Faith in the Time of Coronavirus

Yes, this is another backdated post. I had a busy day yesterday and didn’t get time to ponder things until late last night.

First thing: go read this. It is brilliant and talks about the pro-life aspect of the coronavirus fears. It also very easily explains why this post makes me stabby 5 years later. (The tl;dr of it is that the poster claims that mumps/measles/chicken pox aren’t things to worry about because she and her sister got them and turned out OK. It ignores the fact that some people who get them end up in really bad situations like losing their hearing or losing their babies.)

I got this email from my parish last night. The tl;dr of it is that we’re implementing protocols to limit the spread of COVID-19 in the parish. Regular parishioners will not receive the Blood, there will be no physical contact during the Peace, no Eucharistic Visitors are being sent out to shut-ins, we are not passing offering plates, counters are wearing gloves while counting the money, and the coffee hour hosts will wear gloves while serving the food. It feels a little bit like overkill to me, but I get why they’re doing it. We are an older parish and there is the potential for people to spread the virus is definitely present. We already have hand sanitizer stations in the church, so I predict those will be getting a lot of use.

The “no physical contact” during the Peace is kind of sucky for me because it’s the one time in the week that I get hugged, and it’s hard to explain why that is so important given that “physical touch” is #4 on the love languages test for me. Having been married and now divorced, I am admittedly a little bit starved for physical touch, and I’m also a huggy type of person.

However, I get why they’re being so careful (and I’m pretty sure this a diocese-wide thing) because the pneumonia that landed me in the hospital last year was from metapneumovirus, a pissy little cold virus given to me by Daniel that caused me to go from zero to sepsis in three days. I was in an isolation room for three days until they could figure out what I had, and that meant that anyone coming into my room had to gown/mask/glove up. My grandmother was in hospice at the time, so my poor mom would go see her for however long and then come see me (and bring me fresh pajama bottoms and underwear) before going home and taking care of my kid. I went back to work 3 days after getting out of the hospital, which was a stupid move because walking across the parking lot and then across campus would cause cough-to-vomit spasms for me for at least two weeks after my hospital discharge. If my pneumonia had been from COVID-19, I would have spread the virus without intending to do so.

Am I afraid of getting it? Not especially. Despite living in Washington state which has had 11 deaths from it, I’m not afraid because I already do things like wash my hands with soap for 20 seconds, use hand sanitizer if I’m not able to wash my hands immediately, I don’t go into doctor’s offices unnecessarily nor visit hospitals/nursing homes, and I’m doing well in my New Year’s intention to take good care of myself. Those who have died were elderly people with other severe conditions, and I’m not in that category at the moment after having my hysterectomy last fall and stopping my clotting disorder/anemia. Does it mean I’m taking a completely laissez-faire attitude? No.

Hoping that the COVID-19 threat passes soon and that we don’t have any other deaths in the state.