Seven months in. Can you believe it?

This is the longest that my children and I have to stay at home. My husband is the only one who goes out every two weeks for our necessities.

The start of the lockdown was very difficult for me, mentally. For the first few weeks since the lockdown was enforced in the metro, I was very anxious, borderline panicky, had difficulty sleeping, and would get so upset when my husband and our kids wouldn’t wash their hands as frequent and as thorough as I deemed necessary. I kinda felt like we were at the first half of Sandra Bullock’s film, The Birdbox, and wanted to seal our whole house. Also, whenever my husband would tell me that he would do the groceries, I get so worried thinking that it’s as dangerous as being on a supply run in that Netflix thriller movie.

I have a valid reason to feel such because COVID-19 is not just a flu that would simply run its course for a week then everything would be fine again. It’s a highly contagious virus, which at the early stages of this pandemic, has a very high fatality rate. COVID-19 as depicted in the news, documentaries, testimonies of survivors, and stories of those who have lost their loved ones to the virus, is not only difficult, but also traumatizing physically, psychologically, emotionally, and most of all, financially. I know of people who got infected just by doing their groceries even if they were wearing their face masks. The fact that these people are in my close circles made me more terrified of the virus. I felt like COVID-19 is getting closer and closer to me and my family. A mere sniffle, the slightest sign of sore throat, random coughing or a warmer body temperature got me so paranoid. Increased hand washing, frequent spray of alcohol on surfaces, adding bleach to mop the floors, taking more vitamins, gargling with salt are among the other stuff that I and the rest of my family did. Sometimes, it gets out of hand, out of reason. I had to pause, take a break, and reflect.

In this world, you will have trouble. But take heart, I have overcome the world!

– John 16:33

But take heart

I took a social media detox. I dedicated more time for reading my Bible, praying and reading appropriate devotions that have helped me ease my anxiety and surrender everything to the One who knows and holds everything. I eventually felt better and more at peace, taking one day at a time. I am still a bit worried every time my husband would go out to do errands and chores and the limited time when I have to pick up something from the gate or do my deliveries within our community. But, I thank GOD each day that we are all healthy and alive.

This pandemic is bigger than all of us. Not even the rich nor the super power nations were spared from COVID-19. It’s not a hoax. It is very real. It has put almost everything and everyone to a halt for more than half of 2020. It has become a lithmus test to all kinds of relationships and has revealed the true character of people — what’s in our hearts and what’s really going on in our minds.

If there is one thing that this strain of the corona has taught me, it’s to pare down to the essentials of life. It has made me realize that there’s too much noise, too many unimportant, burdensome and negative that I have to take down and do away with. I am doing my best to only think of what is good, true, and beneficial; the rest I discard and push out of my thoughts.

Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.

– Philippians 4:8 NIV

Fix your thoughts

A new month has just began and soon it will be Christmas. There’s a high probability that some of us will be spending the holidays cooped indoors having Zoom parties and going on an online shopping frenzy. But for some of us, it might be extra hard, more lonely, maybe, even painful getting by the last two months of this year.

I think uncertainty and 2020 has become correlated with each other. It’s both good and bad. The bad part of it produces fear and pessimism. The good part brings about positivity and hope that things will turn around and will be better and brighter. Let’s hold on to the good, no matter what.

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