This is something that I have been following mostly on social media between my friends. I wanted to touch on it a bit from my point of view. Take it or leave it. It is my personal opinion. I live in Omaha and they just last week passed a mandatory mask rule in public settings. Nebraska is one of a very small number of states who never had a lock down in effect. Nebraskans pretty much were doing what they should be doing. However, we are in the middle of the country and the virus seemed to hit the coastlines and then move inward. We were one of the last places to really get hit. So as we were starting to open up and let more people into churches, restaurants and stores, we were peaking. This did not help a lot. A few months later and we were considered a hot spot. Now if you look at our numbers, you won’t see high positives or death rates. However, if you compare that to how many people actually live in Nebraska (a mostly rural state), it is troubling. Granted, we have some of those meatpacking places that have driven our overall numbers up. We also have a couple of assisted living homes who have bit hit hard.
I have read on Facebook the argument that we shouldn’t live in fear and we should trust in our faith in God to take care of us. I have a few things to say about that. I am not going to lie…my faith has been battered about a bit over the last nine months with this cancer diagnosis and treatment. However, my Lord has never left my side. Just because I am weak doesn’t mean He is. But I also don’t believe that the Lord gave us brains so we wouldn’t use them in His name. I am not going to dance into a pit of rattlesnakes or run into moving traffic because I have faith God will spare me. That is ridiculous. I am going to use my free will and my brain to make wise choices. So when it comes to physical distancing and wearing a mask, I am going to do it. I am going to be especially vigilant because of my weakened immunity and underlying chronic illness. Let’s face it, my lungs were weakened when they were attacked by the first chemotherapy I was on. Because they have been attacked, especially so recently, I am very likely to get very very ill if I were to contract COVID 19. So I am careful. Not because I don’t have faith, but because God gave me free will and a brain and I am using both. Do I believe that the press is promoting fear-mongering? Yes, I do. The press when I was growing up was great. Walter Cronkite reported the facts and then you decided what to do with that information. There was no reporters interviewing other reporters and their opinions making stories into headlines. This is why I often read American news through the eyes of foreign news sources, like BBC. They tend to be more factual and it is refreshing to not get thrown down a rabbit hole of liberalism or conservatism.
This past week Rich and I were both exposed to someone who was COVID-19 positive. After 9 months of being so incredibly careful…everything was dashed when I was in contact with someone who was COVID-19 positive and not wearing a mask. I was, however. That is not how things work though….it is the person who is COVID positive who need that mask the most. This young person was infected because he played hockey and softball with a guy who was positive. I have to say, I was mad. I was unChristianly mad. I could have gotten very sick even though I had done everything right. I have not been that mad for that long in a very long time….if ever. I have my son’s wedding to go to in 3 1/2 weeks. That has been my first goal to achieve with living with LMS Stage IV…to make it to this wedding. All was going well until this chance crossing with this guy, who is a friend. Rich and I had to go through getting tested early Saturday morning. The kind of tests they use here at the Test Nebraska sites are the nasal swabs…they ones that “practically touch your brains,” as Rich would say. They take a long swab and stick it up one nostril until it touches the back of your throat. Then the tech will spin the swab. They remove the swab and then repeat on the other nostril. It isn’t pleasant, but in the vast scheme of things that I have gone through in the last 10 months, it wasn’t too awful. If you ask Rich, he will have a different answer though. We were tested on a Saturday morning and the lab did not get our samples until the next morning. The clock started at that point…72 hour wait. We received our NEGATIVE results this morning at 0500. But we had to go through all the scenarios for the three days we were waiting for our results to come back…the impact to our family….Lily being able to start school (which she will be live once a week and the first day is tomorrow)…the wedding….our business possibly having to close for awhile…and no chemo treatment for me. It was really awful to always have that in the back of your mind and it really could have been avoided with the simple wearing of a mask. Sigh. So I support the wearing of masks…physical distancing. I am not living in fear. I am living my life as best I can without losing it to a nasty virus that could easily kill me. I know I will have to be careful at the wedding….but this is my child’s wedding day and I won’t miss it or sit in a corner. Actually, I can’t wait! My other two kids are in the wedding so I will be a weepy mess I have a feeling. Good tears though!
I wanted to thank Judi Wilson for a wonderful book…. “The Boy, the Mole, the Fox, and the Horse” by Charlie Mackesy. It is a book about friendship and just being who you are. It is a very short read, but an impactful one. I have considered Judi my best friend since we met in Minnesota in 1997. We had 5 kids between us and we were each others’ sanity check. Nothing has changed 23 years later. We now have 6 kids between us and 5 of them are adults. A whole new challenge. Anyhow, I hope you all are well and you are all staying safe!