Open Blogging, Personal Stories, Safe Churches, Self-Care, SPIRITUAL SOUNDING BOARD

Checking In: How Are You Holding Up Under the COVID-19 Lockdown?

We haven’t done a check-in post and I thought it would be a good idea to see how everyone is doing.

Kathi and I are very fortunate to be considered essential employees and have continued to work full-time during this COVID-19 lockdown. I’ve been home working since March 13 and I think Kathi has been home working remotely around the same amount of time. I also had a move that same weekend (all went well) and I am transitioning nicely at my new place.

Check out these cherry blossoms from my front yard when they were in full bloom – absolutely gorgeous.

I am sure grateful for the two months I had face-to-face with my co-workers in January and February. That gave me a chance to get to know them personally and made the transition to working remotely go smoothly. There is definitely something to be said about the in-person connections we have with people, and I think I will certainly appreciate it when we can meet together again.

My church is hosting live Facebook services each Sunday. That has gone well. One week, they “hid” items for the kids to find during the sermon (ie, a smiley face Post-It note was found on the bottom of the coffee mug, which was only seen when the pastor lifted his mug for a sip of coffee). I thought that was such a cute idea. My small group from church has been meeting on Zoom once per week. I have come to really enjoy this small gathering. It’s been a safe and encouraging place, whether on Zoom, or in person. Again, it is the connections that have really made a difference and lightened my spirits during this pandemic.

My two daughters are living in other states and I have wanted a way for all seven of the kids to connect, so we have begun having Zoom meetings every other week. Interestingly, my 14-yr old son has been the one to remind me days before to make sure everyone has all the details. I think he has really needed it! Because they all don’t keep up with each other very well on their own, this has been a great opportunity to catch up and connect. Next time we gather, we are going to play Bingo. I purchased a pdf on Etsy to print out Bingo cards. This will be fun. One kid mentioned throwing in a small amount of money to play blackout at the end for a monetary jackpot. That might be fun. No matter what we do, there is no price tag on being together!

Switching subjects briefly, my friend and pastor, Ken Garrett is hosting a SAFE (Spiritual Abuse Forum for Education) meeting online the first Friday in May. I really enjoy going to these meetups in Portland when I’m in town. Now you can check it out no matter where in the world you are. Click below for more details. I hope to be there (virtually).



So . . . how are you doing with this pandemic? How is it affecting you emotionally and spiritually? Are you staying connected with people? What kinds of things are you doing at home? Are you doing anything differently? How can we pray for you? What kind of challenges have you had? What have you learned during this time?

Feel free to chime in. We’d love to hear from you!

22 thoughts on “Checking In: How Are You Holding Up Under the COVID-19 Lockdown?”

  1. Nice gesture to check up on fellow bloggers. My husband and I are also blessed to not be affected by COVID-19. I am teleworking and he is a Captain supervising approximately 130 employees throughout North Florida and South Georgia. He is also a minister and live stream on Facebook Sunday morning sermon and Wednesday evening Bible Lessons. Be safe

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  2. Yes, I’ve been home since March 13th. Our office is considered essential, so I go in once a week to check mail. Work is incredibly busy because so much of my job revolves around employees’ pay. I’m also in the middle of a big project being implemented in a few months. The work is ramping up to that. While I don’t mind working from home, I think the hardest thing is that when I left the office, I could mentally leave my work there. Now it’s on my mind all the time. That being said, I am incredibly thankful that the company is taking our health and welfare seriously as well as proud of the business decisions that are being made to assist employees and front line workers during this time.

    Even though I’m feeling exhausted most of the time, I’m finding ways to relax and take care of myself. Frequent walks with the dog, yoga, knitting, and watching the unknown number of shows out there. I am thankful that my family is remaining healthy through all of this.

    My volunteer work is suspended at the moment. That has been difficult for me because we know the impact that isolation can have for those in abusive environments. Most of our community agencies are closed or are operating at limited capacity. The helper/empath in me is concerned.

