On Thursday, March 18, Yolo County, CA instituted a shelter-in-place order to begin the next day until April 7th. Here’s a tweet where I marked the event.
On that same day the Governor Newsom announced a statewide stay-at-home order. Here is a screenshot from my phone:
Recently both the county and state extended the lockdown to May 1st, and it could be even longer. I plan to post a weekly journal updated every day or two to mark thoughts, reflections, and news related to life sheltering-at-home.
Friday, April 10, 2020
Happy Good Friday. Here’s a tweet with a link to a message I shared in 2017 at Davis Chinese Christian Church:
Dr. Francis Collins Prayers from Science and Faith in Pandemic Times
Dr. Francis Collins, the current NIH Director, gave an interview on a webcast Monday. In Science and Faith in Pandemic Times, Collins provided timely information on the coronavirus pandemic. About half way in he begins to address matters of faith.
Near the end, he shared what he is praying for. Lori and I have used his thoughts for our own prayer times, which I share here.
- Healthcare providers who are putting themselves in harms way and many quarantined from their families.
- Families who have lost jobs and are in severe economic distress.
- Researchers working night and day to come up with a treatment and vaccine to save lives.
- Church, that this would be a time where church fellowship can provide spiritual nurture.
- Myself, that I would understand something about myself and learn from it. Joshua 1:9 to be strong and courageous, and not to grow weary.
How are you praying during the pandemic? Is it difficult to pray in the face of so much tragedy?
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Wednesday, April 8, 2020
Creative Art During the Covid-19 Outbreak (Lori)
Recently, I recalled a creative exercise I did with a small group last summer. I was looking for a way to incorporate an artistic element into reading an excerpt from the Bible.
Although I’m not the best at drawing or painting, I modified the exercise for myself so that I could enjoy it and remember what part of the reading impacted me. I repeated the exercise during this pandemic—it’s the same reading from the Bible: Psalms 1. Using leftover scrapbook pages, I created the background and banner that I wanted.
In the future, I feel depicting Spring in full bloom will remind me when the coronavirus outbreak happened. I have confidence that I will look back on this unusual time in my life and remember how my faith in God sustained me like a tree planted by streams of water.
Tuesday, April 7, 2020
Treating My Lungs While Not Worsening My Skin (Howard)
One of my biggest concerns during the lockdown is needing to go to the medical clinic or hospital. I want to avoid exposure to the novel coronavirus if at all possible. That even means having groceries from Costco delivered to our house where we disinfect before putting them away in the kitchen.
It especially means avoiding medical facilities.
Two weeks ago my breathing became quite labored. As the tree pollen counts elevated, my asthma flared. I needed the rescue inhaler two to three times a day. The steroid inhaler couldn’t control my asthma any longer. With Covid-19 attacking the lungs, I desperately wanted my breathing to improve just in case.
I then remembered asking my primary care doctor for a stronger asthma inhaler last June. Fortunately, I stored the filled prescription in my drawer for the combination steroid powder inhaler. It took about five days after starting treatment before I could breathe easily without the rescue inhaler.
In the back of my mind I wondered if the inhaler photosensitizes my skin. I still use ultraviolet light treatments at home to mainly control my atopic dermatitis. I didn’t want to create a new problem when solving another.
My skin slightly burned from the first phototherapy treatment after starting the new inhaler. I backed down the dose about a third for the next treatment. Again my skin burned. And again the next time. I concluded that the asthma medication photosensitizes my skin.
I’m taking a break from phototherapy for a few days to let my skin recover. I don’t want to stop my asthma medication since it’s working so well. I’ll try to step down my dose even more to see if I can still control the rashes on my skin on half or less of the dose I used before.
I’ve missed my dermatology check-up appointment already due to the pandemic. Good thing my doctors are quick to reply to messages. Hopefully, I can control my asthma and eczema without the need to see them in person.
Monday, April 6, 2020
A Time to Pray as Passion Week Begins (Howard)
Each day Lori and I read a section from the The Divine Hours: A Manual from Prayer by Phyllis Tickle. In one of the readings I felt challenged by a quotation as I thought about the passion week that started yesterday, Palm Sunday.
Jesus has many lovers of His heavenly kingdom, but few bearers of the cross. He has many seekers of consolation, but few of tribulation. . . . All desire to rejoice in Him; Few are willing to endure anything for him. Many follow Jesus as far as the breaking of bread, but few to the drinking of the cup of passion.Thomas à Kempis
It is a time to reflect on the cross, on tribulation, endurance, and bearing the suffering of Christ. I want to do something to help those in the teeth of the pandemic, but I feel so inadequate. I am not a healthcare professional, and my church wants me to rest during my sabbatical.
Besides checking on friends and family, and joining video calls from time to time, I will pray, meditate, and write. Praying, although seemingly not as practical, is exactly what I need to do. I need to see God in the midst of the tragedy of sickness, death, and loss.
It is in quietness as I shelter at home that I seek God not only for myself, but for those who need Him most to endure the suffering and tribulation of the coronavirus pandemic.
Holy week is still holy and set apart because it’s about Christ and His passion, but not about what I do or if I can go to church to worship or not.