I never imagined the COVID-19. I’ve watched the movies and I’ve read the books but never in a million years, did I think this could become our reality. I’ve stared at the news in shock, the videos of the beaches packed with spring breakers, I’ve driven past the playgrounds filled with children, climbing on the jungle gyms as their parents gather together discussing the pandemic…what are they thinking?

I can’t say I’ve barricaded myself behind locked doors with my curtains closed, not yet anyway. I’ve been out a bit, helping a friend whose business is still open, (The salon is closed until the 27, maybe longer) I’m running up and down a million steps hauling cases of product, wiping down counters and cleaning floors. I’m doing what I can to help. I’m blessed because there’s a roof over my head and plenty of food to eat. I have family and friends calling to see if I’m okay and if I need anything. I’m checking on others to see if I can help them too…

But I’m scared. I’m scared for the elderly who may not understand what’s happening. Can you imagine what it’s like for someone with dementia when suddenly no one can visit them and they are shut off from everyone they still remember? I’m scared for the children who want to know why they can’t go play with their friends. I’m scared for the sick, the homeless, the ones who suffer from anxiety. For the hospital staff and the delivery drivers, the sales clerks and the people who are stocking the shelves. I’m scared for ones who are not taking this epidemic seriously.

COVID-19 has no discrimination. It hits the young, the old, every color, every race, every religion and economic background. I get it that it’s hard to stay home. People are scared, they’ve lost jobs and the market is sinking. But jobs reopen and the market rises. Isn’t life more important than things?

I’m glad I have my faith to cling to in times like this. God never promised things would be easy. There will be loss and there will be suffering and hard times but through it all, he is with us. It’s when the hope dies, we are in trouble. We can’t let that happen.

Give yourself a break from the constant mayhem of the news. Open a window or step outside in your yard, breathe in some fresh air, play a game, read a book, finish a project you’ve been putting off, pray and then pray some more. Drop a basket of food off on the doorstep of someone who is shut in. Coloring books and crayons for the kids, loan out some books or DVD’s from your collection. FaceTime, Skype, call, text, e-mail to your family, friends, neighbors…We’re all going a little stir crazy about now and knowing there are people who care about us, about how we’re doing during all of this makes a huge difference.

COVID-19 is going to change every one of us in some way. When this is over, I want to hug people a little longer and a little tighter than before. I want to work harder towards my dreams and desire less in the way of stuff. I never again want to take life as we know it, for granted.

So today I’m praying for patience and calm, for empathy and understanding. While I’m doing that, I’m cleaning out the closets and the drawers and the boxes of stuff I’ve, yet again, accumulated. I’m simplifying and giving that which I don’t need to others who might. It’s going to be rough for a while and helping others is what helps myself. God tells us to come together in tough times. While we can’t do that physically right now, there are ways. Sharing, communicating and the simple act of kindness will go a long way

Wash your hands, sanitize, social distancing and stay home…and above all else…be kind and pray. We’ll make it through this together.