I know what they’ll ask her. Do you have a fever? Do you have a cough? Have you been in contact with anyone that’s tested positive for COVID-19? They asked me these questions last week when I picked up a prescription for Mom. No. No. No. Those were my answers, so they ushered me inside. But if Mom answers yes to any of these questions, they’ll send her around the building to urgent care to be tested for the coronavirus.
He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High
will rest in the shadow of the Almighty.
Last Friday, Mom developed an allergic reaction to a medicine her doctor prescribed for an infection. I talked with the pharmacist and a nurse and I gave Mom Benadryl, which thankfully stopped the reaction. But now her doctor deemed it essential that she have blood work done, so we went to the one place I wanted to avoid, the place all sick people go.
Surely, He will save you from the fowler’s snare
and from the deadly pestilence.
Over a week ago, I circled the Kaiser parking lot and noticed a small blue tent set up outside urgent care where they kept patients being tested for the coronavirus. At the time a young Asian woman sat in a chair with her son. They wore masks and looked so incredibly alone. And scared.
So what if Mom does have a cough? Will they send her there? To sit in the same chairs that held others who tested positive? Naturally, they’ll disinfect those chairs and everything else the patients may have touched. But when the COVID-19 death toll has skyrocketed to more than 37,000 and you realize you may contract it, you begin to ask yourself these questions.
A thousand may fall at your side,
ten thousand at your right hand,
but it will not come near you.
The fact is, Mom does have a cough, a side effect of her blood pressure medicine. But an overzealous nurse could refuse her entry and send her to the blue tent outside urgent care where people have tested positive for COVID-19.
You will not fear the terror of night,
nor the arrow that flies by day,
nor the pestilence that stalks in the darkness,
nor the plague that destroys at midday.
Do I think Mom has the coronavirus? No. Do I think she’ll get it? No. But fear isn’t rational. It’s the voice that keeps asking, “What if?” It’s the one station in your head radio that loves to be played but should be ignored.
He will cover you with His feathers,
and under His wings you will find refuge;
His faithfulness will be your shield and rampart.
Yes, we must take this pandemic seriously. And when it comes to protecting the health of the elderly, one can’t be too cautious. We’re washing our hands and distancing ourselves from others. We’re wearing masks and disposable gloves in public places. We aren’t letting anyone into the house, not even the hospice aide that comes to bathe Dad.
So yesterday I drove Mom to Kaiser for her blood work with Dad in tow. Thankfully, the trip was uneventful, as they allowed Mom to pass through the front entrance with no problem. That’s the thing about fear. About 99% of the things you worry about happening never really happen. You play out scenarios in your head and they’re so far from reality that afterward, you feel foolish for having thought them.
The fact is, I have nothing to fear because I am a child of God. That doesn’t mean I won’t go through difficult times. I’m going through a big one right now caring for my Father who has Alzheimer’s. But it does mean that whatever I go through, I’m not flying solo. My Sovereign, Loving, Omniscient and Almighty Heavenly Father will go through everything with me. That’s one of His many promises ~ to never leave me or forsake me. But it’s up to me whether I’ll listen to Him or that voice of fear.
“Because he loves me,” says the Lord, “I will rescue him;
I will protect him, for he acknowledges my name.
He will call on me, and I will answer him;
I will be with him in trouble,
I will deliver him and honor him.
With long life I will satisfy him
and show him my salvation.”
If I listen to fear, it grows to a point of overwhelming me. But if I ignore that voice of fear and hold onto God’s promises, not only does the fear eventually go away, it’s replaced by a peace that transcends all understanding. I’d be a fool not to choose that every time.