It’s not “living in fear”

I’ve seen this “Chain letter” going around Facebook about how people are living in fear because of Covid and how we’re going to look back in a few years saying we wasted a whole year of our lives being at home.

In my opinion, I didn’t waste a whole year of my life. Yes, I stayed home 95% of the pandemic, but I still had a very fruitful 2020. I got married. I got pregnant. I found my love for baking again. My relationship with my husband is as strong as ever. I’ve been able to declutter. I took up some new hobbies. I grew my relationships with my friends. I was able to save money since I wasn’t traveling or eating out as much. I’m fortunate to have a new job and be able to provide for me and my family. I’m grateful that I am alive. That I have both my parents and in-laws. That I have my sister. I have my husband. And we have a healthy son on the way. This pandemic has tested me mentally, physically, and emotionally, but guess what? I’m still here and I’m still living the best life I can with what I am given… and to me, that doesn’t sound like a wasted year.

I don’t need to be out of the house. I don’t need to surround myself with dozens of people – whether it’s family, friends, coworkers, or strangers. Maybe it’s the introvert in me that didn’t mind? Wearing a mask doesn’t infringe me from living my life. In fact, I didn’t get my usually 6 colds and the flu last year thanks to wearing my mask when going out and staying at home. In all honesty, it’s how you perceive life. And if you think being “safe” is wasting life, then you might want to reevaluate what having a fruitful life is truly about.

As we are approaching almost a full year of being in this “lock down mode” due to COVID19, I do and understand that “pandemic fatigue” is a real problem. I understand how it can be weighing on people. The lack of social interactions or even seeing the sun and sky can really have its toll on people. I get that.

I miss my friends – most of them I haven’t seen since 2019. I miss my family (outside of my immediate bubble). I miss traveling. I miss Disneyland. I miss going out to eat. I miss everything and anything I did pre-Covid (except sitting in traffic). I wish I was able to celebrate our wedding last year. Or even put together our dream wedding with all of our family and friends. I wish Taylor and I were able to share the joy of announcing we are having a son – or even having a baby shower to celebrate him. However, I also understand that right now is not the time to be insensitive to what is going on. We are still in a pandemic. Just because numbers are lowering it does not mean it’s completely safe.

It is MY CHOICE to stay at home.
MY CHOICE to not go to family and friends gatherings.
MY CHOICE to wear a mask.
MY CHOICE to want to stay 6 feet or more from people.

To say I am living in fear because I take this virus serious is disrespectful not to me and MY CHOICES, but to the 2.4 million people worldwide who had their lives taken due to the virus. For the even more millions of people who have been directly affected by Covid – whether they contracted the virus or their loved ones did.

You may have been lucky to not have someone close to you die. Imagine how those people felt saying “Bye” to their loved ones through FaceTime or not being able to say “bye” to them at all. To say it was “their time” is disgusting – tell that to my cousins who lost their grandparents and didn’t get to say bye to them because of Covid.

You’re lucky if you don’t have a loved one fighting for their lives laying alone on a hospital bed. You’re lucky if you can still see your family, hug your children and grandchildren, see your siblings, go to the grocery store, and even go to work. There are people who lost their jobs because of covid. And there are people who go into work everyday taking proper safety precautions because they don’t want to get sick. My sister goes to work everyday hoping that her next patient doesn’t have Covid. My nurse friends work their 12 hour shifts wearing their PPE because they don’t want to get themselves or their loved ones sick especially if their patients “didn’t want to live in fear.” Imagine having to go to your every shift wondering if your one patient wasn’t properly flagged as having Covid.

Just because people CHOOSE to be safe and take this virus seriously doesn’t make them a coward. It doesn’t make them live in fear. Having and showing empathy is not a weakness. We do these things because we want to be able to live another day. We want to be able to celebrate another birthday. We want to live out more milestones. And I would not want to be the person who – because of my ignorance and selfishness – takes that away from someone else. I want to be able to have my son. I want to have more children and I want them to know their grandparents. And if someone rips that away from me because they didn’t want to “live in fear” believe me when I say I will never forgive them.

I would love to have my “normal” life back, but I know the term “normal” is never going to happen again. It’ll be a new “modified normal.” Things will reopen. We’ll be able to travel again without having to self-quarantine. We’ll be able to sit in theaters. Go into the office. Have a girl’s night out. Have drinks with friends. It’ll happen… when it’s safe to do so.

Once I am vaccinated… Once things start to open again, best believe I will continue to wear my mask. I am going to continue to respect my personal space, as well as others. Why? It’s not because I’m living in fear, but because as a person with a compromised immune system, do you know how wonderful it was not having a cold or the flu for a whole year? It was amazing. I feel like people seem to confuse living in fear with living smart.

And since there are some people who wrongfully want to bring religion into this:
“What good is it, my brothers, if someone says he has faith but does not have works? Can that faith save him? If a brother or sister is poorly clothed and lacking in daily food, and one of you says to them, “Go in peace, be warmed and filled,” without giving them the things needed for the body, what good is that? So also faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead.” James 2:14-17.

“Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility regard others as better than yourselves. Each of you should look not only to your own interests, but also to the interests of others. Let the same mind be in you that was in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 2:1-5

And finally, the “Golden Rule” for all Christians:
“In everything, do to others what you would have them do to you. . . .” Matthew 7:12

Scripture tells us that we should think about others before ourselves. This is repeated over and over again in the Bible. Our decisions.. how we choose to live life (pandemic or not) should be made with the good of others in mind, not our own personal rights.

Also, if you think that these “rules and regulations” is such an infringement to your life, should we talk about the rules and regulations of the road? Is the speed limit necessary? What about wearing a seat belt or having airbags installed in cars? Or how about the rules and regulations regarding smoking in public places?

So if you continue to want to live your life “not in fear” and not putting others into consideration, please respect my choices when I choose not to come over for someone’s birthday or the holidays, to stay in my bubble, and to keep people from visiting my son when he’s born. Again, it’s not living in fear. It’s living smart.

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