Cover photo: Downtown Phoenix, AZ as concerns of Coronavirus rise
As I sit here at my computer, hands poised on my keyboard, cats warming themselves in the sunlight streaming through my window, I am struck by the seeming normalcy of it all and I have to remind myself that I now live in a world gone mad.
Fear, although initially debilitating for most, has turned into a sort of complacency now for many, causing them be lax in caution. I almost prefer the fear, minus the mad rush on essential supplies.
Our Governor has ordered all non-essential businesses to close as of today, and issued a stay at home (or shelter in place) order for all in the state of Arizona last week. It’s not as if we can’t go anywhere, but that we should stay at home unless we are performing some essential activity. This becomes easier now that only essential businesses have their doors open. And unless your idea of recreation is grocery or supply shopping, that leaves little in the way of alternatives. That said, outdoor recreation is still allowed. While maintaining safe distances from other recreators, of course. Not a difficult task when everywhere you look resembles a ghost town.
Yesterday we decided to take advantage of this remaining luxury and went hiking in Sedona. Maybe you’ve heard of it? It’s a bustling little town famous for its gorgeous red rocks and stunning natural beauty. Starting today they’re closing many of the touristy trails in order to maintain safe distancing and help curb the spread of the virus. But yesterday.. yesterday we had the place to ourselves! On a trail typically packed with people from all over the state and beyond, we were only two of a handful of people enjoying the great outdoors. And none of the others were very close to us. Apparently most got the word that the trails were closing and thought they already had. We didn’t mind at all!
As wonderful as that was, in all honesty seeing the trails like this was a bit unsettling. As we took in the scene around us, I was in awe of how quiet and serene it was; except for the gentle breeze blowing in the branches of trees and the bubbling brook below us you could have heard a pin drop. It was as if the land and animals were drinking in the peace and quiet, grateful for the reprieve from humanity. The silence was almost tangible and lent to the overarching feeling that life as we know it has irreparably changed.
For any who are familiar with Sedona and its non-stop tourism, consider these photos we took yesterday driving through town at rush hour:
In my circle of friends and acquaintances, I have witnessed a calming effect. Families are spending time together more now than they have in a long time. Out of necessity of course, but they actually seem to be settling into a contented routine that hopefully will outlast this crisis. A friend of mine recently told me that she and her family went on a hike together (something they rarely do) and had their very first outdoor picnic. I’m sure there are those who are not quite so content, but it seems most are reconnecting and even becoming more creative in how they spend their days, eat their meals, and even discover new hobbies. “I don’t have time” is not something I’ve heard anyone say since this self-isolation phase of our existence began four weeks ago.
My husband and I are still working, thanks to the fact that we are considered essential personnel, as both of us work for a company that designs and manufactures life-saving cardiovascular medical devices. We are both support personnel, so thankfully we have been directed to continue our work from home. Only those involved in building our devices are allowed to enter the plants. It’s not easy these days to leave the safety of your home and go anywhere, much less working around others, but they do it everyday knowing that they are on the front line of keeping our devices available for those who need them. They are our heroes and the heroes of those whose lives continue to be saved because of their hard work and dedication.
So, this is a short chapter in what has become my daily life. All in all, I think this pretty much sums it up for my household:
In everything, God is good and He is faithful. I praise Him for keeping us well and even more, I praise Him for providing a way for us to be saved and no matter what this life throws at us, we can say: It is well with my soul!
How about you? How have you been passing the time? Any new hobbies or pastimes? I’d love to hear what’s going on with each of you. God bless you and yours!