Lessons I Learned From COVID

This is my COVID story. I hope you’ll read it to the end. It’s both funny and serious. It’s about some amazing changes in my palette since COVID. Good changes. There’s a surprise (scary surprise) visitor story. One with sharp teeth and four legs. Really! Some mind-boggling news from the CDC about fear and COVID. And most of all, there’s hope from God’s Word. Thank you for reading.

Rebecca and some of her friends have coined a new acronym—BC—(Before COVID). I added AC (no—not air conditioning) After COVID.

My husband and I have recently pulled into the AC station, still alive and with hearts heavy for the many on the train who didn’t make it. Believe me, it wasn’t a joy ride. It was a terrible trip. One I never want to take again.

At one point, I told the Lord He was welcome to take me home. Apparently, that wasn’t what He wanted because I’m still here. But I feel a great responsibility to do whatever it is God has planned for the rest of my life. I know it’s good, and I can’t wait to get at it!

COVID was horrendous, but, as with all the trials of life, we learned a few things from the experience.

On a lighter note, I learned brushing your teeth drops a few notches in the absolutely-must-do category when you can hardly make it to the bathroom to pee. I would be embarrassed to admit how few times I brushed my teeth during the ordeal. I had just gotten my teeth cleaned BC, and now I’m probably going to have to go back to the dentist and explain why they need to be cleaned again!

One good thing that came out of my ordeal with COVID was that my palette was reset.

I’ve had a long battle with sugar addiction. The CDC says that obesity is the #1 risk factor of death with COVID. Thankfully, I wasn’t obese when I contracted the virus (just a little fluffy!), but I wasn’t eating healthy foods for the most part. I’d eat a salad, then a big bowl of ice cream! Everybody knows you can eat ice cream if you eat a salad first. It’s written somewhere in some book of wisdom, I’m sure!

You know what they say about a habit being formed or broken in twenty-one days. Well, we were out for three weeks, and most of my sugar cravings are gone! I eat a little bit of sugar, but I don’t really crave it. And I’m consuming things I wouldn’t have touched with a ten-foot pole, like “bone broth” and “green tea.” No sodas! So, thank you COVID for that.

Please, don’t go out and try to contract COVID to beat your sugar addiction! There are easier ways, believe me.

I knew BC what wonderful daughters I have.

Rebecca is the nurse in the family. From hundreds of miles away, she nursed us to health while she was sick herself. She sent me medicines, vitamins—some stuff I had never heard of before and hope to never hear of again.

Try drinking water and pink salt!

Oh, you can put some honey in it—but don’t think it’s going to help the taste. I’m sure it did help us get better, but that didn’t mean we had to like it.

Rebecca made sure I took everything at the prescribed time, in the prescribed amounts. I say I because my husband wasn’t as good a patient as I was. Men!

I’m not sure I would be writing this article without her loving care.

Thank you, Rebecca! I love you so much.
Another thing I learned is that there are some truly kind people in the world.

My husband and I are work camping in the beautiful (smoke-filled) Tahoe National Forest. The crew of about a dozen people is a diverse bunch: young, old, middle-aged. Not too many church-goers in the group, as far as I know, but they acted in a way that I’m sure pleased God. In fact, what they did for us, they did for Jesus, whether they knew it or not.

In Matthew 25 Jesus said, “For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, I was naked and you clothed me, I was sick and you visited me, I was in prison and you came to me.” The people responded with, When did we see you hungry and give you food? And on down the line. Jesus told them, “Whatever you do to the least of these my brothers and sisters, you do to me.”

I’ve written a book about this. It’s free on Amazon. Please download it.

Our picnic table became the landing place for food, medicine, protein drinks, even clean sheets because we sweated our fevers out on the ones we had with us. I thank them all from the bottom of my heart!

And the part about “I was in prison and you came to me.”? Believe me, a cab over camper feels like prison when you have COVID!

Oh! And I can’t neglect to mention another visitor!

Although I’m not so sure this visitor had such good intentions for us. When we felt good enough to get out of the camper, the forest was full of smoke. As much as my husband and I love one another, when you’re spending the summer in a camper you just have to get some space between you occasionally. Because the air was almost unbreathable (we’re between the Dixie fire and the Caldor fire) I would go sit in the truck and try to read. One time I took some crackers with me—and I did something you never do in the forest—I left them on the dash of the truck. The next day we saw two distinct paw prints on the hood of our truck. I can only show one because the picture would be too wide. The shadow is me.

bear paw on our truck hood

Apparently, a bear was trying to get to the crackers and decided it wasn’t worth the effort. Believe me, if he’d wanted Ritz crackers, he could have gotten them. There are some “interesting” bear stories up here about how easily a bear can open a door. When my husband cleaned the prints off, there were scratches beneath them! Glad that visitor didn’t stay around.

