As the snow fell heavily yesterday here in Alberta, blanketing everything in white once again, I couldn’t help but think that this was our 106th day of January! I actually laughed out loud when I heard officials had placed fire bans on 60% of the province, in an effort to circumvent human-caused forest fires during the Covid-19 pandemic. We like to be overly cautious here in Alberta, but with snow starting to drift in our driveway, this latest precaution struck me as a little over-the-top.
It’s been over a month since we all went into lock-down. There seems to be some success in “flattening the curve” as health and political leaders like to say. There are fewer cases of people diagnosed with Covid-19, and thankfully there were no virus-related deaths recorded yesterday in the province. The snow has likely helped with people staying home to stop the spread of this virus, but as officials point out daily, it is imperative we stay the course even when the weather improves. My son-in-law-to-be said in response to those who may be restless to get back to normal activities right away, “The curve is flattening: we can start lifting restrictions now = the parachute has slowed our rate of descent; we can take it off now.” Good analogy! If government officials relax the social/physical distancing rules too soon, we will have a second wave of infection. Best to just tough it out now.
Easier said than done!
I woke up this morning having no idea what day it was. My calendar used to be filled with activities, appointments, coffee chats with friends, family gatherings, date nights with my sweetie, and now it’s completely blank. It’s weird.
I force myself to get up the same time every morning, make my bed, and after my morning devotions, set a goal to do at least one thing productive during the course of the day. My Covid-cleaning spree continues. I pace myself because I want something to do each day. The other day it was cleaning by hand my self-cleaning oven. Seriously, every closet, cupboard, and drawer in my house has been emptied, sorted out, and re-organized so well it would make Marie Kondo proud. My husband hasn’t retired yet, but has almost completed all the projects he had planned to do in his retirement years. I’ve started thinking up make-work projects for him to do just to keep him occupied. The other day he ripped out a closet in our bedroom that has needed remodelling for over twenty years…’nuff said.
We have binge-watched all the Star Trek series, listened to online sermons on YouTube, discovered all the Carol Burnett shows on Amazon Prime, and finished The Crown on Netflix. We have overdosed on what the networks still refer to as “Breaking News”. I come down the stairs each morning to find my husband already parked in front of his computer.
“Good morning,” I say. “ What’s up?”
“It’s all over the news,” he looks bored. “There’s a virus going ‘round.”
“ Anything else going on in the world?” I say in response, replaying our game each day.
“ Nope.” He says.
And it’s true.
Locally, there are no more sports scores to report, no concerts to review. No Olympics, no parades, no special events to cover. Here in Alberta, despite the fresh snow, all ski hills are closed, provincial and national parks too. Campgrounds, playgrounds and fairgrounds are all closed. Schools, libraries, recreation centres, gyms, pools, and museums are empty. Businesses are shuttered, and grocery store shelves are bare. It is our new normal.
If I focus on all the turmoil in the world today because of this pandemic I will spiral into depression. We are told by health experts to guard our mental health during this time of isolation. I understand that. It is important for me to turn off the news sometimes and immerse myself in God’s Word instead. In our ever-changing world, God is the same yesterday, today and forever. I know God is in control despite what the circumstances may look like in the world today. I have learned that God sometimes places me in out-of-control situations just to teach me that He’s in control.
I am sure there will be many lessons He will teach me as we journey through this time together. I pray for a teachable spirit, and a willingness to follow wherever He leads me. Amen?