Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. Matthew 22:37-39
Last Wednesday, I was taken by ambulance to the Royal Melbourne Hospital for a kidney issue. The ambulance was not because I was desperately ill, but because our household was Covid positive and that is the Covid Pathway protocol.
A few days ago, Niv Jnr and some friends took off for a camping weekend in a nice isolated spot with a great beach. Little did they realise that one of them had inadvertently mixed with a Covid positive the previous day, bringing the disease into the camp.
Like the others did to their families, Niv Jnr then brought it home to us. Once the original plague carrier notified the other campers, they all got tested as well, some positive, others negative. Niv got symptoms, and Heather and I did our duty and got tested. Both positive. With my immune system so compromised due to my kidney transplant, we had previously researched and developed an Action Plan and simply activated that. Moses kept disease out of Israel's camp by using specific methods, so why couldn't we?
This plan and the grace of God allowed us to get through our iso period basically unscathed. Niv had a mild flu, Heather had the sniffles, and I presented with no symptoms. Our ten days isolation are up tomorrow.
However, weeks ago, I picked up a bug that caused my body thermostat to deregulate, giving me intense hours of shivering followed by hours of severe overheating. This fever went on for days and finally broke. The last of these three episodes occurred during our Covid isolation. Hence, the ambulance and people in white moon suits and masks delivering me to the hospital rather than Heather. The Covid teams kept confusing the symptoms with Covid symptoms, and I had to keep bringing them back to facts. Otherwise, I may have been misdiagnosed.
Anyhow, they diligently wheel-chaired me to the 9th Floor, Infectious Diseases, placing me in a single room where I spent the next three days. As we proceeded through the hospital, our Covid guide twenty paces in front, was yelling "Code yellow coming through, Code Yellow. Stand aside please, Code Yellow, take another route, Code Yellow. Don't use that lift, we'll take that! Code Yellow coming through." All very official.
My room had a double-door chamber when one door needed to close before the other could be opened. So I couldn't leave without a scan-pass anyhow.
It was on Day two I began thinking of others. Day one was all about me. I thought of the people enduring their 14-day isolation in hotel rooms and how difficult that might be for some. Anxiety can set in deep and escalate if we don't arrest it quickly. I've spent many nights in hotel and motel rooms, actually living in them for twelve months, so I always thought I would do okay. But these three days—a mere three days— showed me I would need my laptop and a few things to stop me from going stir crazy as quickly as anyone else. I have a book to finish, followed by another one. I make sure my mind is never idle, always having a list. That is one of my secrets to getting through. And I always try and live in a state of thanksgiving and appreciation. I think that is vital as well. But 14 days in a room from which you are not allowed to leave is quite different. These people need our prayer.
We don't get to hear the voices of the quarantined unless we see them on the news holding up a sign through a hotel window. Neither do we know what they are going through or how they are coping mentally, financially, or otherwise. They are real people with the potential for serious fallout either in the room or in other areas of their life while they are stuck. Anxiety and depression are sneaky beasts, creeping into our minds and bodies in different ways. The Covid Pathway has mental health helplines and other methods to help people cope, but I'm sure those people can go on our prayer lists as well.
For instance, my wife Heather had a panic-anxiety attack yesterday for some reason, causing her to think it was a late but significant Covid symptom. Her airways became were restricted, making breathing difficult. She phoned me in the hospital and then got onto 000. We immediately rang around for prayer, so her breathing was much better by the time the ambulance picked her up. They transported her to the Western Hospital, placing her in a portable oxygen tank. Finally, eliminating Covid from the issue, they brought her home later last night. I was home myself by then. Please have a thought for the Covid quarantined and keep them in your prayers.
And don't forget to keep safe yourself. Put a plan into place whether you are vaccinated or not, and feel the pain for others. The Lord has developed our hearts well, giving us the opportunity to spread love wide in prayer, phone calls, and helping in so many ways. I am sure He loves to see His love at work through us.
Today's prayer: Dear Lord, thank you for your love and care towards me. Thank you for your love that comes through me as I pass it on to others.
Photo by Annie Spratt