In case you were wondering. I’m Over.It. I’m over staying at home. I’m over talking about corona. I’m over watching and reading the news. I’m over not being able to see my family and friends. I’m over not being able to hold my nephew and Godchildren.
The past six weeks (has it been six weeks?) have been hard. I’m an extrovert who has worked from home for seven years. So, I’ve figured out how to make working from home work for me. And essentially that means, not being at home. I have meetings at health clinics and health departments, I travel, I work from coffee shops, I work at the homes of friends and family. I work[ed]….with other people around me….but technically still “from home”.
So, while I was set up for this ‘work from home’ period with a home office and all the ‘things’ one might need to work from home. Really, I was not.
Pre-covid, my days started around 6am with a devotional and then a 45-minute intense cycle class…..at a cycle studio. Outside.of.my.house.
Those two things got me ready for a fulfilling and productive day. I can do that devotional in my bed….and I still do. So, what I’ve come to learn about myself is that it was really the cycle class that got me moving and forced me to shower every day. Because, well, I’m disgusting after a cycle class and don’t nobody want me to be around me after that.
At the beginning of all of this, I moved out of my condo and into the house that I own in west Charlotte that I operate as an AirBnB because all of my reservations canceled and I figured this was the perfect opportunity to spend the night in the neighborhood where I already spend so much of my life. [and to be honest, the thought of riding up and down the elevator multiple times a day at the condo just didn’t seem the safest during a pandemic.] I was thinking of all the things I could do while out at the house. I could write blog posts and papers for class, have the kids over from the ministry where I serve whose parents need to work, do projects around the house, go on endless runs around the neighborhood with Brisket…..and on and on and on….
Let me be transparent. SOME of that has happened. But really, my productivity and motivation to do anything has plummeted. All those plans? Glorious in the idea phase. In execution? Well, y’all. I just didn’t feel like doing a lot of that stuff. And, I think it’s ok.
My corona days have looked a lot different from my pre-corona days. I don’t really get out of bed until about 8am. And then, I often end up working from there until about 10 or 11am. Which means, I’m in my pajamas until about that time. I then get up and put on something from the limited clothing choices I brought with me to the AirBnB. Which means yoga pants and a tank top. My poor colleagues have gotten used to my tank tops and my hair in a knot on top of my head….or a hat to cover up the mess underneath it.
What has kept me going are the essential services that I’ve had the privilege of being a part of. Delivering meals and supplies to families in need. Taking care of kids whose parents need to work. Connecting with people in my church congregation and ministries where I volunteer to see how they are doing.
I’m NOT over serving, helping people, sharing Jesus.
Ok, so again, let me be honest. I was anxious as heck those first couple of weeks. Afraid I would get covid and not know it and transmit it to the people I’m serving. African Americans are already disproportionately affected by covid-19-related health impacts, including death. I didn’t want to be adding fuel to the fire of the inequity in our complicated healthcare system.
So, I prayed for wisdom. And God sent me a public health nurse in the form of my mother who went through all of the safety measures we should be implementing to protect ourselves and the ones we love. [I work in public health and my amazing colleagues also gave lots of wonderful input.]
My mom made masks……100s of them. And so did so many other friends [and parents of friends] who I reached out to. We put those prevention practices into place in the ministries where I serve. And then, my anxiety went down because I know that between those practices and a God who goes before me, it would all be ok. Even if the corona happens.
Over the past few weeks, the community has collectively rallied. People have been doing what they can with how God has equipped them. Donating money. Making masks. Making and delivering food. Taking care of kids. Loving on those on the front lines of all of this.
There’s been a team approach. And I pray that it continues through to the end of this…..and then beyond.
What if after all of this is over, we continue honor those who do the essential services? I love concerts, performances and sports. But, they aren’t essential to our lives. Healthcare, teaching, grocery stores, food services and taking care of others…..those are all essential.
After all of this is over, continue thanking those on the front lines.
Let’s not go back to how things used to be. We have an opportunity in front of us. Let’s change what and who we value.
How will you do that? Make a promise now and write it down. Share it with others. Let’s hold ourselves accountable to being better on the other side of all of this.