Getting Through the Covid Positive Experience

I’ve been reading some online articles about the experiences of many people that have gone through the physical and emotional symptoms of testing positive for Covid. There is much written about how to avoid exposure. However, I could not find a lot of material written about enduring the experience itself of finding out you or a loved one or your whole family are affected by this disease. I wanted to help out any reader that is looking for some advice on how to deal with it. This is what our family did to get by. Maybe some of these suggestions will work for you. Maybe some won’t. Take what you want and leave anything that doesn’t apply behind.

My husband and I tested positive for Covid with rapid Covid tests about one day after the other. He was showing many symptoms and is older and diabetic. I, on the other hand, was mostly asymptomatic. I waited in my car outside the urgent care clinic after my swab and was surprised when the nurse called me in and said quietly, “Yes, you also are positive. It is a good thing you came in to test yourself, Mrs. Speer.”

Our kids were subsequently tested the next day and were both negative to our happy surprise. However, we were all going to be in quarantine together. We live in a long ranch home. So, the kids stayed on the south side of the ranch house in the bedroom areas and had their own bathroom. My husband and I chose not to sleep in our bed, due to the cough and the phlegm in our respiratory systems. So, we holed up in the living room and kitchen area on the other side of the house for most of the quarantine. The kids put together a makeshift kitchen in their area with plenty of microwaveable food and snacks and bottles of water. They had their video games and books and remote learning school activities set up in their rooms. They could also watch TV or Netflix. We bought them a few Play Station gift cards at the beginning, so they would be happier.

Ok, so here are some things we did that might help if you are in a similar circumstance:

  1. We opened the windows to the house to let in fresh air and circulate the air better. It was November and a little chilly but my husband and I found as we started to get winded from the disease that the fresh outdoor air helped us breathe a whole lot better.
  2. We kept a vaporizer going at all times in the living room to help us breathe better. I added some Clove essential oil to the water.
  3. We rubbed down our upper lips and chests with mentholateum.
  4. We drank lots of water throughout the day and for some reason, neither my husband nor I could stomach acidic drinks much like coffee or soda. We just stuck to water primarily.
  5. You might lose your sense of smell or some of your ability to taste food for a while. Don’t be alarmed. Just the illness running its course.
  6. We ordered groceries using a phone app and had them delivered to the bench outside the front door. It was pretty simple.
  7. We tried ordering via Door Dash some restaurant food but found that it upset our stomachs. I don’t know why. I wouldn’t really recommend it.
  8. We seemed to prefer more alkaline food.
  9. We ate pineapple too because it is supposed to help with respiratory infections.
  10. We slept on the couches at incline positions and NOT on the beds flat on our backs. I highly recommend doing this so you don’t get the phlegm in your lungs because that stuff is like glue and extremely hard to clear out of your system for some reason.
  11. We took Vitamin D3, Vitamin C, Baby Aspirin, and Zinc Tablets every morning along with the medicine the doctors prescribed.
  12. The whole family upped their personal hygiene levels taking showers every morning with lots of soap and washed our hair every day and brushed our teeth.
  13. My husband was dealing with fluctuating blood sugar levels for about a week. When his blood sugar got high, he would drink more water and restrict food intake. When it got low, we kept honey by his Lazy Boy chair to feed him if needed and we purchased glucose tablets. We bought a portable urinal as well because of the dizzy spells. That helped out immensely.
  14. Keep fans close by and cold towels and ice packs ready in case a family member has a bad fever. If the fever goes to 103 degrees, it is recommended to go to the hospital. A little bit of Tylenol also helps with the fever and headaches.
  15. Have a trusty thermometer at hand and for diabetes, the Freestyle Continuous Monitor is definitely helpful.
  16. Coordinate with your workplace and supervisors early on. Make sure they know what your quarantine dates are from the health department. Learn about the CARE Act and how to continue getting paid. Make sure your check is direct deposited.
  17. If you gotta make meals for other family members that are negative for Covid, purchase plastic gloves for meal preparation and wear a mask when cooking. Leave the food trays outside their area of the house. Always keep at least 6 feet distance from the others.
  18. You can communicate a lot with family via texting.
  19. Get some sunshine outside every day. It will make you feel better and calmer.
  20. Try not to worry too much. Just keep taking one day at a time. Rest and relax your body by watching TV or taking naps.
  21. Find positive things to lift your spirits. Find a happy book or funny show to watch. I got through four seasons of Schitt’s Creek on Netflix and it helped a whole lot.
  22. If you find yourself experiencing some sadness or feeling a little alone with this experience, hey……it is SO NORMAL! Don’t be hard on yourself or your family members. You will get through this. We had a lot of neighbors, family, relatives, etc. that sent prayers and asked how we were doing or sent care packages, etc. However, there were still moments when I felt scared about the future. It’s ok. It’s normal to feel that way. Just don’t dwell too much on the negative.

