March 30, 2020
Last summer she was very ill, but she wrote that the Coronavirus is different for her. She sent texts to our family and wrote,
I tested positive. I feel fine. I’m going to sit in the sun again today. I felt worse last summer when I had that virus.… I have Pedialyte. I do not have to work. I’m on sick leave. I feel okay. No headaches. Just the cough.….
Rest. I sleep. If I can’t breathe I go in. I’m sitting on the deck and the sun resting. If I get pneumonia then they would give me antibiotics. Lots of water.…
Have the kids make these rainbows that are going viral. They say, “STAY HEALTHY” or “ LET’S ALL BE WELL” and they post them in their windows or doors.
I’ll let everybody know if it gets worse but right now, I’m fine. I have been sitting on my deck all day. The only bummer is I feel like I can’t walk around the neighborhood for 14 days.
The Vermont Health Department called. She said rest and lots of liquids (treat like you would any virus). Tylenol. Isolate 7 days, 3 of which must be fever-free without Tylenol. I said they could use me in the future to test for antibodies-she said we aren’t there yet. If I get word, to contact my provider. I’m pretty stubborn and refuse to get sick like I did last summer.
Now, Beth’s husband, daughter, sister and niece also exhibit Coronavirus symptoms. Please pray for the rapid recovery without relapse for all of them and for all others who are suffering from the Coronavirus.
I replied to Beth’s texts, “That’s the spirit Beth! Love, Dad”
In that same spirit, Pope Francis asked us not to be afraid. On the evening of March 27, he gave an address to an empty St. Peter’s Square.
“When evening had come” (Mark 4:35). The Gospel passage we have just heard begins like this. For weeks now it has been evening. Thick darkness has gathered over our squares, our streets and our cities; it has taken over our lives, filling everything with a deafening silence and a distressing void, that stops everything as it passes by; we feel it in the air, we notice in people’s gestures, their glances give them away. We find ourselves afraid and lost. Like the disciples in the Gospel we were caught off guard by an unexpected, turbulent storm. We have realized that we are on the same boat, all of us fragile and disoriented, but at the same time important and needed, all of us called to row together, each of us in need of comforting the other. On this boat… are all of us. Just like those disciples, who spoke anxiously with one voice, saying “We are perishing” (v. 38), so we too have realized that we cannot go on thinking of ourselves, but only together can we do this.
It is easy to recognize ourselves in this story. What is harder to understand is Jesus’ attitude. While his disciples are quite naturally alarmed and desperate, he stands in the stern, in the part of the boat that sinks first. And what does he do? In spite of the tempest, he sleeps on soundly, trusting in the Father; this is the only time in the Gospels we see Jesus sleeping. When he wakes up, after calming the wind and the waters, he turns to the disciples in a reproaching voice: “Why are you afraid? Have you no faith?” (v. 40).
The storm exposes our vulnerability and uncovers those false and superfluous certainties around which we have constructed our daily schedules, our projects, our habits and priorities. It shows us how we have allowed to become dull and feeble the very things that nourish, sustain and strengthen our lives and our communities. The tempest lays bare all our prepackaged ideas and forgetfulness of what nourishes our people’s souls; all those attempts that anesthetize us with ways of thinking and acting that supposedly “save” us, but instead prove incapable of putting us in touch with our roots and keeping alive the memory of those who have gone before us. We deprive ourselves of the antibodies we need to confront adversity.
In this storm, the façade of those stereotypes with which we camouflaged our egos, always worrying about our image, has fallen away, uncovering once more that (blessed) common belonging, of which we cannot be deprived: our belonging as brothers and sisters.
“Why are you afraid? Have you no faith?” Lord, your word this evening strikes us and regards us, all of us. In this world, that you love more than we do, we have gone ahead at breakneck speed, feeling powerful and able to do anything. Greedy for profit, we let ourselves get caught up in things, and lured away by haste. We did not stop at your reproach to us, we were not shaken awake by wars or injustice across the world, nor did we listen to the cry of the poor or of our ailing planet. We carried on regardless, thinking we would stay healthy in a world that was sick. Now that we are in a stormy sea, we implore you: “Wake up, Lord!”.
“Why are you afraid? Have you no faith?” Lord, you are calling to us, calling us to faith. Which is not so much believing that you exist, but coming to you and trusting in you. This Lent your call reverberates urgently: “Be converted!”, “Return to me with all your heart.” (Joel 2:12).
Read here the full text of Pope Francis’ address.
Later that evening, Pope Francis said, “Tell us again: ‘Do not be afraid’ (Matthew 28:5). And we, together with Peter, ‘cast all our anxieties onto you, for you care about us.’”
God’s call to be converted resounds in our hearts this Lent, the Pope said. This is a time, he said, “to separate what is necessary from what is not. It is a time to get our lives back on track with regard to you, Lord, and to others.”