As we are now in the second, almost third month of quarantine and social distancing due to the infamous coronavirus, I figured it is finally time for me to speak up about the truths behind cystic fibrosis and a world-wide pandemic.
Don’t get me wrong, I am still VERY optimistic and still looking to Jesus for my hope and joy. But at the same time, there are some very real truths that are not talked about enough. So with that said let me clue you in on my situation dealing with a very real world-wide pandemic and a chronic illness all at the same time…feel that tension? Yeah, welcome to my world.
First of all, I want to preface that I am in no way diminishing the devastation of the coronavirus and I would love to extend my deep condolences to those who have lost loved ones or who have contracted the virus. It kills me that there are no answers for you guys yet.
But I am a realist when it comes to sickness and germs because it’s literally been my whole life. So as you read, keep that in mind.
I was doing the whole 6 feet apart, gloves, gowns, masks, sanitizers, etc. long before most of you. So please, stop stressing over it. Do what you’re told and you’ll be okay. People who are so brilliant are putting these protocols in place that will limit the spread of the illness; and if people would just adhere to those protocols, we’d all be okay.
Seriously, it blows my mind at the wide-spread panic that has crept into so many people’s minds. The media has really succeeded in instilling fear and the need to become hoarders throughout the last two months. *insert sarcastic applause and eye-roll here*
But as someone who is used to protecting myself against the germs of the world and people who carry them, this is just another time in life for me to hunker down and stay home.
Sounds easy, right?
On paper (or screen), yes. It’s as simple as it gets. Stay home. Let Zach go out to get groceries. Order food delivery and let them drop it at the door. Have fun cooking, cleaning, hanging with the pups and making memories with my husband. And while all of that is true and good, the emotional toll and insecurity that has been trying to weave its way into my mind is a force to be reckoned with.
See, as someone who deals with a chronic illness, I’m already labeled “high risk” for infection every single day of my life. But for the media, trollers on social media, and government to pound that phrase into my mind and the minds of those who are unaware of what that actually means…that’s an entirely different story.
I’ve seen such beautiful representation of kindness and encouragement through social media, but I’ve also seen some offensive things towards immunocompromised people.
People like me are the ones who desperately need the simple bottle of hand sanitizer and lysol wipes. But guess what? People are unnecessarily PANIC BUYING and leaving nothing for those that need it.
*Don’t worry, we have managed to find what we need*
But that’s the reality of what we’re dealing with. Misinformed and misconstrued mindset of what should actually be happening in the world…stay home, only go out when necessary, let the essential workers do their job, etc.
The mindset of someone with emotional stress resulting from physical suppression is something that unless you’ve been there, you won’t understand it. And in the world of coronavirus, the highs are REALLY high and the lows are REALLY low.
I’m thankful for my faith in Jesus for when those extreme highs and lows come into play. Without His calming grace and unending compassion over my emotions, it would be extremely easy to give in to these emotions. The world is so LOUD right now and hard decisions are being made. As someone who is so used to living freely (and yeah, I know I’m not alone in feeling like this) who has been told I had to miss out on so much growing up, THIS STINKS. It’s opening a wound all over again.
If I could give anyone advice on how to treat someone that’s immunocompromised during this time it would be this:
- Check on them…like really. Ask how they’re doing and how they’re coping.
- Send them encouragement and things that make them laugh. If you’re friends already, you already know what will make them laugh.
- Check on their SPOUSES…they’re the ones working so hard to protect us right now. They’re also the ones shouldering the weight of the emotional roller coaster. Make sure they’re okay and help them out if you can.
- PRAY FOR THEM. Seriously, you don’t necessarily have to ask what to pray for. Just pray over them…their safety, their spouses safety, their emotional health, etc.
- Don’t leave them out. If you have the capability, include them in group messages, Zoom calls, FaceTimes, etc. Just because they can’t be where you are, doesn’t mean they don’t desire to be.
Don’t worry, we’ll get through this. We’re already on the upside as a whole. But until we have the all clear, I’ll be here with the pups. It’s not worth risking my health, but goodness am I ready to go to Target.