Ok, that’s probably enough advice. Hope some of these ideas will work for you. Just remember, to take it easy on yourself and your family and trust that good things will happen for your family. Keep the faith.

Lots of love,

Janea

Can We Just Talk?

By J. Speer

No one knew what caused the green algae to spread across the pond, threatening the lives of the turtle pile.  It happened rapidly.  Some turtles suspected it was the rising temperatures.  No one really knew for sure but what they all knew for certain was that they could no longer stay in the pond as the green algae spread out like tentacles seizing nearly the whole habitat of the pond. 

The green algae were first spotted from the top of the turtle pile and orders were directed down amid the ranks of the turtles to watch that portion of the pond more carefully.  It was also ordered from the top that each turtle, one by one, must climb down from the pile and evacuate to the safety of the embankment.  At the embankment, the turtles assembled into groups based on familial connections.  Meanwhile, Yertle the Turtle at the bottom of the pile in the mud was feeling the pressure of trying to balance the turtle pile as they came down one by one.  He too was looking forward to escaping from the green algae that even he could see now from his low vantage point. 

Yertle had stayed at this low level most of his life.  He was used to the mud and over time he accepted it as his lot in life even as the other turtles shifted up and down all along the turtle pile all day every day.  Yertle really didn’t move up nor did he expect to.  His expectations had grown exceedingly low.  He was used to taking orders and he complied with little resistance. 

When the final turtles had climbed off his back and moved to the embankment, Yertle was happy to perhaps join them as well.  He felt an enormous pressure had been lifted for a time being.  He eyed his family of turtles happily as he trudged forward to the embankment. 

But the top boss stopped Yertle.  He said to Yertle that he needed to stay in the pond.  It was essential to the safety of the other turtles.  They needed food to continue feeding the turtle community and Yertle needed to bring the lilly pads from the pond one by one to the embankment for the turtles to eat. 

Yertle looked reluctantly back at the pond and the lilly pads near the spreading green algae.  He eyed the algae with concern and looked back to the top turtle. 

“Are you sure?” he asked hesitantly. 

“Yes,” said the top turtle.  “They need you to stay in the pond.”

Yertle was used to taking orders.  He looked again back to the green algae and then to his own family of turtles waiting on the embankment. 

“Ok,” he said and he slowly turned around to face the pond and wade back in. 

“You won’t be alone,” said the top turtle and he designated two other turtles from the middle of the turtle pile to also go into the pond.  It was a male and female turtle and they were designated the heroes.  They were told to find a way to stop the spread of the green algae on the pond.  The two nodded that they would do the task and then the three turtles went back into the pond together. 

The two turtles got to work right away.  They devised a smart plan to haul old and broken limbs from the nearby forest to the pond.  Using their teeth and working together as a team, they would drag the limbs across the green algae in the pond.  The green algae would then collect onto the limbs and leaves.  Carefully, they would work together to lift the green algae on the broken limbs out of the water and dispose of it far away from the pond in the forest.  They worked tediously day in and day out on slowly gathering limbs and clearing the algae and then disposing of the limbs in the forest.  The hot sun beat down of them as they worked but they never gave up.  They really were hero turtles. 

Meanwhile, Yertle was working just as diligently.  For being a turtle at the lower end of the pile, he was proving to be remarkably resilient and smart in evading the spreading green algae.  He swam about the pond all day long gathering lilly pads in his teeth to slowly take back to the turtle community.  He would get one lilly pad and drop it off at the embankment keeping his distance from the other turtles so he would not put them at risk of the green algae.  Then he would swim back into the pond and move around the green algae to get to another clean lilly pad. 

At first, he was greatly concerned about the threat of the green algae.  But as he worked and worked, he became quite tired and worn out even to the point he almost didn’t care if he got green algae on him.  But he was a smart little turtle and kept trying to be cautious and kept going. 

The three turtles would spend the nights on the embankment but away from the turtle community.  They looked often at their family during these times and their family looked back at them.  Sometimes, during the day, the three turtles would see the turtle community relaxing on the embankment and sunbathing.  They would get a slight twinge of envy but all three turtles kept going without much complaint. 

Things went smoothly until one day as the male and female turtle were dragging a limb across the green algae, the male turtle slipped and fell slightly into the pond very near to the green algae.  The female turtle called out for help as she gripped the end of the limb hard with her teeth.  The male turtle also clung on hard to the limb as best he could and kicked his little turtle legs rapidly to propel his shell away from the threatening algae.  She called again for help through her teeth but the other turtles in the community could not hear her. 

