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Yes, I had Covid! Not panic exactly, but disorientation. The dreaded word. What does this mean? Back to lockdown? Will I die? I thought this was a thing of the past.

It all started on a Thursday evening with a violent sneeze and runny nose; a bad night’s sleep and, the following day, further episodes of sneezing and running nose. Bother: a cold. Day 2, a fever. Bother: a fluey cold. Day 3, an intermittent cough. Day 4, no cold, no flu, but a terrible sore throat. Day 5, no more symptoms, only exhausted from not sleeping well.

But then a friend rings, the leader of our church Home Group. He is aware that we missed church on Sunday due to my illness. Another member of the Home Group has just rung to tell him that he has tested Positive for Covid. My friend suggests I ought to test as well, and he offers to deliver us a Test Kit. So, there I am, having gone through all the steps of a lateral flow test, and Yes, I’ve got Covid!

The next thing is that Maureen, my wife, has developed a cold, and then she tests Positive for Covid. Not surprising, I suppose.

Where does all this leave us? My mind goes immediately to the days of lockdown. Are we allowed out? What do we do about shopping? How many engagements have we got to cancel? How far ahead? Who should we tell? It feels as if we are back in the dark days of the original crisis.

There are some words that, because of their wider connotations, cause us some confusion when they are applied to us personally: CANCER and COVID, come to mind. We need to turn, first, to Common Sense.

It is most unlikely that I am going to die of this Covid infection. Indeed, my symptoms are already improving. So just a few days of relative isolation and inconvenience; a nuisance but probably no worse. We are not under lockdown laws anymore. I was never in favour of those obnoxious regulations in the first place, and longed to run away to Sweden, where people were trusted to make their own decisions. So, no, we won’t go to a friend’s wedding, “Congratulations, we are so happy for you. We have just brought you a little present: a coronavirus. Have a lovely honeymoon.” But it’s a sunny day; we will go out for a walk in the countryside.

And then of course, we must turn to God, to re-establish a proper perspective and remind ourselves of our eternal destiny. Providentially, we had just been enjoying a series of sermons at our local church, taking us through the Letter to the Philippians. In chapter one, we had dwelt on the unforgettable words of Paul, in prison in Rome awaiting trial, “For me, to live is Christ and to die is gain. Yet which shall I choose? I desire to depart and be with Christ, for that is far better. But it is more necessary for you that I remain in the body” (Philippians 1.21-24) In his heart Paul knew prophetically that at that time he would continue to live and to serve Christ, but that one day he would enjoy the other and far better outcome: to depart and to be with Christ.

Whatever apparent disasters we may face, these are words to which we can always return. Nothing can separate us from the love of Christ (except our own rebellion) nor from the hope of the resurrection that we have in Christ: neither Cancer nor Covid, nor anything else in all creation.


Next week: lessons I learnt about caring for others.

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