Wow y’all-what a crazy week we’ve had! Less than a week ago I had no idea that March Madness would be completely cancelled, and Disney World would be closed for at least two weeks due to the increasing spread of COVID-19 (coronavirus) in the US. Then yesterday North Carolina’s governor issued an executive order cancelling gatherings greater than 100 people. This order also closed public schools for at least two weeks. However, many school districts had already announced closures and churches had cancelled weekend services prior to this executive order. I know we are living in crazy and uncertain times right now, so I want to share five things to do during the coronavirus pandemic with y’all:

1. Pray!

In addition to social distancing and hand washing, the most important thing we can do to fight the coronavirus pandemic is pray! Let’s specifically pray for the following:

  • People who are currently battling coronavirus, especially those who are critically ill or hospitalized.
  • Health care professionals, health department officials who are battling coronavirus on the front lines. Pray for wisdom and guidance as they treat those who are ill, and make recommendations to curb the spread of the coronavirus pandemic.
  • Scientists studying coronavirus. Ask God to guide them to an intervention that will drastically reduce the incidence and prevalence.
  • The economic impact coronavirus will have, particularly for those who work in the entertainment and hospitality industry. 
  • For us all to lean on the Lord during this time of uncertainty, to trust Him for our daily bread, and for Him to give us a peace that transcends all understanding. I’m so thankful that Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever. The coronavirus pandemic is no surprise to our great God, and He will see us through all this.

2. Resist Complaining & Think Beyond Yourself

It’s definitely disappointing to have major events that you were looking forward to cancelled. For instance, less than a week ago I posted some tips on how to fill out your March Madness bracket. Little did I know that March Madness would be cancelled less than 72 hours later. It’s definitely sad to think about how I won’t be glued to the TV for hours at a time watching all the different games next weekend. In addition, I will have to modify my birthday celebration plans later this month.

While it’s absolutely okay to mourn the cancellation of an event that you were eagerly anticipating, please refrain from complaining about such cancellations. Don’t say things like “this is ridiculous” or “people are overreacting.” While most people who get coronavirus will have mild to moderate symptoms and recover easily, others are more vulnerable. Honestly, my biggest concern isn’t getting coronavirus. It is unknowingly being a carrier of the virus and passing along to someone who is elderly or has underlying health problems.

Therefore, I believe we all have a social responsibility to take government and health officials’ guidelines for social distancing seriously. Taking strict actions now to limit social interactions will hopefully prevent us from getting to the point of Italy. It’s much better to overreact now than wish we had done more later! Right now we all need to collectively do our apart and embrace inconvenience and disrupted plans for the greater good of our society. Let’s all work together to flatten the curve of coronavirus.

In my BSF class, we have been studying 1 Corinthians the past few weeks. Paul talks about how although we have personal freedoms, we need to consider the greater good of others first. The following verses sum up the attitude I believe we should all have over these next several weeks:

“‘Everything is permissible,’ but not everything is beneficial. ‘Everything is permissible,’ but not everything builds up. No one is to seek his own good, but the good of the other person.” (1 Corinthians 10:23-24)

3. Prepare, but Don’t Panic

It’s definitely not a bad idea to make a trip to the grocery store to stock your pantry, fridge, and freezer in case you need to self-quarantine in the coming weeks. However, please don’t panic and hoard supplies! No one needs 10 packs of toilet paper. Also, hoarding all the soap and hand sanitizer so it’s not available for others doesn’t do much good! Get the food and essentials you need for yourself within reason, and save some for others. Also, grocery stores are still open in Italy. So even if the US did completely lockdown, non-infected people could still go to the grocery store.

In addition, it’s totally normal to feel a little anxious. As an enneagram 6, I thrive on stability, security, routine, and predictability. I like knowing what to expect! So even though I’m not scared of getting critically ill from coronavirus, the uncertainty of this pandemic as a whole makes me a bit anxious. Even though the introvert in me is enjoying the forced social distancing, it’s still hard not knowing to what extent routines will be disrupted.

If you’re in the same boat as me, it’s totally fine. But let’s acknowledge and talk through our feelings of anxiety, and resist mentally panicking. Instead, let’s focus on things within our control, like hand-washing and limiting social interaction. I will say I’m thankful to be able to talk to my therapist during this time. And she has assured me that if circumstances prevent us from meeting in person during the weeks to come, we can do phone sessions.