Yertle stopped collecting a little lilly pad and looked up from the pond to see the predicament.  He moved as quickly as a turtle can, which isn’t very fast at all, towards the two turtles.  Together, he and the female turtle backed up and pulled the heavy limb out of the pond. 

“Thank you,” said the little turtles and Yertle just nodded.  Then all three got back to work again. 

It took quite a long time to finally clear most of the green algae from the pond.  In the end, there was a great deal of disposed sticks deep in the forest away from harming the community.  The turtle community and top turtle applauded the three turtles for their effort.  They were all three rewarded with much praise although secretly they each would have preferred an increase in food rations for their families. 

The two hero turtles had erected a dam to hopefully contain as best they could the green algae.  It was not a permanent fix but at least the turtle pile could perhaps return to some semblance of normalcy.  The top turtles indicated to the others in the turtle community that they needed to return to the pile so the top turtles could scout the horizon for predators and other threats.  All the turtles, particularly the ones at the lower end of the pile, grumbled some but reluctantly agreed to go. 

Yertle the Turtle sighed to himself.  He was not ready to go back to the life he had before holding up the turtle pile while he sat in the mud.  It was not much fun and quite heavy and burdensome.  But, Yertle was used to that life and to taking orders so he headed out first from the turtle community to his place in the mud.

The other turtles from the community slowly one by one started to ascend the pile and Yertle could already feel the weight upon him.  He looked down dolefully into the mud. 

“Wait!  Please stop!” said the little hero female turtle and the male hero turtle beside her joined her.

“We’ve been talking an…we don’t think…..” and she looked at the other hero turtle for confirmation and he nodded.  “We think maybe we should talk and find another way to restructure the turtle pile.   And,” she continued slightly hesitantly, “Maybe we should work harder on protecting the pond.”

She looked down at that moment.  The other little turtles were in shock too.  They had always lived in the turtle pile.  They had always done things the way they had done them.  That is all they had ever known and they had never even considered a life beyond the turtle pile.  Nor did they know really what to do or how to start to protect the pond better.    

“I’m just saying, well……I don’t know for sure what to say or how to start this even.”   And she looked again at Yertle.  He nodded back from the mud. 

She cleared her throat and said finally what she was really thinking in her mind. 

“Well, can we just talk?”    

A Covid Romance

by J. Speer

(I wrote a short story for a contest. This is the first draft. It is still a work in progress. I’d love an honest critique on it. I am supposed to write a short story dealing with life during the pandemic. I chose to write a simple love story. Here it is below.)

     She noticed when he wasn’t there that morning.  In fact, she noticed everything about him from the brown leather shoes he wore every day to the way he combed his hair or the half smile he would give when he was happy about something.  She noticed that he drank his coffee black.  There was a myriad of things she had picked up about him over the years that they had worked together.  But, of course, she didn’t let it show.  She adhered to professionalism at all times. 

     They worked across from each other on opposite ends of the large telemarketing center.  There were many rows of small workstations with computers between them.  Yet, she could still spy a subtle glance his way every now and then.  She would look in his direction.  If he looked at her, she’d look away as if she was just casually scanning the room.  This happened a couple times a day since they were stuck on an 8 hour shift together, day in and day out, for nearly 2 years. 

     They had only talked briefly.  Sometimes, he’d come over to her work station to get a paper signed or to find out some pertinent information regarding insurance claims.  His smile seemed genuine and friendly.  Occasionally, they would even chat for a few obscure moments about the business, or work, or current events.  She noted he liked football.  He noted she liked art.  Their discussions were always short as the supervisor was constantly watching with disapproving glances.  If they talked too long, the supervisor would often walk over in their direction.  As always, he would abruptly leave at that point and head back to his desk. 

At break time, they sat at opposite ends of a long table.  He was with his friends.  She was with hers.  She would play on her phone.  He would play on his phone.  She might look his way briefly.  He might look her way for a moment or two.  They would both look away.  Nothing much happened between the two of them for 2 years. 

But today, he wasn’t at work.  She frowned a little behind her fabric mask as she overheard the boss and supervisor talking.  Apparently, he was sick.  He called in with a cough and fever.  The managers were discussing it quietly near her workstation which was situated close to the supervisor’s office.  She eavesdropped while she continued working on her computer with the medical claims.  Their work was considered essential since it dealt with healthcare.  So, they had continued working through the stay-at-home orders and quarantining of people from other industries. 

