We were exposed two weeks ago.
Several people at the airport, where my wife works, have tested positive for Covid 19. We went into immediate lock down, after learning that she was in contact with one of them, only going out for essentials and staying a safe distance away from people when we’re out. We wipe everything down with alcohol and Clorox wipes, pretty much all the time. We wash our hands after doing…well…pretty much anything.
This morning, my wife woke up with extreme nausea. She has been in bed all day.
My daughter has a genetic disorder that puts her at extreme risk for this virus, as she has an uncommonly high pain tolerance and she cannot express how she feels until she has severe symptoms. My mother-in-law is 84 and lives in an apartment above our garage. She, too, is compromised.
I’ve had constant, recurring respiratory issues for the last 17 years. We are at risk over here. But we are not wallowing in fear. We are at peace. Why? I think it has something to do with love.
My wife and I flew to China to adopt our daughter right in the middle of SARS.
We were told no less than 4 times, by the CDC and the WHO, not to travel to Asia. But that’s where our daughter was and that’s where we went. Twenty-nine other families, on our plane alone, disobeyed CDC protocols and got on that plane. In fact, hundreds of families kept getting on planes and bringing home babies…from Asia…during SARS.
My wife and I have talked about it at length, and we are convinced that if 2003 were 2020, NOBODY would’ve ever gotten on a plane to China, to get a baby. Not because we were scared of getting SARS (which I was) but because we would be shamed by the world for putting everyone else at risk, by selfishly going over to get a baby during one of the deadliest outbreaks of any virus in history (which it was).
The public pressure would’ve been unbearable. And all of us who decided to ignore the danger would be held up as selfish imbeciles, who are ignoring science and “experts” just to have a cute little baby in their house.
If you don’t believe that is true, you’re not paying attention.
But we went. And we got the babies. And we all came home. And guess what? It didn’t all work out fine. The baby adopted out directly before ours was given to us, ended up having Leukemia. She passed away some years ago. She was beautiful and special and our hearts are still broken by her loss. Our baby ended up having Angelman Syndrome, one of the world’s rarest genetic disorders.
None of us brought back SARS…we don’t think. We actually don’t know. Nobody was ever tested. Who knows what we brought back?
The point is, the journey was nothing like we thought it would be, for any of us. Nobody – not even experts – could predict what was going to happen or what DID happen. Wonderful things followed those adoptions…and horrible things.
The bible says, “perfect love casts out all fear.”
I usually leave the scripture quoting to my father, the Reverend. I’m an opinion writer, not a minister. But some bible verses have stayed with me all my life. That one, in particular, has always made me think and ponder. How can fear be gone? There’s simply too much out there to fear.
But maybe that’s because I had never experienced perfect love, yet.
We are all reeling from this new thing we’re all experiencing. And it can create fear. And we are finding our own ways of dealing with it. My go-to has been humor and creativity. Maybe that’s what I cling to. Maybe that’s a good thing. Maybe not.
Some are lashing out at what’s around them and taking this opportunity to praise other governments while trashing our own.
If you are seething at our President or our congress or your Governor or your Mayor for not doing what you would do or speaking about it the way you would, then when all the smoke clears, I expect to see you on a ballot, somewhere. Lead us. I’m not kidding. If you have answers, it’s time to contribute to something more that a Facebook fight.
One of the way love casts out fear is through truth. Apparently, it sets you free. Now, truth and facts aren’t always the same thing. The facts can show that I put my dog down, when he was 14. Yes, I had him killed. But the truth was that he was in severe pain and couldn’t walk or go to the bathroom anymore.
And that’s how love gets complicated. But it’s also when I learned something about it casting out fear. We all knew it had been a great life. We all knew there was nothing left to be done. And we ultimately accepted the truth. And that left us without fear.
We are all dealing with this. We’re all doing the best we can, politicians and regular folks alike. It is being handled in the best way we know how to handle something we’ve never handled before.
Some of us are going to be mildly uncomfortable. Some of us are going to get really sick. Some of us are going to die. Those are the facts. The fact is that this is changing us, in real time.
But the truth can ultimately be that we opted for love over fear; that we were honest with each other and direct with each other and still decided to maintain our dignity and empathy and humanity. I believe that’s what I’m seeing out there.
Yes, stay inside. Don’t put people at risk. If you have to go out, make it quick and streamline. Don’t touch anything you don’t have to. Do all the things that make sense. But also don’t drown in fear.
I posted some suicide rates today and a lot of people didn’t understand the point. There wasn’t really a point other than this: there are problems all around us. There is death all around us. There is desperation all around us. And now we’ve added some new mysterious and terrifying thing into the mix.
But we don’t know the ultimate outcome of all this. We don’t have to accept it as a horror show, without redemption. We can decide to let love into the mix.
And in a weird way, it kinda gets rid of the fear.