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  3. So many are experiencing similar issues, BrokenYetCherished. I’m sorry this time is difficult for you. Please keep us posted on how you are doing. There are many here who truly care.

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  4. I’m teleworking and our state has been less affected than some so I’m mostly ok…think it’s going to kill the relationship I’m in though. Too much togetherness too soon. Oh well.

    This is the first week I’ve really felt like I miss everybody and want to go out but I’m also worried they’re about to open everything too soon.

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  5. I still work at the same hospital where I’ve worked for the last seven years, at least for now. I’ve survived two recent rounds of layoffs, so that’s been stressful. In addition, the hospital’s parent company laid off more than 400 workers at its various facilities last week. This is due, in large part, to the governor’s order banning elective surgeries in order to free up hospital beds for COVID-19 patients. How ironic that health care workers are paying such a heavy price during a pandemic.

    I haven’t caught COVID-19 since it was declared a pandemic. I caught some mystery respiratory bug a few weeks before the pandemic declaration and am wondering if that’s what made me sick. If so, then all I got was a glancing blow. I turned 60 last fall and have some health issues so I’m considered to be in a higher risk category from COVID-19.

    The isolation is really getting to me; so are the restrictions on everyday life. The area of the hospital where I work is sparsely populated these days thanks to the combination of the elective surgery ban as well as a near-total ban on visitors. Online church simply isn’t the same as being there; the two ministries where I have some connection are currently on indefinite hold. And I’m frankly annoyed with the bouncers and cattle chutes I encounter when I shop at grocery or bog-box stores.

    Thanks for checking on us, Julie Anne. You’re doing better than my church is doing. I haven’t heard from a soul there since we stopped having in-person services seven weeks ago, other than the older folks I’ve checked on in recent weeks.

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  6. Lea, I’m concerned it might be too soon, too. I sure wish we had more testing done and had better understanding of the virus. This is so difficult. I’m glad you’ve been able to telework!

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  7. Singleman – Thanks for sharing honestly how you are doing. I really wanted to know how people are doing. Isolation is no fun at all. And you’re right, online church isn’t the same. I’m sad that no one has checked in on you, but smiled when I read that you have checked on others. Good for you!

    Well, hang in there and please do post if you need to – for any reason. We’re all in this together! Take care!

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  8. For my family, it’s “cope with Dad working from home most of the time”, but more importantly, it’s wedding planning. My eldest daughter is engaged, wedding day is June 13, even if it has to be via Zoom. Any gas savings from not driving everywhere are being eaten up, quite literally, since we’ve got our college students home. Three oldest daughters are also working intermittently at a nursing home–cause for concern, I guess, but no problems yet. Daughter #3 is already kinda disgusted with what she sees in food service there.

    Big blessing is that we don’t have a ton of driving to do, difficulty is that we’re getting to sew the bridesmaids’ dresses (well, my wife and daughter are anyways) because China was shut down when daughter #1 got her ring. They look great–far better than store bought IMO–but it can be difficult.

    Other thing of interest; my wife and I are getting into “wedding shape” with the groom’s parents, and in the process, I’m learning more about the ins & outs of COVID than I ever thought I would, as the groom’s father is a pathologist at Mayo.

    So we’re coping pretty well, but obviously have some unease about what’s coming forward with this.

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  9. (yes, with six kids, sheltering in place does not exactly amount to isolation. praying for y’all whose situations are different!)

    (one other note; it did my heart good to see how cheerful and playful Ashland is, even after what she’s been through. What a ray of sunshine!)

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  10. Oh my; so much to learn, Bike Bubba! I have yet to hear about my cousin-nephew whose wedding is also that day. I head the shower committee at my church and we had to re-work the 3 bridal showers planned; one yet to be done. I don’t sew, but know someone who does and I would hire her immediately if I was in your shoes. There’s so much talk about not wanting to buy anything “made in China”, which I have mixed feelings about. On one hand, it feels unfair to those in China who had no part in starting or spreading the virus. On the other hand, as a small business owner, I find the idea of supporting local to be a really good idea to re-build our economy.

