Sunday, March 15, 2020

Coronavirus Quarantine ... March

In March, the United States got hit with COVID-19 (Coronavirus) ... a scary respiratory virus that started in China and quickly decimated its way across Europe (Italy was especially hard hit.) The nation quickly realized that millions might die, and governors across the nation quickly issued "shelter in place" or "stay at home" orders. For EVERYONE.
This means that school got cancelled on March 13 ... for the REST OF THE SCHOOL YEAR! The kids won't go back for six months!! This is especially hard on Gabriel ... who was in the midst of his senior year. Now, graduation and prom and all the fun times of senior year are all cancelled. It's a HUGE bummer. Asher won't get his end-of-the-year 8th grade send-off either ... and confirmation is postponed. Churches are no longer meeting .... we tune in online.
It is ... without a doubt ... one of the strangest experiences of our lives. Nate worked from home for THREE WEEKS before cautiously venturing back to the studio, with just one other person, to keep shooting. The disease hits people with autoimmune issues extra hard ... so Nate has been doing all out grocery shopping to keep me safe. (Because of my Rheumatoid Arthritis) (We have to sanitize each item with clorox wipes when he comes home.)
When we first heard it was coming, we went out and bought two weeks EXTRA supply of groceries ... since we weren't sure what we would be dealing with  ... (you can see the line to get into Aldi in the photo below ... this was BEFORE the shelter-in-place order .... after that time, the number of people allowed in the store would be limited and everyone would have to stay 6 feet apart down aisles that were one-way only ... at THIS trip however, the people were ON TOP of each other trying to get things ... it was madness... for several weeks, no toilet paper was to be found ANYWHERE) The kiddos helped me organize everything in our extra "pantry" in the basement. Honestly, it felt like we were supplying a bomb shelter! We were scared. Nervous. Anxious. For awhile, Nate was worried he might lose his job (probably half of his staff got let go ... unemployment in the USA is at 22 million today...) But the good thing is, we have our strong faith to get us through ... and our ability to hang out for long periods of time without driving each other crazy .... we actually THRIVE on that, so it's all good! We've been watching LOTS of movies. Eating LOTS of popcorn .... and going NOWHERE, except outside to exercise or walk the dog. It's been a strange time ... but also a good time to reflect and be grateful ... to grow closer.
The good news is that the crisis is already doing much better than expected because of all the social distancing. Hospitals are no longer overwhelmed, running out of space, ventilators and masks ... It's starting to settle down (I'm writing this on April 16). I just hope it stays that way and we don't see a resurgance. Michigan, for a long time, was the third highest state in the nation, as far as cases and fatalities (behind New York and New Jersey). We've lost about 2,000 people in the state ... with about 33,400 fatalities nationwide. (as of mid April) But it could have been MILLIONS of deaths ... so we are grateful to God for keeping us, and those we love, SAFE.

stocking our "fall-out" pantry

The kids actually really enjoyed doing this.

A prayer that gave me deep peace during this time.

Everyday, we would check statistics ... here they are from mid march

and from mid April...

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