COVID Personal Concerns

How has this virus and impending lockdowns, etc. been affecting you and your family?

How can we as BioLogos serve you best? What resources would be helpful to you?

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Where we are (Mexico) the government has been taking a very “it’s no big deal” approach, which is frightening. Some very large events have been cancelled and spring break was started early this week and will last one month instead of two weeks. But they are doing no screening at airports, and very little testing. I read they only have 4,000 some tests for the whole country. There is no panic buying like you see in the States, plenty of toilet paper and hand sanitizer in the stores, and not much noticeable concern. I predict that will change this week.

The NGO we work for has been following U.S. protocols and guidelines, so as of last week almost all planned meetings and social gatherings have been cancelled and everyone has been encouraged to stay home as much as possible and avoid travel. Our kids are still in an educational program with about ten other kids that was supposed to go another two weeks, but we are meeting at 5 every day now to decide if it continues another day. One of the teachers is worried she will not be able to return to the US in two weeks and needs to make a decision about whether or not to try to leave now. She is from San Francisco though and her husband is in Germany visiting relatives and may also have trouble coming home in two weeks as planned, so they are all up in the air about what would be best to do. To complicate things, there was an outbreak of strep on a retreat that my kids (and all their friends they are now with) were on two weeks ago and and outbreak of influenza B at the MK school, which had already shut down for a week before the coronavirus shutdowns this week because so many kids and teachers were out with the flu. Two kids ended up in the hospital with pneumonia related to that. So, basically, everyone is slightly sick and coughing a lot already.

We have to decide soon whether or not to return to the area where we work (we are at a linguistics training center in another state in temporary housing right now) or stay here indefinitely. We were supposed to be here for various training events until the beginning of May and leave after my daughter’s AP test, but even that is potentially cancelled. Here we are closer to better infrastructure and medical care, but it is also a tourist spot that will most definitely have more virus cases soon. Where we live has a lot of people coming and going from the mountain villages (it’s sort of the commercial center of the middle of nowhere), and we wouldn’t want to carry the virus there. It also has distribution issues normally (it is at least four hours through terrible mountain roads from any other city) and I wouldn’t go to the hospital there, I would drive the four to six hours to get to a real one.

The biggest service BioLogos and this forum provide me as far as coronavirus is concerned is giving a stamp of approval to information as valid and scientific and reliable. I think lots of people are wondering who to take seriously. I appreciate that I can ask people who know and get straight answers.

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We’re fortunate that we’re mostly self-employed and homeschooling, so we can go through our daily routines without a lot of disruption, plus we have a yard for the kids to play in when it warms up a bit. But even for a strong introvert like me, it is hard to not just leave the house without thinking over a bunch of possibilities, and it’s unfortunate that many upcoming events we were looking forward to are now postponed or canceled.

My husband has already lost some work due to the outbreak, and may lose more. Our income fluctuates a lot anyway, but this is a bigger disruption than usual, so that is on my mind as well as friends and family members (including our neighbors) who are in high-risk categories.

But I’m grateful for this community and for the ability to see how “trust in science” is not evil, but still falls under “trust in God,” and how those two things work together.

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As I’ve written before, we are not to be afraid. About anything. The fatherhood of God is not merely a metaphor – he is the archetype.
 

There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear…

It’s not our perfect love! It is our Father’s, and he only does what is good for both him and us. The most frequent mandate in the Bible is “Don’t be afraid” or one of its several variations: “Be anxious for nothing”, “Fret not”, etc. So whenever I catch myself being anxious about ANYTHING, I can go crawl up on Father’s lap even when court is in session in the throne room, so to speak, and his strong arms will comfort me and shield me.

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I agree, I have been reading/studying in both Esther and Daniel and seeing that we can trust God in these wild and trying times and that no matter what happens, God is LORD and Sovereign over all this.

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So as church elders, we made the hard choice today cease all regular activities, prayer meetings, and Sunday gatherings. We left the option open for home groups to keep meeting if they wanted to since they are all around 5-7 people in number, though many are opting not to or to ‘meet’ digitally through skype, facetime, etc. We are also looking into whether we can live stream some form of worship/teaching on a Sunday morning. For many churches in the UK, this is all completely new ground. Prayer for wisdom in how best to deliver some form of Word Ministry to our people through digital means would be greatly appreciated.