The management had gone through many precautions, however, to protect the workers.  They made hand washing mandatory several times a day and distributed pamphlets about worker rights during the pandemic.  The supervisors often held impromptu meetings for the employees to come together to discuss the current state mandates and the changes with the health insurance premiums and deductibles and such.  It was sort-of a stressful time for her and, try as she might, she didn’t get much restfulness at home despite the precautions recommended by the CDC. 

She looked at his empty desk.  She was worried about him but she didn’t let it show.  To be honest, she still didn’t know much about him.  She didn’t even know how to contact him.  She didn’t know his last name.  Everyone there went by a first name basis only. 

That morning was busy and eventful.  She guided many callers through the insurance claim process and helped others with disputes on their billing.  She answered questions about deductibles and copays and coinsurance.  She fielded all sorts of complaints and even some hostility from a few callers.  That was normal.  It happened every day.  At first, when she started the job, that part was exceedingly uncomfortable.  But over time, she had become more expert at the topics as well as handling conflict.  Over the years, she’d moved up within the department.  Now, many of her coworkers looked to her for answers and training. 

She went to break with her friends, Mary and Jamie.  They played on their phones and laughed at a few silly memes and videos.  She was aware of the empty space at the end of the table.  As break ended, her friends got up to head back to the main room.  His friends did likewise but one lingered for a moment.  He put his phone away and went to grab a pop from the nearby vending machine.  His name was Bryan.  She knew him well. 

She got up from the table too and put her phone away.  She glanced at Bryan’s back as he looked over the selection at the vending machine.  She walked over to him hesitantly, not knowing how to ask the question she was considering. 

“Hey Bryan,” she nodded at him.  He looked back at her briefly and smiled. 

“Hey,” he said as his eyes wandered back to his selection.  He pushed a button on the machine and a pop can rolled to the dispenser. 

She looked at him for a moment.  She bit her lip.  She knew she had to head back to work soon.  Bryan started turning towards the main room and she knew she would lose her chance in a moment if she didn’t speak.

“Bryan,” she began.  “Hey, do you know Kevin’s last name?”

Bryan didn’t say much but he eyed her curiously.  He probably wanted a reason for the question.  She just stood there and did not give him one.  There was a little pause.  He cracked open his pop.

“Yeah, it’s Piper.  Kevin Piper,” he said.  He smiled.  She just smiled back politely.

“Thanks, Bryan,” she said sweetly as she followed him back to the main room and to another couple of hours of hard work. 

At lunchtime, she sat in the break room with her usual sandwich and bag of chips.  She got a bottle of water from the communal fridge.  Most people left the telemarketing center for lunch but she drove pretty far every day to work.  She couldn’t go home.  She was also health conscious enough to avoid the fast food. 

She was a cute girl, a little shy and quiet but not bad to look at.  Today, she was wearing her favorite grey knee-length skirt with a cream blouse and matching cardigan.  Her heels were mid-rise, enough to look flattering but not too much.  Her hair was shiny and curled.  She wore glasses as she peered at her bright computer screen all day. 

Mary and Jamie had gone out to eat fast food.  There were only a few others in the break room for their hour lunch.  She sat there eating and thinking.  Then she picked up her phone, scrolled through Instagram, Snapchat, and Google news.  She opened Facebook too. 

She looked around and then tapped the search box.  She typed in Kevin Piper.  She didn’t know if he’d be on Facebook but she did find someone with his name and several mutual friends.  She looked at the name for a long moment.  She pursed her lips and then hit friend request.  She let out an exhale and then turned her phone over on the table.  She resumed her break and ate her lunch. 

The rest of the workday was long and tiring.  When she headed home to her tiny apartment, she saw that he had accepted her friend request. 

The next day as she clocked in and washed hands, she looked over to see his empty desk.  She secured her face mask again and headed to her own desk.  She furrowed her eyebrows briefly with concern.  That day would be another long day for her answering phone calls and helping customers with their inquiries. 

She went home that night and cooked dinner for herself.  She petted her black cat on the couch as she watched Netflix.  She looked at her phone a couple times as she watched the TV.

On the third morning, he was still gone.  At break, she went to the bench outside by herself and looked at her phone.  She pulled up Facebook Messenger, found his name, and pulled up a chat conversation.  She looked at the empty space on her phone for a long moment and then hit the handwave button.  Then she took in a deep breath and typed.

“Hey, this is Anne from work.  I heard you were sick.  Just hoping everything is alright.”  She hit send and then waited with baited breath for a moment or two.  She was looking for his reply on the screen, for the little conversation cloud with the three periods that indicated the other person was writing back.  She waited and it did not appear right away. 

