Lupus and Living Gratefully – Coronavirus Social Yet Not Spiritual Distancing

Unexpected arrivals can interrupt our game plan, but sometimes are blessings in disguise.  When bronchitis suddenly showed up aggressively and urgently during a mid-February 30-minute drive home from a morning appointment, the urgency of symptom onset caused an in-auto (hands free) phone call to arrange a same-day doctor visit on the way home.  Diagnosed with bronchitis and a sinus infection, the next stop was medications at the pharmacy, followed by a week in bed, and then two more weeks quarantine.,r:5,s:20,i:220&tx=132&ty=82&biw=1600&bih=646

In retrospect, my perspective on the experience is simply gratefulness!  Just as the Coronavirus (COVID-19) epidemic was erupting outside of China, I was watching world events while home sick in bed for the 10 days.  Finally improving after two prescriptions of Azithromycin, Cephalexin, and extra prednisone, the next few weeks were spent in self-imposed and work-imposed quarantine.

CoronavirusSymptoms were exactly the same as the coronavirus, but there were no tests for it available until mid-March.  I was the first Coronavirus test performed in my doctor’s office, and after three days wait, my doctor contacted me with the negative test results.  The negative COVID-19 test made me welcome to return to the workplace, and able to receive a postponed Benlysta infusion the following day.  Back in the office for two days before the President, Governor, and Mayor declared a public health emergency and asked for social distancing, by the third day, telecommuting resumed again for the rest of the week.

computer coffee mugThe at-home work allowed for less physical exertion than normal, permitting my already taxed lungs to fully recover from an asthma flare that had followed bronchitis.  The normal daily commute and long work hours might have delayed a full recovery, so the extra time and rest were a welcome advantage of working remotely.  Then, for one week, it was my turn to be part of the skeletal on-premises workforce, with great social distancing in place.  Offices were cleaned and almost sterile, and appropriate sanitizing efforts continue.

While my immediate office normally houses about twenty employees, that first week there were never more than three of us in the office at any time.  While productive with few distractions, the office felt a little too quiet for my liking.  Once again, next week began the full resumption of telecommuting until the spiking Coronavirus (COVID-19) cases increases would start to level out.  Like other immune-compromised patients, my plan is to stay away from others as much as possible for now, and then for as long as appropriate to my health situation.  Yet, there is no room for fear or panic in my prescription, only wisdom, prudence, prayer for our President and country, and a big dose of trust in God.

Bible in HandsThis is a challenging adventure ahead for all of us, and a time for us to draw on resourcefulness and faith.  My husband attended a live-stream production of our church services, only because my husband was scheduled to sing a solo during the service.  We sat (six feet apart from others) in an empty church along with the pianist and church staff — spread out in a handful of seats across the front of the sanctuary.  Other church members were watching on computers, televisions, and cell phones as a sermon, music, and prayer were offered in this unusual worship format.

It was a special blessing to be able to be in the house of the Lord, that day in March.  Now that my church has started having services with social distancing, my rheumatologist’s orders are to stay away from the office and congregate places such as my church.  Since March, I have continued attending services online, and miss the fellowship of the other members.  However, I am very grateful for the encouragement of the sermons, music and being able to participate in some way.  Still, Sundays remain the Lord’s day, and I can join others in worship and say, “This is the day which the Lord hath made; we will rejoice and be glad in it.” Psalm 118:24 KJV

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