Things I Am Thankful for During the Coronavirus Pandemic

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These are certainly unsettling times. I have never seen anything like the coronavirus or the mass panic buying.

We all have a number of concerns—the spread of the virus, health and safety of ourselves and our loved ones, availability of supplies, the economic impact of closed or reduced businesses, and so much more. I’ve cycled through feeling mildly ill-at-ease to full-blown panic to peace and back again. Perhaps you have, too.

As with any other crisis, we remind ourselves of what we know to be true. This situation has not taken God by surprise. He knows our needs. He cares even about a sparrow falling. All our worrying can’t add an hour to our lives and will only make us miserable. If God allows us to suffer in some way, He will provide the grace to deal with it.

As I calm and quiet my soul, I have found plenty to be thankful for.

  • The speed of communication. The Spanish flu, the “Black Death,” and other epidemics spread quickly far and wide before anyone could get on top of them. Even though the current virus spread through our global traveling, global communication got the word out quickly. Every day we can get new information and recommendations almost immediately.
  • Medical technology. We live in unprecedented days for medical research, testing, sharing knowledge and equipment.
  • High levels of sanitation. We’ve come a long way since the plagues of yesteryear in our basic knowledge and practice.
  • Easy ways to sanitize. Though supplies are short right now, most of us already had hand sanitizer, wipes, etc. on hand.
  • Many ways to keep in touch. Social distancing is hard on several levels. But we have phones, texting, FaceTime, social media, and other ways to keep in touch with and check on each other. Churches and other groups have found a way to “virtually” meet. Even though all these are not quite the same as being together, they are far better than nothing.
  • A number of ways to keep busy and entertain ourselves at home. Books, home projects, games, program streaming—we’ve never had more access to more means of entertainment than we do now.
  • Time. I’ve seen friends on social media mention time to slow down, to just hang out with their kids.
  • Humor. Even though the virus is serious, a bit of humor diffuses tension. I don’t know if I ever enjoyed America’s Funniest Home Videos more than I did this week. Clever memes and comments on Facebook and Twitter about the realities of a socially distanced life bring a smile.
  • Courageous and generous people. We’ve been frustrated by those who hoard needed goods and then try to profit by selling them or by price gouging. But many other people are going the extra mile, like health care workers. I read of authors helping other authors whose book launch events were canceled. I’ve heard individual stories of ways someone showed a bit of kindness here or there in stores or other places.
  • The ability to work and take classes at home. No, not everyone can work from home. But everyone who can helps “flatten the curve” that much more and helps all the rest of us. Online teaching ensures that the academic year isn’t lost.
  • Better economy and stewardship. I’ve had a tendency to use some supplies as if they will always be available. Putting more thought and care into how I use things will hopefully carry over when life gets back to “normal.”

All of us face degrees of disappointment in our current situation. Long anticipated commencement services, trips, conferences, and outings have all been cancelled. But comparing what could have been, what has been in past epidemics, to what’s going on now will give us a better perspective.

And some of the systems I mentioned still have room for improvement. But better minds than mine are working on those issues, and we need to give grace that most are doing the best they can in unprecedented circumstances.

Much is out of our control. But we can trust God and take measures to help, to foster safety, and to love our brethren.

Have you found anything to be thankful for during the current crisis?

_____

(I don’t mean to minimize the pain some are going through from illness, loss of someone they loved, or dire need. My heart goes out to those folks. Certainly we need to reach out and support them. But in one sense, that’s all the more reason to be thankful for the steps that are being taken so that as few people as possible will experience this virus.)

(Sharing with Grace and Truth, Inspire Me Monday, Global Blogging, Senior Salon,
Hearth and Home, Purposeful Faith, Happy Now, InstaEncouragement,
Worth Beyond Rubies, Let’s Have Coffee, Heart Encouragement.
Links do not imply  100% agreement.)

37 thoughts on “Things I Am Thankful for During the Coronavirus Pandemic

  1. Thanks for this post, Barbara. I’ve gone the spectrum of emotions with this as well. In the end, I have to remind myself that God is ultimately in charge of my life. I can be in no better hands than His. I do like the humor coming out of all this. It shows that even in dire circumstances, we can find an outlet with laughter.

  2. Excellent post, Barbara. I believe you covered just about all of it. I work from home and my husband is retired so we are minimally affected. We are frugal and lean toward the “prepper” mindset – we are NOT hoarders by any stretch of the imagination. We are hosting a pancake breakfast on Sunday morning for our tiny house village neighbors – just trying to do the next right thing. xo

    • I can’t say I am as frugal as I should be, but this is making me much more thoughtful about how I use things. I do like to keep a little ahead in supplies, though not hoarding–I am reminding myself to be content and trust the Lord for daily needs.

  3. You make some very good points and yes being able to communicate is definitely a good thing. We were blessed with some very good news this week which will hopefully help us get through this.

