It’s Monday, March 16th and it’s just been announced that all “non-essential” businesses in PA will be closed for the upcoming two weeks in an attempt to slow the spread of COVID-19. However, our outpatient PT clinic will remain open as we are “essential,” I guess. I’m standing in the middle of the clinic floor thinking about writing this blog instead of writing notes like usual because I have no notes to do and there is nothing else on my mind. I’m watching a patient do bridges as we listen to Lauryn Hill’s “Doo Wop” (great song). It’s slower than usual because most people are being strict with their “social distancing.”
Part of me feels that I shouldn’t be here either.
But I am, so I’ll do what I can with the circumstances.
I don’t feel sick, but I do feel concerned.
I wash my hands so many times that the skin feels like it could fall right off. I clean the tables so often that the fabric might disintegrate. I keep distance from others and it feels like a dance. I think about what we’re accomplishing here and I wonder if it’s “essential” or if it’s just “selfish.”
I don’t know the answer, but I wonder.
The slower pace gives me space to think and I vacillate between feelings. Part of me is comforted. It tells me that everything will be back to normal in due time. However, the other part of me feels worried. It tells me that the world might never be the same.
I can’t tell which part I trust more.
The work day drags on as I spend most of it with my hands in my pockets. This week is off to an ominous start and I can’t help but feel unsettled. I don’t know who might be a carrier and who might just have an innocent cough. The clinic is screening patients prior to appointments with a series of questions related to COVID-19 risk factors. The sentiment is nice but it feels inadequate. This virus holds more unknowns than answers and it’s reach is likely wider than we realize. The lack of information scares me but it doesn’t seem to phase some.
I’m not sure what to do.
But for now, I guess I’ll do what I know best in the hopes of chartering these new circumstances with grace. I’ll write about how I feel while I control what I know that I can control. I’ll love others and do everything that I can to lift them up in all that I do. I’ll continue to work hard at what I know is right while I attempt to understand what that is. I’ll look up for guidance and trust in God’s plan because I know that He is good. I’ll ask you (yes, you) for your thoughts, because I need help navigating this gray space. In this waiting, I still don’t know…
Should I be here?
I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comment section of this blog.
Before I end this blog, I feel compelled to share a word of encouragement. I don’t write about faith often, however, these circumstances make it impossible to ignore. I believe that everything is happening for a reason and even though these unprecedented circumstances challenge me, it doesn’t change how I feel. I might not be able to understand this virus and its implications, however, I have faith that this is part of His perfect plan.
“So we do not lose heart. Though our outer self is wasting away, our inner self is being renewed day by day. For this light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison, as we look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen. For the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal.” 2 Corinthians 4:16-18
If nothing else, I hope that you can find the good in these circumstances, because there is always good to be found if you look through the right lens. I hope that COVID-19 is helping you understand what’s important in your life and what doesn’t matter so much. I wish you the best and I’ll be praying for you and for us. Last, if there is any way that I can help and/or encourage you, please let me know; I would be so happy to do so.
Go tell someone you love them.
Joe Rinaldi, PT, DPT