He must be busy she thought to herself.  It wasn’t like her to do something like this.  She never contacted guys just out of the blue.  She never made the first move….at least until now.  This was different though.  This was the pandemic, the Coronavirus, and frankly she was concerned for his well-being as a friend and a fellow co-worker.  So, she had decided to reach out to him but now, as she watched the mostly empty screen, she was having second doubts.  By the time break was over, she bit her lower lip glumly.  She closed her eyes briefly and thought to herself, He’s not going to answer back.  Rejection central.  If he does answer at all, it will be something short and then I will get ghosted.  This was a bad idea. 

She got up from the bench and headed back in to work.  She set her phone aside and tried her best to ignore it for the few hours she had left of work that day.  When she got off work and clocked out, she retrieved the phone.  As she walked out of the call center, she was surprised to see that, in fact, there was a notification that he responded after all. 

She opened up Facebook Messenger and retrieved the conversation.  There was the reply.  It said, “Are you worried about me?”

She paused walking to her car.  What should she say at this point?  Be serious and say, “Yes, of course!” Or be nonchalant and just say, “Maybe.”  Or should she could say something satirical or flippant or even funny? 

She thought it over.  If she was honest, she would finally signal to him after 2 years that she did, in fact, have some interest.  But if she was coy or subtle, the conversation might end right there.  And, he obviously wanted to know where things stood at this point.  She reasoned it would be best to be truthful but yet lighthearted.  So, she texted him simply, “Perhaps, yes, I just simply wanted to make sure you’re ok.”  Then she hit send again. 

This time he was replying back right away but it took a while for this second message to come through. 

He said, “Ah, well thanks.  I’m doing alright.  Doc says it might be just common cold but, just in case, they did a swab.  It wasn’t very fun.  Not recommended lol.  Anyway, I have to self-quarantine for fourteen days so I did notify the bosses.  They said I could take paid leave time which is good.  In the meantime, I will get the results back from the swab in five days.  Wish me luck.”

She didn’t know at first how to respond to that information.  Then she typed back, “Oh so sorry to hear that but I’m glad you are doing well.  That’s good that you can take paid leave.  As for the swab test, I have heard it is pretty rough.” 

She stopped for a moment, not knowing what to say next.  Then she added briefly, “We’ll be thinking of you.  Get well soon.”  She hit send.

He replied, “Thanks.” 

She watched the screen for more words but nothing came through.  Then she added in closing, “Be sure to check your temperature and get plenty of sleep.  Ok, ttyl.”  She added a small smiley emoji at the end. 

His reply simply stated, “Thanks for checking up on me.  Ttyl too.”  He also sent back a small smile emoji. 

Anne got in her car and drove home.  When she got in the small apartment, she put her mail on the side table, slipped off her shoes, and found her black cat.  She gave her cat a brief snuggle and then checked his food and water bowls.  Later, that night as she was preparing another dinner for one, she got another notification on her phone.  She thought it might be Mary or Jamie.  Yet, she was really pleasantly surprised to see that it was Kevin again.  He had texted her a short message.

He said, “So, how’s your art classes going?”  She smiled when she saw the message, mostly because he had remembered something special about her.  She realized too that he was also trying to start up a conversation.  She leaned against the kitchen counter as the black cat lay lazily on the table and swishing his tail back and forth slowly.  The pot of water on the stove was boiling and filled with spaghetti noodles.  She had already prepared the meat sauce. 

But the phone had her attention at the moment and she started to share a conversation with Kevin.  They talked about several things that evening as she had dinner and sat on the couch as usual to relax.  They talked about their pets and their apartments.  They talked about their families and their interests and hobbies.  The conversation lasted quite a while and it made her smile.  She felt happy.  She wondered if he did too.  When she went to bed that night, she slept pretty well with the warm and soft black cat curled up beside her on the quilted bedspread. 

The days prior to learning the Coronavirus test results were filled with the usual work for her.  However, there were intermittent and fun text conversations with Kevin throughout the days.  Each day, she’d ask how he was feeling.  She made a few suggestions for getting well soon.  Otherwise, they would make small talk about the weather or food or sports.  They discussed things about work.  They made some jokes and told funny stories to each other about colleagues and especially the supervisors.  He would send her GIFs or memes he liked.  She would return those with other memes she had found as well.  They talked about YouTube videos and channels they liked.  They talked about video gaming or streaming channels. 

He seemed in good spirits.  He seemed to be doing alright.  He said his symptoms were going away and that he wasn’t too bothered by the test.  Kevin claimed he was certain it would come back negative.  He made light of the whole situation and said quarantine time was starting to bore him.  She asked him what he did during the day.  He said that he mostly slept and watched TV.  He read books and read stories and news on the internet though he tried to stay away from some of the negative media stories.  They tended to bring him down.  He said he liked music too.  He offered to make her a playlist. 