  4. i too have run the gamut of emotions both negative and positive Barbara. Until I meditated on Easter coming. And then my negativity vanished. I wrote about it in my latest post.

    i’m thankful that our youngest daughter’s university finally made a decision. Looks like she’ll need to come home sometime in the next week or so. She’s going to continue to finish spring break out in NH and then we are just waiting on word from the university as to when she can move the remaining dorm things out. I’m thankful she’s staying with her 2 friends and can start online classes on Monday. I’m thankful my oldest daughter can still go to work and that Dave can work from home and that I am home although bored but i have access to many things to keep me occupied. I’m thankful for Scripture that calms me.
    I’m thankful for blogging friends like you who encourage me.

  5. This post is a blessing, Barbara. We are blessed in the fact that my husband is retired, and we have a surplus of food in the basement that he has grown and I have canned. So food is not of a concern for us and I have also made offers to share our abundance with others. Because of living where we do (about 35 minutes from major stores, etc.) we always try to keep plenty of paper products and I am make my own cleaning supplies. We’ve tried to be as self-sufficient as we possibly could over our 48 years of marriage. My heart aches for those who live in third world countries (like our “adopted” Filipino sons) that don’t have the technology that we have here. There are people there who have no refrigerators or freezers to stock up and they are now on community lockdown from Manila northward on that main island which means they must stay in their homes. And the people in this country who live paycheck to paycheck out of necessity and aren’t able to provide for their families. But God was not surprised by this and He will see us through. My prayers are for those without Christ…that they would not enter eternity without Jesus. Thank you again for pointing us to the things that we have to be thankful for.

  6. Good reminders here! I’m grateful to be introverted in all this; it’s got to be really tough on those who thrive on lots of personal contact.

    • That’s true. I’m a homebody and don’t mind that part of all this. My husband is not an extrovert per se, but he did volunteer to go to the store just to get out of the house. 🙂

  7. I love this post! Yes, truly we have much to be thankful for even in this time of crisis. Thank so helping us all remember the wonderful things we have to be grateful for!

  8. Wonderful post, Barbara. We do need this reminder to keep a grateful attitude and we do have a lot to be thankful for. I am thankful for video chats to keep me in touch with my grandchildren! 🙂

  9. Pingback: Friday’s Fave Five | Stray Thoughts

    • We’ll have our first church service on YouTube tomorrow, and they are trying to figure out the best way to do a group Bible study online. We’re on the last few chapters in Ezekiel in our Bible study–not a good place to leave hanging. 🙂 I love that we have these options.

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  12. I discovered this post via Tim Challies. I love the emphasis of giving thanks. It takes the focus off us the the situation and places it on God. I left a grocery store the other day giving great thanks to our Great God for being able to purchase Kleenex, of all things! I think in many ways America has become like a spoiled prodigal. I know God has many purposes in allowing this and, Lord willing, will accomplish what He wills during this time of earth-shaking. I know I am praying more…joining friends at noon each day (all are welcome) to bow before the Throne. Not to just ask for this to be taken away, but for thanksgiving, protection, wisdom for those in authority and for many to come to the saving knowledge of Jesus.

    • Thanks so much for stopping by and commenting, Linda! I know I have been spoiled, using goods like the supply is unlimited when I should be a better steward. Just because it has been readily available doesn’t mean I should be wasteful–hopefully being more cautious and thoughtful will carry through when this is all over. But, like you, I pray and hope most of all for God’s working in people’s hearts in various ways.

  13. Barbara, thanks for reminding us to look for what we can be thankful for during these trying times. There is always something. And we can have peace knowing that God is in control. Blessings to you!

  14. Barbara, I am grateful we have technology by which we can stay connected with our loved ones and friends. And … I have been able to “visit” so many church services I ordinarily would not have been able to 🙂 Blessings and stay safe!

  15. Yes, there is a lot to be thankful for, and I appreciate your leading the way. We’re being forced to ask ourselves if we truly believe that God is our greatest treasure, and I hope to pay attention to the answer my heart gives me every day of this crisis.

  16. It’s going to be hard to find things to be thankful for as we’ll all be touched by it terribly one way or another. However, for now I’m thankful for communiaction – now you can have video lessons and everyone has their own phone. Imagine when we were kids and there would be a phone – a single line – for families of 5 or 6!! #GlobalBlogging

  17. This is a great list, Barbara! Despite the frustration and uncertainty of the last couple of weeks I have thought how fortunate to have the technology that allows us to stay in touch with others as well as to enable us to work from home and provide entertainment.

  18. This is great, Barbara! I think humor is for sure one of the things I am most thankful for right now. I have seen some of the funniest memes lately!!! Another thing I’m thankful for is communications like you wrote. Especially in light of not being about to meet corporately as a church body.

    Pinned.

    Thanks for linking up at InstaEncouragements!

  19. This is beautifully written, Barbara. I always thought I was a grateful person, but over these last few weeks I have been shocked by how much I took for granted! There’s nothing like facing empty shelves in the grocery store to make you realise you ought to have been more grateful for full ones. I’m grateful for clean water that comes out of the tap, for feeling well and that my family are well, and for hundreds more things! God is indeed full of Grace, and although I am daunted by what lies ahead, I am convinced we will all come out of this much better people than we were before. Thank you for sharing and for being part of the Hearth and Soul Community. Stay safe and well!

  20. Pingback: End-of-March Reflections | Stray Thoughts

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