Tonight, a small group from my church gathered via Zoom to discuss more of the book, How to be an Antiracist by Ibram X. Kendi. To start, our priest asked everyone to offer one word for how we felt. I wasn't ready and she asked me to go first. The only word that came to mind was "everywhere."
I feel everywhere today. All over the place.
Maybe that suggests something more panicky or anxious. I'm not really there, but I find myself cycling through a few emotions daily. Angry. Amused. Hopeful. Sad. Puzzled. And maybe a little anxious, though I don't think I ever quite rise to the level of panic.
I do wipe down groceries with a disinfectant wipe when I bring them into my apartment. Tonight I went on a walk and I carried one those wipes with me. I have to go out a gate to leave my complex and I used the wipe to turn the doorknob on the gate. Then I used it to come back in. I used it to touch the crosswalk button at an intersection.
I never thought I'd see the day that I'd be the type of person to not touch things. In fact, I'm realizing how tactile I am. I do like to touch objects, to feel textures. I also have a tendency to shoulder my way through doors, almost full body contact to get into a room. I think I knew that, but I feel it much more urgently now. I'm not doing those things. It feels a little bit like it's not me moving through the world.
I meant to note two emails in my last blog entry. On Friday afternoon, within 2 hours of each other, I first got an email from the apartment complex stating that someone in the complex has tested positive for covid-19. Then I got an email from the president of the university where I work, stating someone in the university community had contracted it. I had never assumed it was far away, but it did feel extra close to get both of those emails so close together.
The tree pollen is terrible in Houston right now. My eyes have been watering and itching all week. I'm about out of eye drops. I'm a wee bit phlegmy from the pollen, and I remind myself all day that the symptom to watch for is a dry cough. Phlegmy is the opposite of a dry cough.
I think too much about the pandemic, but it's hard not to think about it when you haven't been to your office in over a week but you're still working. It's hard not to think about it when you go for a walk but are vigilant to not let anyone get too close to you. It's hard not to think about it when everything about the current moment is a little bit off due to it. It. It is everywhere.
Like my emotions.
It's not terrible. I'm good alone for long periods of time. I'm okay working unsupervised But as I've sometimes said, I'm an introvert, not a misanthrope. I actually enjoy sitting in a coffee shop or restaurant, alone at my table, surrounded by people. I don't need to interact with them, but I enjoy them.
My Facebook feed is also everywhere. I have my atheist friends who occasionally ridicule religion of the sort that claims the power of God over the caronavirus. This, followed by someone posting a call to prayer. I'm always surround by God and reminders of God. I spend all day surrounded by my library, filled with God-books. I see challenges to trust God in this crisis. I see someone post about Psalm 91 as reason to not be afraid and keep living life as normal. I responded to one, "you mean the same Psalm that the devil uses to temp Jesus to do something foolish?" Trust in God, trust that God is present, a comfort and hope, but also doing my best not to put God to the test.
That's where I am in the "God and coronavirus" conversation. I'm willing to stay indoors or carry a disinfectant wipe when I go out, because I'm not interested in putting God to the test.