As the days and evenings passed, they became closer friends.  They even chatted via Facetime every now and then.  On the night before he would get the Coronavirus results, Anne lay in bed looking up at the ceiling in the darkness.  Her cat purred soft and low beside her.  The cat was all curled up and she decided not to disturb him.  He could get grumpy at times.  Instead, she thought about Kevin and even prayed for a moment that the results would be good for him.

And to her surprise and to Kevin’s as well, they were just that.  The test results came back negative.  She smiled warmly at him on video as they Facetimed. 

She said, “I’m really happy for you!  I’m so glad.”  And he half smiled back. 

He said, “Well, that means I can come back to work soon….as soon as the doctors will release me.  I’ll let you know.”

The doctor did release Kevin to come back to work the following Monday.  Kevin let her know through a text.  She answered back to him that this was great news.  He said he was going to miss sleeping in but he needed to get back to his old routine. 

Saturday and Sunday were sunny and cheerful days for Anne.  She talked over the phone with Mary and Jamie and a few other friends.  She did some grocery shopping and cleaned the apartment.  On Sunday, she watched church online.  She also watched some of the new series on Netflix later such as Ozark.  Anne watched Tiger King to see what all the fuss was about.  It proved very entertaining. 

Monday morning, Anne got up a little earlier than normal.  She took extra care that morning with her appearance.  She was really looking forward to seeing Kevin again.  She hadn’t heard from him since Sunday early afternoon.  She figured he must be busy. 

Anne drove to work with her cup of coffee in one hand and she listened to XM radio.  She felt a little nervous about seeing Kevin again.  She pulled into the parking lot and walked to the call center entrance.  She clocked in just before 8 am at the start of her shift.  She washed her hands and turned to put her face mask on as she looked over at Kevin’s desk.  He was there.  He looked nice as usual.  He didn’t seem to look her way though.  He was busy with his friends surrounding his desk.  The supervisor came over and also wanted to talk to him. 

Anne looked away.  In that moment, she felt a little downcast.  She finished securing her mask and turned to head to her desk.  That is when she saw it. 

On the desk near her computer was a glass vase full of a dozen scarlet, red roses.  She blinked and exhaled into her mask.  She walked slowly to her desk and went around it to sit down.  She sat down looking at the beautiful flowers and even lowered her mask a little to inhale just a little bit the rose fragrance.  There was a little white envelope attached to the flowers. 

The supervisor walked by and briefly said, “Well, well, looks like you have someone special.”  She raised her eyebrows at Anne as she walked past.   Anne blushed profusely. 

Anne just said, “Thanks, they are very pretty.”

Anne looked across the room at that moment to the one person she hoped might have sent the flowers.  She looked at Kevin.  He was no longer with his friends.  He was seated across from her and looking at her directly.  And for the first time in 2 years, she returned his gaze boldly without looking away.  He lowered his face mask and there was a half-smile on his face.  She lowered her mask briefly and returned the smile. He nodded towards the roses and the card.  She lifted the little white envelope and opened it.  She pulled out the white card and read it. 

It simply said, “Thanks for everything.  You helped me through a difficult time.  I appreciate you.  In fact, would you consider going on a date with me?”

Anne bit her lower lip again.  She then smiled wide behind her mask.  She looked at him across the room.  He was wearing a mask too.  He looked at her.  Then, she nodded her head to say yes. 

Socially Distanced Vacation

Yesterday, I had planned to prepare some YouTube short videos for the kids to watch about the Taj Mahal in India. But, my son picked an especially interesting dream destination for a family vacation. He picked Mars.

So, here is the list of 8 short and fascinating YouTube videos we picked for our travel adventure.

Every school day, we sit down together and watch 3 short YouTube videos (4 minutes long tops). I give the kids a list of 8 pre-screened and entertaining videos and then they choose their 3 favorite. We started doing this because we missed out on our family vacation to Maine. I figured we may not be able to leave the house during social distancing but we can experience traveling the world via the computer with YouTube. So far, we have looked at Orlando, the Pyramids, Tokyo, and now…..Mars.

Here is the list you can use too for your family. I really like these videos. They are fascinating, especially the NASA 2020 video. So cool.

