busy at work, but we always do our best to make it fun when possible and support one another in a time that could become stressful. Little did we know how stressful things were about to become…
By the middle of March, things started to change in the United States (as well as many parts of the world before us) due to Coronavirus. A global pandemic, as it is now called. COVID-19. I wanted to write about the ways it is affecting us and the world, because I know this is ACTUAL HISTORY and one day will be written about in our kids’ history textbooks and that’s sort of crazy to wrap my mind around. So, I want to remember what it looked like in our little corner of the world.
It started with one of my coworkers being quarantined for 14 days because her spouse had been to Seattle, WA, where there was a large amount of coronavirus cases. At that point, I sort of thought the virus was like a new flu and not that big of a deal. I honestly thought it would just be a few people having to be quarantined here and there and although inconvenient, we would figure it out.
Then, a huge event for Comporium got cancelled and I was like hmm, a lot of important gatherings are being cancelled…is this getting serious? It hadn’t really hit Rock Hill at this point, we were just being cautious. Well… now things are pretty intense. All non-essential workers have been told to stay at home and work from home, if possible. President Trump declared this a national emergency and now most of the states are under “state of emergency” protocol as well. Some of the larger states are even under a “shelter in place” ruling where you pretty much can’t leave your home except to go to the doctor, pharmacy, or grocery store.
It is sad to see so many people hoarding food and buying WAY more than what they need at the grocery store (people have been obsessed with stockpiling toilet paper!!???), but it’s also been amazing to see the redeeming parts of humanity – people coming together (while actually not being together haha) in the most unique ways to show their support of one another and the fact that the whole world is truly in this together! Not many events in history have united the world under a common cause in this way.
For now, the state of South Carolina is encouraging everyone to stay at home, but we are not under a “shelter in place” ruling. But, it is a criminal offense if you are in a group of 3 or more in public (not including families and places of work). All schools are closed and are doing e-learning for at least two weeks, but there is talk that it may be the rest of the school year. All restaurants and bars are closed, but you can still do drive thru and takeout, which we are trying to do a good bit to support our local businesses. Nursing homes and assisted living homes are prohibiting visitors. You can’t really have visitors if you are in the hospital. So much of it is scary and wild to really think about.
Luke is still working part-time at Yorkville pharmacy (he lost his job in February, so this has added an additional level of difficulty to his job search), but we are trusting in the Lord’s perfect plans and taking it one day at a time. I am working from home most days, even though tax season is difficult to do remotely, but we’re all figuring it out together and taking turns going into the office. The tax deadline has been extended to July 15, so we are now operating as if it is May 15 to try and keep momentum and no longer working Saturdays.
Federal student loan interest has been waived, which is a true blessing to us right now. Tons of people are unemployed, especially so many in the service industry. The summer Olympics have been cancelled. March Madness was cancelled. Countless other concerts and large sporting events have been postponed or cancelled entirely. My heart breaks for couples who are having to cancel or postpone their weddings and seniors in high school and college who are missing out on so many of their “lasts” like prom and graduation and truly just not getting to experience celebratory milestones they’ve worked hard and waited for.
Personally, some fun surprise plans I had for Luke’s birthday have been cancelled. Our trip to the Dominican Republic has been postponed due to the resort now being closed and the borders being closed during the time our trip was planned. *Hopefully* we will still be able to go in June instead of May, but there really is no way of knowing when things are going to calm down and what everyone’s “new normal” will be. Church is now online and our small groups are meeting via ZOOM. Locally, the Come See Me Festival will be postponed until later in the year.
Amidst all of this, I know God’s character is unchanging. He is just and in control and Lord OVER ALL. He is moving in so many ways, seen and unseen, to use this for our good and His glory. But right now it is tough, and I’m praying personally and for so many that I love and people around the world – that we will RUN to Him, take Him at His word, and BELIEVE with everything in us that He is for us and He is worthy of our adoration and praise. As we have so many modern comforts taken away, that our hearts would rest in His goodness and be reawakened to all the ways He is loving us, as we lay down things we have often turned to for temporary comfort.
I keep saying … “if I just knew when this would be over, it’ll be okay…” and the Holy Spirit reminds me in those moments that I am resorting to my need for control and my desire to manipulate things to go my way. It is the unknown that is so scary, apart from Christ. The truth is, we never really do know what is going to happen tomorrow – but we are in a time right now where we all have a heightened sense for just how very temporal this world is and how quickly our lives and the things that make us feel safe can fade. But He remains. He is our Rock. Our steadfast, kind Savior.
Things I’m really thankful for amidst COVID-19:
- More time to journal and spend in God’s word
- More time with Luke!!
- A Slower Pace
- Several BEAUTIFUL days we’ve had – breezy, sunny and 80 degrees in mid March
- Walks around the neighborhood
- House Projects (painting closet doors, installing dimmer switches, TONS of yardwork)
- Microsoft Teams to connect with my coworkers
- Diet coke and southern salads chicken salad
- Marco Polo & Zoom to do small group and connect with sweet friends!
- The fact that we have the internet and can do church online and share our lives with one another and watch funny memes and all the silly stuff that makes things lighter!
- Annie F. Downs Quarantine podcast episodes
- Some of my favorite artists posting songs and little concerts on their social media (Ben Rector, Natalie Grant, Phil Whickam, etc.)
- The health of my family!!!
- Donna, our neighbor, encouraging us to all put scripture signs in our yard!
- Amanda, Holly and Linds+Travis blessing us with toilet paper drop offs when we literally were about to run out!