Tuesday, July 18, 2023

Better Late

I tested positive for COVID-19 yesterday—twice, once with an expired free test issued by the federal government and once with a fresh $11.50 test from Walgreen’s for confirmation.

The first date that “COVID” or “coronavirus” turns up in my journal is March 6, 2020. It’s an email I saved from the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ). Part of it reads, “In times like this, it is important the church remain both prayerful and thoughtful. We should continue in prayer for those already affected by the virus. We cannot predict the future, and so often uncertainty creates fear. The best antidote to fear, though, is information coupled with faith.”

There have been 40 months of times like this since I finally tested positive for the virus. This morning, I find myself so thankful to God and God’s people in healthcare, science, government, churches, public safety, schools, business and various forms of ministry. Their accumulated work and learning have rendered my experience of COVID now so manageable.

It’s Tuesday. I started feeling bad Friday evening. I felt pretty darn bad Saturday. I felt better Sunday. I felt a lot better Monday. And today I feel almost normal. I’ve canceled a couple of meetings, and I’m isolating inside my house. After I’ve used them, I’m wiping down coffeepot handles, cabinets, etc. with sanitizer and a rag. Both of the other people in my house are testing negative. We’re wearing masks. 

After Wednesday, I will continue to wear a mask for five more days, but I can get back out and about in and around my house. The women will continue to test. If my fever or other symptoms haven’t returned by Monday night, and they continue to test negative, we will put the masks away again.

That’s an awfully light lift just a little more than three years since the arrival of this plague into the outskirts of my consciousness.

I have opinions like everyone else about the various ways that individuals with various degrees of power have responded to the virus. I have heartbreak over loss, righteous anger, melancholy, disappointment and, still, incredulity. 

But at this moment this morning—on our back patio, getting ready to start working, listening to the women inside and the birds outside, sitting with our cat—I am concentrating on and in gratefulness. Things could have been so much worse for so many; things could be so much worse for me now. Thank you, God, for those facts and for everyone who contributed to making them so.