4. Make the Best of Social Distancing

I totally get that the idea of social distancing may be easier for some than others. As I mentioned earlier, I am an introvert. Plus I’m also a homebody, so I’m actually enjoying this opportunity to stay-in without feeling antisocial. However, I realize that social distancing might be more difficult for my more extroverted friends. So, I thought I would share a list of things I’m looking forward to doing at home during the coming weeks. I hope these give both introverts and extroverts alike some inspiration:

Catch up on Netflix shows.

I specifically plan to watch Fuller House (currently still in Season 3) and Gilmore Girls (currently still in Season 2). Also, I hope to start Cheer, because I’ve heard so many good things about that show!

Binge watch Disney Plus.

Honestly, there’s enough content on Disney Plus to keep me occupied for way longer than COVID-19 social distancing will last! I want to watch more episodes of High School Musical The Musical The Series. In addition, I will be watching The Suite Life of Zack & Cody, as well as The Suite Life on Deck. Plus some Hannah Montana and some animated movies I still haven’t seen (like Frozen II) are on the agenda!

Journaling.

During this season where church and Bible Study meetings are cancelled, I plan to utilize the additional margin in my schedule to be more intentional about spending time with God via journaling my thoughts and prayers. I plan to use my “Every Single Moment” journal by Stephanie May Wilson, my “The Devoted Life” Journal by Natalie Met Lewis, and an open-ended journal.

Reading.

I also intend to knock out some books that have been sitting on my shelf!

Cleaning and Organizing.

I’m also viewing this as a great opportunity to check off some cleaning and organization projects around my apartment that I’ve been putting off.

Blogging Work.

I’m excited that more time at home will give me the chance to work on blog content and actually plan ahead. In addition, I’m planning to complete some blogging courses I purchased as part of a bundle back in the fall. Hopefully once this passes I will have some good tools that will help me blog more efficiently.

Even if you aren’t a blogger, you can utilize this season of social distancing to work on a different side hustle, or even start a new one. And if you aren’t interested in a side hustle, you can start a new hobby.

5. Remember That We’re All in This Together

Did anyone else sing the hit song from High School Musical as you read this? I think it’s important for us all to remember that we aren’t the only ones being impacted by the way coronavirus is disrupting life. For instance, as disappointed as I am that I won’t be able to watch March Madness basketball and NCAA gymnastics this spring, I can’t imagine that the pain and disappointment that senior collegiate athletes are feeling over their careers abruptly coming to an end. These remarks from University of Oklahoma gymnast Maggie Nichols absolutely break my heart. They make my disappointment over not being able to watch sports pale in comparison.

I also think about all the college seniors in general whose campus life as a college senior abruptly and unexpectedly came to a close. I remember my last semester of college being such a sweet time. It definitely would have been heartbreaking to have all that end two months early!

Also, I’m thankful that the nature of my job is such that I’m not feeling the economic impact of this pandemic like some people are. Overall, it really puts things in perspective when I think about how so many people’s lives are being disrupted to an even greater extent than mine.

Finally, let’s try and refrain from criticizing our government leaders for how they are handling the coronavirus pandemic. This is uncharted territory, and now is the time for us to come together as a country to fight this thing so we don’t end up like Italy. It’s not the time to engage in partisan wars!

We Will Make It Through the Coronavirus Pandemic!

These next few weeks are going to be a bit of a ride, but we will make it through! Let us act in such a way that we will look back on the coronavirus pandemic as a time that brought out the best in people. Most importantly, let us remember that we serve a God who is bigger than even the the greatest disease pandemic. Let this be a time that, as Christians, we can be salt and light to a hectic world.

Being Salt and Light During the Coronavirus Pandemic

(Thought this t-shirt from DaySpring’s Candace Cameron Bure collection that I blogged about last spring has a great message for the coming weeks.)

I hope that y’all found this blog post on handling the coronavirus pandemic encouraging! I already had another blog post planned for this week, and I still hope to get it published. It most likely won’t be ready on Monday though!

Hope y’all stay safe & healthy. Wash your hands and practice social distancing! Also, let’s be thankful that we have modern technology to virtually stay connected during this time! Our ancestors during the flu pandemic 100 years ago didn’t have smartphones, streaming services, or social media!

Plus, don’t forget that you can follow me on Instagram, Facebook, or Twitter. You can also subscribe to my e-newsletter here. Also, if you know someone who would enjoy this post, please share with them!

-xoxo Liz

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