Pandemic blessings

I made a face mask out of an old sock this morning.

Disinfected as many surfaces as I could think of throughout the house, especially light switches, doorknobs, remote controls, computer mouse and keyboard. Haven’t cleaned my phone yet. Need to do that for sure.

Signed, stamped, and addressed a birthday card for our daughter Beth and plan to mail it later today. That I still can venture out for such an errand offers blessed relief.

So many blessings, too many to count.

The window over my kitchen sink lets me see the dogwood tree displaying its white spring blossoms at the foot of our front yard. When our family moved into this house 43 years ago, I stood under that tree’s spreading branches and spoke to my late mother, who loved dogwood. “Mom, we have a dogwood tree,” I said aloud. When I look at the tree, I think of her.

I can move about our modest middle class home with its two bathrooms, three bedrooms, one of which I have made my office, a large kitchen, and books. Lots of them. I think of others confined in smaller spaces, with less beautiful views. I think of those who have no home. How can they safely stay in place to avoid the virus?

I picture children caged at the border.

Dr. Jerome Adams, our nation’s surgeon general, is telling us that this week will be particularly bad, a Pearl Harbor-like experience for us all, as the corona virus sickens and kills yet more of our loved ones and neighbors. This week. This is Holy Week for Christians, a sacred time connecting Palm Sunday with Easter Sunday, when faithful celebrate Christ’s resurrection and its promise of new life. Life is a blessing.

Protect that life, we are advised. Stay home. Wear a face mask if you must go out. Disinfect surfaces.

Until three weeks ago, my dear bride Betsy and I found joy in my daily visits with her at the assisted living facility where she has lived since early August 2018. The pandemic has put an end to these visits. Now we connect briefly in a daily phone call.

The calls are a blessing. So far, neither she nor I show signs that we are infected with the virus. We know that at our age, we are especially vulnerable.

To protect ourselves and others, we cancel our activities outside our homes. We wear face masks, disinfect surfaces, and wait. Wondering when it will end.

And counting our blessings.



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