Family Vacation during Social Distancing

This is day 3 of our family game, pick your dream travel destination. We are social distancing and can’t travel but we can view the entire world through YouTube videos. Today, my daughter who loves Japanese anime with all her heart, picked Tokyo. I pre-screened 8 really short (about 3-4 minutes) and truly fascinating travel videos about Tokyo and Kyoto. Then the kids sit down at the computer and pick three to watch. It is their choice what to watch but I got a feeling they will be interested in the anime videos today of the Akihabara District. These videos are great and really make me want to see Japan!

Yesterday, we picked the pyramids of Egypt and I shared the videos list. The kids picked the teen scaling the great pyramid video, the video about the gods/goddesses of Egypt, and a video of the mummification process from the Getty Museum.

This has been quite fun and informative for me. I hope the kids enjoy it too. I get to pick the destination for tomorrow. It’s a secret for the kids but I am picking the Taj Mahal in India.

You can use these videos too for your children during social distancing. I will try to post for a while on each school day our list of videos and our destination choice. Thanks for reading and have a great day!

Family Vacation Cont’d

So yesterday, we picked a list of YouTube videos to watch about Orlando, Florida. Since we are staying in the house for social distancing and missed our family vacation this year to Maine, we started a game of picking our favorite travel destinations in the world. Each day, I find a short list of six or seven 4 minute long videos about a place the kids would love to see if they could. Yesterday, we watched videos about Disneyworld and Universal Studios in Orlando, Florida.

Today, Drew picked the pyramids of Egypt. Here are the short and interesting videos I found for the kids to watch. There are 8 videos on the list and the kids just pick three of their choice each time.

Family Vacation

Due to social distancing, we had to skip our family vacation to Maine. The kids started back to school online yesterday and along with that, I found some travel videos for them to watch.

We make a game out of this.

Ella and Drew pick one travel destination in the entire world and I find the videos beforehand. Each school day, I pick 6-8 really short YouTube videos that I pre-screen for entertainment and value. I filter them to make sure they are about 4 minutes or less long. I hand the kids a list of 6-8 videos and tell them that they only need to pick 3 of their own choice. Then, Ella and Drew sit down for 10-15 minutes a day and just watch 3 of the videos together to learn about that place.

Yesterday, they had chosen Orlando, Florida. Listed below are the 6 videos I found and the kids picked three of these videos to watch. They picked the Disney and Universal Studios ride videos, of course.

I have found with teenagers that it is much better to give them choices so that’s why I pick 6 and let them choose 3 only. And I limit this whole thing to about 10-15 minutes tops. I learned from the military a long time ago the acronym “KISS.” This means keep it short and sweet or as they say in the military with PowerPoint presentations, “Keep it Short, Stupid.” No one likes to sit through more than 15-20 minutes of video.

I’ll admit, my kids grumbled quite a bit at first but seemed to actually like the videos once they saw them. This was our “family vacation” experience Monday. Drew picked the Pyramids of Egypt for Tuesday.

The Trumpet

These are passages of the Bible that are important to read at this time. Notice the similarities in numbers among some of the passages:

Exodus 12: 12-13

Psalm 91

Deuteronomy 30-19

Joshua 7: 10-12

Job 1:9

Romans 10:9

2 Chronicles 7:13-22

Ezekiel 33:1-6

Notice the repeat of the numbers. For example 91, 10:9, and 1:9 = variations of 19. Also, several of the texts have the number 3 repeated which is mentioned later in this piece.

Exodus 12:12-13 speaks of the Passover and the Blood of the Lamb. “I will pass through the Land of Egypt at night and strike every firstborn male in the Land of Egypt, both man and beast. I am Yahweh; I will execute judgements against the Gods of Egypt. The blood on the houses where you are staying will be the distinguishing mark for you; when I see the blood I will pass over you. No plague will be among you to destroy you when I strike the land of Egypt.”

Deuteronomy 30:19 uses the numbers 3 and 19 again. It is Moses’ message to the Isrealites. ” I call heaven and Earth as witnesses against you today that I have set before you life and death, blessings and curse. Choose life so that you and your descendants may live.”

Joshua 7: 10-12 refers to the Israelite defeat against Ai and explains why according to the Lord. ” The Lord then said to Joshua, “Stand up, why are you on the ground? Israel has sinned. They have violated my covenant that I appointed for them. They have taken some of what was set apart. They have stolen, deceived, and put the things with their belongings. This is why the Isrealites can not stand against their enemies. They will turn their backs and run from their enemies, because they have been set apart for destruction. I will no longer be with you unless you remove from you what was set apart.”