    How I’m doing? My job in group homes is essential, and though it’s not perfect, we’re working together to make sure we’re supporting our clients and each other well. My piano student number is down by half. Zoom recital is a plan that’s still a work in progress. My church is livestreaming on Sundays, and Life Groups meet via Zoom. Not the same, but we’re all learning new and creative ways to stay connected and worship together. Here’s one special bonus you should know about. As it was this site that first introduced me to David Wesley’s YouTube, and virtual choirs. Several people in my church now have found it too. Now we’ll see how many of us are able to join the next one.

    Living alone, it does get lonely sometimes, but reading reports of those stuck with abusive partners makes me thankful for it. Had my hubby lived, he would’ve been at high risk, and I shudder to think I may have lost him to the virus, which would mean not getting to be with him in hospital; just waiting to hear the verdict, and not being able to fully have a funeral. So I’m thankful for the memories of how it really was.

    Otherwise, yes, eager for even one small step towards “back to normal”. The number of current “sufferers” in my province is a lot less than the number of those recovered, and the death count is low so far. There’s talk of what the first small steps will be and when. The answers of immunity vs possible re-infection, and how long someone remains a carrier I’m still waiting for. I read about anti-body tests happening in the US, but not in Canada yet. They only test those with symptoms so no one can know if they’re a silent carrier. And sometimes I really WANT to know!

    Anyway, thanks for the check-in; God bless you lovely folks.

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  11. @Singleman:

    I caught some mystery respiratory bug a few weeks before the pandemic declaration and am wondering if that’s what made me sick.

    You’re not the only one.

    Near the end of January/beginning of February I came down with a weird flu-like bug for a few days. First day fever and actual chills (the latter being very rare for me, even with full-honk flu), then a serious bronchitis cough for a couple days that lessened gradually over the next two-three months.

    This was similar to a bout with bronchitis I had a couple years before. By the time I saw my doc, bug was over except for the cough, so he just reinstated the albuterol inhaler precription from back then.

    Since then, I’ve been hearing about a lot of people (scattered all over) who had come down with a similar bug around the same time. My writing partner in central Pennsylvania reported it in his area around the same time, and the comment threads of several blogs have mentioned it with anecdotes like yours.

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  12. Regarding the antibody tests, my daughter’s future father in law (and cycling buddy of mine) notes that the alpha and beta errors (false positives and negatives) are fairly high for all COVID tests. So to get to a good level of confidence, you’ve got to (sigh) have symptoms & diagnosis, and the tests really only make things marginally more confident. So we are still going fairly blind in terms of the lab tests. (better than nothing, but it’s just difficult) It’s not at a point where I could go in (daughter #2 visited Seattle and might have been exposed), get tested, find I’m positive for antibodies but negative for virus, and say “hey, let me work here because I’m immune”.

    Regarding the dresses, my wife & kids have been sewing for years….and we’ve got a wonderful business-lady in town (Ginny’s Fine Fabrics of Rochester MN) who helps us out, too. It might have been nice to order them, but when would they have arrived, would they have fit, and for that matter, what else would have been on that fabric? Too many questions, and thankfully, it’s been fun for them.

    One thing that is a big blessing for us these days is that, with our purchases (or lack thereof), we’re getting the chance to decide, to a degree, which businesses survive, and which do not. Yes, going to local owned businesses where we know the owners and workers, absolutely.

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  13. Thanks for trying to keep in touch with us, Julie Anne. It’s been a strange time for me in Japan.

    Currently, I’m the manager and sole teacher at a small English conversation school in Niigata. I kept classes going through the end of March, but when cases of COVID-19 started spiking in major cities, I talked it over with the owner and others, and decided to put all lessons on hiatus. The Prime Minister’s declaration of a state of emergency helped me feel better about that choice, though with no real sense of relief. The state of emergency is scheduled to last until May 6, the end of the Golden Week holiday period, which will likely become a turning point in this country, one way or the other.

