How much news coverage has there been on the coronavirus in the past few weeks? I’d be interested to know the number of hours spent telling the American people about the virus, explaining social distancing, telling us how to wash our hands, how to “flatten the curve”, etc. Much of this information is very necessary and good, helping us to contain this pandemic, and I hope you are following the guidelines. On the other hand, there has been an incredible amount of speculation, “overcoverage”, and experts who provide conflicting messages to all of us. As a result, fear rules the day for most Americans.
In response, I could provide you verse after verse from the Bible that says God watches over his children and we have nothing to fear, but I’m not going to do that. We all know that truth, believe it, and if Facebook is any indication, have already seen a meme with every one of these verses on it. We know that our Heavenly Father is sovereign, and He has a purpose for the coronavirus, even though it’s impossible to see right now.
What I am going to do is try and focus on the positive. I really appreciate that Governor Burgum in his press conferences (4pm every day on local TV stations) mentions some things you can do during this time at home. He is truly trying to help North Dakotans make the best of it. Here are a few more ideas.
Don’t spend the whole day watching the news! I guarantee you’ll live in fear. Tune in to perhaps just the presidential and North Dakota briefings to get the facts and then call it good.
Don’t spend the whole day on social media! While social media can provide a lot of helpful information and resources, it can quickly turn into an intellectual cesspool during times like these. Always consider the source and their motivation. “I was told by …”, should be a red flag for all of us.
Spend time engaged in helping your children learn. I realize that for many of you this has just become nonoptional, but consider this. When was the last time you sat down and actually taught something to your children that made their eyes grow wide with amazement? Make it happen, then treasure the moment.
Call a loved one, particularly if they are in the high-risk group. It’s easy for people to feel alone and have to deal with depression during a time like this. A phone call can mean the world to them and let them simply know you love them.
Get out for walks or other exercise. Since our son Chris is now working from home, he and I can take walks outside, chat, and break up the monotony of sheltering in our home. Plus, there’s the calorie and cardio benefits, right?
Do something you’ve been putting off. Change the oil in the car, do some heavy-duty spring cleaning, prepare some meals and freeze them for emergency purposes, do that home repair you’ve been putting off, and so on.
Other things: Read a book, do a puzzle, watch a movie, learn a new language, play a board game, go online and learn a new skill or craft, play an instrument, organize your closet, play with your pet and/or take them outside, and the list goes on.
Let’s make the best of this that we possibly can. Having spare time is a luxury most of us in our country rarely get. As the saying goes, seize the moment! Live in the “now”.
Please be assured that Family Policy Alliance of North Dakota is not shut down. We may be spending much more time on the phone than in person, but we are still working to ensure North Dakota remains a state where God is honored, religious freedom flourishes, families thrive, and life is cherished. Thank you for your continued prayers and financial support, and know that you and all North Dakotans are in our prayers as well.
President and Executive Director