One of the greatest things I learned during this ordeal was thankfulness.

Thankfulness is what I felt the first morning I woke up and realized I felt better than I had the day before.

Thankfulness is what I felt when Rebecca told me how many people were praying for us. I’ve tried to return the favor by praying daily for everyone I know who has COVID. When we’re sick, it’s hard for us to pray for ourselves. We need someone to take on that burden for us. Years ago, I remember someone saying to a friend, “I’m going to carry your burden for you. I’m going to pray. You just rest and relax. I’ve got you.” What a relief to know that someone is praying for us when we’re too tired or discouraged to do more than say, “Help me, Lord.” That is living the love of God.

Thankfulness is what I felt the morning I woke up and realized COVID had left the station. It left behind a raspy cough and fatigue, but it was gone. A lot of COVID victims have said they felt almost like there was something foreign inhabiting their bodies. That was my experience as well. It’s a strange feeling, like nothing I’ve ever felt before. That morning it felt like whatever it was had packed its bags and moved out in the night. My husband and I are still working at regaining our strength, but we’re back on the job and doing better every day. Thank you, Lord!

As I was writing this article, a young woman I knew died of COVID.

I communicated with her on Facebook for a few days before she died. She told me how scared she was and who could blame her? She died a couple of days ago, leaving a husband and three children. It was hard to believe. My heart hurt so much for her family.

Did fear play a part in her death?

I don’t know, but the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has cited anxiety and fear-related disorders as the #2 risk factor for death from COVID-19, behind obesity and followed by diabetes with complications.

The study was done in 800 hospitals with 4,899,447 hospitalized patients. That’s almost 5 million patients. And they found fear was the #2 killer in COVID deaths.

Think of it! Fear is more dangerous to your health than diabetes!

So where does our fear come from? I’ll tell you where it doesn’t come from. It doesn’t come from God.

II Timothy 1:7 For God has not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.

We all experience fear from time to time, but it’s important to recognize where it comes from and rebuke it. Satan is the tormentor.

But what does God give us? Power!—which means force in the Greek.

We have the power to force Satan to flee using the name of Jesus. God gives us love, and He gives us a sound mind. HE DOES NOT GIVE US A SPIRIT OF FEAR! So when we fear, we know where it’s coming from.

Shawn Stevenson has an enlightening video on the subject of what fear does to our immune system.

He’s the author of Eat Smarter, which I’ve been reading and implementing in my AC search for knowledge about what foods I should be eating to stay healthy and improve my brainpower. The right foods do that, you know!

And I want to be the healthiest, smartest old lady on the block!

Shawn also talks about how being bombarded with fear-filled news affects our minds, which, in turn, affects our bodies and makes us more vulnerable to disease—and the responsibility of the news media in propagating constant fear.

We have to take some steps to limit our exposure to the news. Thankfully, we can’t get TV where we’re at. We catch the highlights on our phones, and that’s enough.

If fear undermines our immune system, what do you think might have the opposite effect?
Psalm 17:22 A happy heart is good medicine and a cheerful mind works healing, but a broken spirit dries up the bones.

A happy heart IS good medicine. Literally. That is an accepted scientific fact. But it was in the Bible before scientists discovered it. A broken spirit dries up the bones. It sucks the life out of us.

So how can we be happy under these circumstances?
Philippians 4:8 In conclusion, brothers, focus your thoughts on what is true, noble, righteous, pure, lovable or admirable, on some virtue or on something praiseworthy.

FOCUS YOUR THOUGHTS!

We can do that!

I focus on the scriptures I’ve memorized. That has helped me more than anything. There’s hope in the Scripture. And when we commit it to memory, it’s there when we need it.

The Bible tells of things that will happen right before the coming of Christ. It reads like our morning newspaper. But whether we’re in that time or not, we can take the advice the Scripture gives concerning it.

Luke 21:28 And when these things begin to come to pass, then look up, and lift up your heads; for your redemption draws near.
Let’s look up. Not down!

Let’s lift up our heads and look away from the fear that surrounds us to the hope of redemption. We won’t look away from suffering people, but we’ll look at them through eyes of love and hope. And we’ll pray.

Romans 14:8 For if we live, we live to the Lord, and if we die, we die to the Lord. So then, whether we live or whether we die, we are the Lord’s. 

Read our post Why Do Many Christians Live Their Lives in Fear of Dying 

What hope there is in these words! What peace! We are the Lord’s. He hasn’t forgotten us. Oh, what joy it brings to know we are His. He will never leave us or forsake us.

Rebecca and I pray for your continued safety, and that God will bless you greatly through all your trials.