    As far as money goes, I’m fine for now. The school’s future, however, is uncertain. No revenue is coming in, and we still have to pay the bills etc. If I can’t safely resume classes soon (by the start of June, most likely), the business likely won’t survive without government assistance, so the owner has told me to prepare for the worst. She’s in her home country and can’t travel, but her husband as been helping me with the necessary paperwork to apply for business assistance, as well as unemployment insurance, just in case.

    I stay at home for the most part, going to the classroom a few times a week to check mail & messages. Cleaning and paperwork tasks keep me busy in both places. Given the nature of my job, and my rather introverted disposition, I’m somewhat used to being on my own. Also, it’s a bit of a relief that I don’t have to take care of anyone else. But I miss the contact with my students, and feel badly that the owner’s school is suffering so badly on my watch. I’ve been racking my brains, trying to think of a way to teach my lessons online, but I just can’t come up with anything that wouldn’t exclude anyone. It’s so discouraging, letting everyone down like this.

    Praying often, and doing use my time well and stay positive.

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  14. Since then, I’ve been hearing about a lot of people (scattered all over) who had come down with a similar bug around the same time.

    Weird. Something like that happened to me. I caught some bug in the middle of February, and it knocked me flat. Started out like a nasty flu, and the symptoms kept me home for a week, but after that I got back to work pretty much as normal.

    My doctor assured me that it wasn’t COVID-19, since I hadn’t been to any trouble spots, and my symptoms didn’t match up. He said it was likely an RS (respiratory syncytial) virus, and the meds he gave me cleared it up OK.

    I wonder why so many people have had a similar experience.

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  15. SKIJ I hope things work out for your school, it’s obviously not something that you can control.

    This hit during cold/flu/allergies season, so I think a lot of people had ‘something’, but what that something is is anybody’s guess! I had to travel for work in February and got pretty sick for a few days, but it doesn’t sound like the symptoms are consistent with this thing to me so i’m guessing it was just a bad cold. We may eventually have better data on all that.

    I’m introverted enough that i’ve been mostly ok, but i’m in a breakup right now and would rather be able to go out with my girlfriends and see coworkers and so on.

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  16. Julie Anne, I want you to know that during this most difficult and chaotic time , your inquiries and sincere concern for our safety and well-being did not go unnoticed. You are very much appreciated . As for myself, it is only recently that I’ve been able to function outside of my mind’s survival mode. A traumatic experience just prior to the pandemic has left me feeling completely alone and overwhelmed. I have lost my entire life and everyone I loved with it. I have absolutely no idea what, exactly, it is that I am supposed to do next. Oh, I am so sorry. Please forgive me for venting at you. This place has become my own private sanctuary. It is one of the few places I can feel safe. And that means the world to me.

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  17. JustJaxUK, your comment really touched me – that you were so willing to be transparent about what you’ve recently gone through here. I can feel the pain just reading your words, and I’m so, so sorry that you are going through this difficult season.

    I don’t know what challenges you are facing, but I will say that reaching out to safe people can be very helpful. Also, don’t bite more than you can chew . . . think “one day at a time.” Ask yourself: what can I do today to be safe and secure. What can I do so I can move forward in light and truth.

    Feel free to reach out privately if you like. spiritualsb@gmail.com

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  18. SKIJ – – thanks for checking in. You’ve dealt with some heavy stressors in the past months with your mother’s passing and now this pandemic. My thoughts are definitely with as you go through this COVID mess. You come to mind every so often when I see you around responding at familiar sites. Take care and please keep us posted on how you’re doing!

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  19. You’ve dealt with some heavy stressors in the past months with your mother’s passing and now this pandemic.

    Yep. And today was Mother’s Day. Combined with the anxiety regarding my job (which got a whole lot worse this week), it hasn’t been a very cheery weekend. 😦

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