2 Chronicles 7: 13-22 is the discussion between wise Solomon and God about the temple. “If I close the sky so there is no rain, of if I command the grasshopper to consume the land, or if I send the pestilence on My people and My people who are called by my name humble themselves and seek my face and turn from their evil ways, then I will hear from heaven, forgive their sin, and heal their land. My eyes will now be open and my ears attentive to prayer from this place. And I have now chosen and consecrated this temple so that My name may be there forever. My eyes and my heart will be there at all times. As for you, if you walk before me as your father David walked, doing everything I have commanded you, and if you keep my statutes and my ordinances, I will establish your royal throne, as I promised your father David. You will never fail to have a man ruling in Israel. However, if you turn away and abandon My statues and My commands that I have set before you and serve other gods and worship them, then I will uproot Israel from the soil I gave them, and this temple I have sanctified for My name I will banish from my presence. I will make it an object of scorn and ridicule among all the peoples. As for this temple, which was exalted, everyone who passes by will be appalled and will say, “Why did the Lord do this to the land and to this temple? Then they will say, “Because they abandoned the Lord God of their ancestors who brought them out of the land of Egypt. They clung to other gods and worshiped and served them. Because of this, he brought all this ruin on them.”

Job 1:9 explains God’s hedge of protection. Without the hedge, Job is tested. “Satan answered the Lord, “Does Job fear God for nothing? Haven’t you placed a hedge around him, his household, and everything he owns? You have blessed the work of his hands, his possessions, and increased the land. But stretch out your hand and strike everything he owns, and he will surely curse you to your face.” Job needed the hedge of protection.

Psalm 91 is a spiritual warfare prayer against pestilence. It also uses the numbers of 1 and 9 as does Job1:9.

Ezekiel 33:1-6 is a message for the watchmen, those who discern these words of wisdom. “The word of the Lord came to me, Son of Man, speak to your people and tell them: Suppose I bring the sword against a land, and the people of the land select a man from among them, appointing him as their watchman and he sees the sword coming against the land and blows his trumpet to warn the people. Then, if anyone hears the sound of the trumpet but ignores the warning, and the sword comes and takes him away, his blood will be on his own head. Since he heard the sound of the trumpet but ignored the warning, his blood is on his own hands. If he had taken the warning, he would have saved his life. However, if the watchman see the sword coming but doesn’t blow the trumpet, so that the people are warned, and the sword comes and takes away their lives, then they have been taken away because of their iniquity, but I will hold the watchman accountable for their blood.”

Romans 10:9 is a final message once again using the numbers 1 and 9. It is also called the Sinner’s Prayer. “If you confess with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.”

Conclusion to this message, these are very important:

Job 1:9 = pray for a hedge of protection around your family.

Psalm 91 = prayer against the pestilence, “the plague that stalks in darkness.”

Romans 10:9 = pray the sinner’s prayer. “If you confess with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.”

All of these use the numbers 1 and 9 as does COVID-19.

Passover = pray for the blood of Jesus to cover your loved ones.

Prayers vs. Pandemic

Here are some great and easy YouTube videos to follow to assist you in praying for loved ones during the pandemic. DailyEffectivePrayer has many short and easy-to-follow prayers that you can use. They are usually about 4 minutes long each. These are just a few of the collection. Consider your own loved ones. Does one of these categories fit that loved one? Then click on the link below and just listen and follow along with the words.

At this time, I also like these 3 prayers. The first is Psalm 91, a protection prayer against pestilence that is the exact opposite number of COVID-19. According to some videos regarding Psalm 91, the words in Hebrew have many symbols over the tops of the letters. This is supposed to mean this is a very strong spiritual warfare prayer for your family. The second video is a short hedge of protection prayer. In the biblical story of Job, a special hedge of protection surrounded Job and kept him from harm. The third video is a longer prayer but talks about pleading the blood of the lamb over your family during the pandemic. It draws from the Passover story of the Israelites.

Amazing Grace

Do you know the story of the man behind the gospel song, Amazing Grace? He was a slave trader. His name was John Newton and he lived from 1725 to 1807. John Newton was a slaver, a captain of slave ships. But in 1748, he was on a ship off the coast of Donegal, Ireland. The ship was hit by a massive and terrifying storm. It was said that night, that John Newton experienced a Christian conversion when he prayed amidst the winds and rain and tossing of the ocean waves. He prayed for deliverance.

He later gave up the slave trade and became a vocal advocate for abolition in England. He became a very charismatic Anglican clergyman and produced many speeches and a book of hymns. Amazing Grace is one of his hymns.

Here is a really beautiful version of Amazing Grace by BYU Noteworthy:

At this time, when our world is facing the Coronavirus pandemic, I wanted to bring you some encouraging and hopeful songs as well as prayers you can use for your loved ones. Here are some great songs. I will include the prayers in my next post. Please enjoy these songs and I pray you and your loved ones are safe and well.