However, there is another issue that runs parallel to this. Many in our church are tech-savvy enough that they will be able to access whatever we are eventually able to offer except those who need it most. We have a large contingent of dear elderly saints, mainly single women in the 70+ category. For them, the Sunday and midweek meetings is a social lifeline that has now been taken from them, yet they are also unable to access alternatives through technology. It seems too risky to physically visit them to read scripture, pray, and administer holy communion. So I and others seem somewhat at a loss as to how to best support these folk. Again, wisdom, please.

Finally, we have a number of folks who have come forward to make themselves available to do shopping, collect prescriptions, etc. for those who are self-isolating. For them, prayers of thanksgiving and protection seem most appropriate.

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There are many, many teachers right now who are slamming for the first time into the learning curve of LMS (online Learning Management System) and how to teach online. Since it looks like we may be teaching that way for the long haul in terms of weeks here (or probably for the rest of the school year for many of us) … all of those working in and receiving from the education system have taken a real hit. Both public and private schools. We could all use prayers. There is no adequate substitute for face-to-face teaching, especially of younger children, but in this case other options will be forced to suffice. And all the parents who depended on schools to be in charge of their kids while the parents work … they are under considerable stress right now too.

May we all be God’s hands to each other.

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My church had to do the same and they continue to do church services both via TV and online streaming. I have enough faith that the Church can cope and work under these times and I trust that God is in control and all this will pass and we must remember that Jesus Christ is Lord and far above any illness or pandemic.

My husband’s been able to skype a few sessions of math, but music lessons are a bit harder. I especially feel for families where one or both parents work in a medical field… taking time off may not be possible.

On the subject of church, has anyone done or considered doing communion at home? I know in some denominations it’s only certain people that can oversee it, but I wonder if that might change for the time being.

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Of course!:slight_smile:

Yet, the Lordship of Jesus still requires his under-shepherds to care for the folk that have been entrusted to us and for whose care we will one day give an account to him for.

The question is then is not ‘can we still do that?’, but ‘how do we do that, especially for our elderly widows without family close at hand?’ Confidence in sovereignty of God does not negate these practical, pastoral concerns.

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Of most definitely i agree with you, but what I am saying is that we should be wise and not let fear guide us (of which I am guilty of doing at first in COVID-19 first hit us.)

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Jonathan Merritt watched church last Sunday and showed his leader blessing the sacraments via online, and he just used whatever things close to the elements he had at home.

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I am personally just experiencing a lot of anxiety, part of it from news-overwhelm and how the changing tide has shifted so quickly. I’m still recovering from whiplash from it, I think.

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Same here. I specifically took a facebook break for Lent because I was getting too caught up in stuff, and it hasn’t helped as much as I thought. :stuck_out_tongue:

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Speaking of anxiety, I read this today regarding the anxiety surrounding this crisis. Maybe it will help the anxiety a bit to rationalize it😉

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All schools in the area from nursery school to universities are shut down. Most schools are shifting to online instruction. (With certain exceptions.) For some it involves a learning curve. For others, not so much. But it can be done.

Maybe they would be willing to learn. You could ask.

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An interesting piece by Richard Beck. I agree with his comments about our fear of death. Right now, this fear is so intense that it’s driving us to make some decisions that may end up causing more long term suffering than the virus itself.

I’d like to say something, and maybe it won’t help much with people’s anxiety, but I’m going to say it anyway (because otherwise what’s the point in being a cataphatic Christian mystic). In the life I live as a mystic, the Veil is sometimes very thin, and I can sometimes (not always, but sometimes) see what’s on the other side. All I can see – all I’ve ever seen in almost 20 years of doing this every day – is hope. And love. And trust. And forgiveness. And a lot of angelic souls who love us very, very much, even when we’re scared. And even when we make mistakes and shoot our collective communities in the foot.

Nobody wants to be sick, and nobody wants to see their loved ones suffer or die. But it’s part of the human condition. Speaking as a bereaved mother, there are times when we really only have two choices: learn to transform our grief into something stronger or just give up and feel sorry for ourselves until the day we die.

I guess it’s fairly obvious to us as Christians which choice Jesus would advocate for. I, for one, am grateful for the path of courage which is open to us as Christians.

Stay safe, everyone.

I know you live in the south of England, where the weather is warmer than here in Ontario. If your elderly parishioners got bundled up, could you minister to them outside where transmission would be much less likely? Even for a short time? With a thermos of hot tea on hand? And some hymns to sing together with appropriate gaps between you?

I don’t know if this would work, but would it maybe be better than nothing?

I just ran across this from a friend! https://www.virusanxiety.com/

You can select what is stressing you out and there are resources for each!

Sending love.

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“Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone.” -Colossians 4:6

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