Isolation 2.06 – Pushing Back Against “More”

Day 6 of Isolation 2.0

More confusion

More frustration

More positive tests

Higher mortality rate

And what can we do?

Well, if you’re like me and don’t have a formal medical education, there’s really only four things that I know you can do:

Stay home – you’re familiar with the concept of a designated driver? At our house, we have a designated shopper. Our grocery stores offer preferred shopping hours for medical professionals (which she is) so she is our designated shopper. No one else goes shopping unless you can do it online.

Keep your distance. If you are out and around and find yourself in a place where it might not be possible to be 6 ft away at all times, wear a mask. I actually have two different styles because the one style makes my ears stick out. :-). No, I am not going to post pictures.

Support the front line people – there was a story of someone who stood outside the local hospital and held up a sign, “My heroes wear scrubs.” According to her (and my) Dr., Dr. Singer, she had a stroke and they got her in in time to save her from permanent damage.

Send donuts to your kids doctor’s office.

Have Starbucks deliver to the local pediatric floor at “your” hospital.

Reach out and talk to someone – someone lonely, someone who you haven’t talked with for a while. If everyone spent a half hour a day talking to others that would make a big difference.

There’s a lot of feelings of helplessness. I know, I feel it too. But look at some of these and ask yourself, what am I going to do?

It might be something small but it could save a life or it could be the blessing that a front line worker needs to keep going.

Try it, you’ll like it! (Hey Mikey!)

TJV

Isolation 2.05 It was more

Palm Sunday – without going to church.

Palm Sunday – with none of the normal traditions

Today was Sunday but it didn’t feel like it. Isolation 2.05 makes the normal traditions hard. But that’s okay because it isn’t really the traditions that matter.

It’s the history of this day that matters. Today marks the day that Jesus made his triumphal entry into Jerusalem. In less than a week, the crowds that originally cheered him will wanted to kill him. That’s what Palm Sunday remembers.

In many ways, the world has been turned upside down. Schools are closed, offices are closed, roads are empty, unemployment lines and hospitals are over crowded. Churches aren’t meeting, and those that are meeting are seeing their pastors arrested for violating executive orders by the governors of the their respective state.

And interesting thing is happening – churches are saying, “we are not a building, we are more.”

More what?

• more about people who care about their neighbors.

• More about being people who admit we don’t know and can’t do it all ourselves.

• More about people who care for people in need.

• More about people who are looking for more, not for themselves but for those who have less.

And so, while gathering as a group of believers didn’t happen in a building, all across this country, all across this world, Christians were gathering online.

And Palm Sunday was remembered.

And God saw His people gathering in new and different ways in spite of the virus.

And He was pleased.

TJV

Isolation 2.04 Routine Isn’t

It’s Saturday. It’s Saturday? No wait, it’s Fri…. No, it is Saturday.

When so much of life rotates around going to church, going to work, going to baseball games, planning graduations, did I mention going to school? Take all of those things away and it’s hard to remember what day it is. They all seem to blend together.

According to my phone, it is Saturday. This whole isolation – very little is like normal – routine is very disorienting.

Because

Routine

Isn’t

Happening.

So what do you do when the routine got thrown out the proverbial window?

Well, a couple of things I’ve learned….

…acknowledge that you don’t know it all and accept that.

…take things one day at a time.

…don’t borrow tomorrow’s troubles for today. (My wife has taught me a lot about that).

…acknowledge not only that you don’t know it all but that you don’t need to know it all right now. If you had told me where I’d be now compared to 20 years ago, I would not have believed you. So don’t worry about where you’ll be 20 years from now.

…Look for the things that can become the new routine.

And that’s a glance at Day 4 of Isolation 2.04. A Saturday where very little felt routine.

TJV

Isolation 2.03

Okay, it’s kind of a tech thing. A computer program is released and it’s called, say Windows 10. They come up with an update and it’s called Windows 10.1, and every update they adjust the back number, 10.1, 10.2……. So, the title of these posts will be Isolation 2.____ and the second number will be the day number for our “extra” isolation.

So, what happened in the excitement of being isolated? A couple of things, actually……

Clarity about some parts of school. My high school senior got a letter from the principal outlining a few of the details for the rest of the school year. She’s actually on spring break as of this morning. Oh gee, what did you do for Spring Break?

I hung out with my Dad at my grandparents condo. Yippee!

The seniors at her school will essentially continue what they have been doing with a target of being done May 1 (originally it was May 7). They will not be let in the school building other than with their parent(s) and with an appointment. Two thoughts about that….

They have to do that because that’s what they have to do to make sure there aren’t too many people at once.

The reason they would come back inside the school building is not to do school. No, the reason is to clean out lockers. They left school on Friday, March 13 knowing that they were going to have some time off, but they’d be back.

They thought so. Now the most they can plan on is online school for three more weeks.

And no news about graduation yet.

Tomorrow, I hope to share something someone else wrote about Seniors and the rest of the school year. I’m waiting to get the okay from the author.

Keep strong, say an extra prayer for the medical people and all of the other front line people working to keep us safe.

Until tomorrow,

Tom

Isolation 2.0. Day #2

Well, today’s the day of school news……

The state announced that all in building education is done for the year. That mean that any learning that happens will happen outside of school. What options does that leave? Online schooling, video conferencing and paper packets that get distributed are some of the options. There’s a lot of options but there’s also a lot of questions. Who has the internet access? Who doesn’t? Who has a computer they can use? Who doesn’t?

Who has the rest of their curriculum all planned out to transition that way? As someone who has done substitute teaching in the past, the logistics of all of that transition is frankly overwhelming. If you are of the praying sort, say a prayer for the teachers, the students, especially the ones that don’t handle change well, and pray for the parents, especially the parents of the kids who don’t handle change well and the parents who are planning on their kids being at school all day and balanced their work schedule around school.

And then there is the seniors, middle of March, they were looking forward to Spring Break, and all of the stuff that happens at the end of not only the school year, but a school career. Friends, teachers, fun traditions, walking across the stage for the piece of paper. All of those realities are, as expected, gone.

Compared to the pain others are going through, it doesn’t register on the “importance” scale. But we don’t compare struggles or pain. It’s not productive.

The teachers need to figure out how to do the next two months curriculum in a totally different way. Lots of people impacted in the school issues.

I heard a statistic, I don’t know how accurate the number is, but I heard that there are approximately 1.5 million students in Michigan’s public schools. If they went to school while the virus was still running rampant all over Michigan, the spread of the disease would be even more wide spread and disastrous.

Day #2 of Isolation 2.0 School and how it is handled has long term implications.

TJV