Finding the positives in lockdown

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The UK has been in lockdown since Monday evening. As I’ve been symptomatic and therefore in isolation. Today, before I realised I still had a fever and so should still isolate I went on an outing.

Only to the pharmacy two minutes from me, to get my prescriptions which I would have otherwise ran out of and to the Tesco opposite my flat to get milk and cereal. I have a food delivery tomorrow so I just needed some easy to eat stuff to tide me over as I’m not feeling 100% up to proper food.

The world has changed a lot in the last 8 days. I knew that, I’ve been watching the news but nothing could prepare me for that first step outdoors. That taste of freedom. Only a taste because fever means isolate past 7 days but bitterness aside…

I live in a city centre, a normally bustling, vibrant city centre. I live next to a pub and in close vicinity to many others. I normally hear people, music, cars. When I go into town it’s normally busy, even at 10am on a Saturday morning it’s busier than it was today.

Today it was pretty much dead. Yes I could see people, and certain people not abiding by the two meter rule but it was comparatively dead. There was tape down and barriers up in boots. No forms to sign when picking up medication.

It was like I got back from work 8 days ago to a normal functioning world. Yeah the situation was getting serious and the climbing walls had closed but the pub was open and busy as ever. The streets were also busy as ever.

And then I came out in some dystopian future. Some alternate universe.

As someone who was largely bedbound for 2 years I do sometimes forget how much of a change this is. But going out today made me realise that this virus has lead to all of us taking huge sacrifices. Huge lifestyle changes and it’s forced us to stop and slow down.

I certainly welcome that. I hope others will to. If I had to go work today because I’d already self isolated for 7 days and didn’t realise I had a fever this morning my body wouldn’t be coping. My body would just get the next virus, the next infection, the next injury. This year I’ve climbed so hard that I’ve had three relatively minor finger injuries, my hamstring and knee ligament injury which will take a couple of months to fully heal, an elbow injury, ankle injuries and many other lil niggles. I’ve pushed through work, tried to become a lawyer and since the end of January I’ve had a cold, a stomach virus, an ear infection, numerous bladder infections and now this virus, be it COVID-19 or not. My immune system isn’t as good as it was pre ME but it’s never normally that bad.

I was running my body into the ground. I haven’t worked a 5 day week all month. More like 3 day weeks maybe 4. This virus. Not just because I may have it but because of it’s effect on the country has forced me to slow down. It’s forced me to give my body what it wants. A chance to heal. A chance to function within my limits and to come back to work revitalised.  A chance to focus on rebuilding my body off of the wall, at a lower intensity and focusing on dealing with muscle imbalances so that when the walls open again I get less injuries.

It’s also given me a chance to reflect. To indulge in my off wall passions and think about what’s really important to me. And funnily enough, I’ve had more time to connect. Connect to people I’ve neglected in the past.

The situation is awful. For everyone. I know I’ve been feeling extra unwell these past eight days. The horrific cough, the breathing difficulties – not enough to need help but enough to feel like I can’t get enough air. Enough to mean I can’t sing or proof read my essay aloud like I normally would. The fever. I’ve also been extra weak and dizzy. I’ve spent the majority of these days horizontal on the couch and have intermittently had to crutch around as my legs have been so weak that I’ve needed to take that weight off them to get to the bathroom without crawling.

We’re all affected by this. Either directly or indirectly. But good will come from it and god will help us through.

Why the way Christianity is taught is important

Disclaimer: I am not referring to the way Christianity is taught to young children who don’t yet have the cognitive awareness to deal with anything that is any more than black and white. 

Putting these young children aside the way children and adults are taught about Christianity could very well influence whether they start to believe in god or continue to believe in god as they grow up and life happens. I definitely remember going through phases in my life where I either didn’t believe in god at all or was heavily questioning his/her existence purely because of all the shit going on in my life.

And I know many people go through the same. I can’t help but think this may be because of how it’s taught and this is for two reasons.

  1. Life is not black and white and Christianity is the same – for those with the cognitive capability to understand the grey areas the grey areas must be taught.
  2. Life happens. Not everyone gets healed, natural disasters happen. Even children are able to see these inconsistencies with some of the bibles teachings and reality. We need to welcome and allow questions, and answer them in the best way possible. I know some of these questions are really hard to answer but evading them is not the answer! The classic “What do you think?” is a better approach to evading them.
  3. The bible is inconsistent and any intelligent person can see that. This itself can contribute to people doubting in Christianity and I have definitely been challenged by people on this.  Although this is a difficult one it is important to try and guide people to the conclusion about all these inconsistencies that fits with their judgement.

I guess what I’m trying to get from this is that the words you use, your body language, the people, music and everything else can have a huge impact and it’s something to really think about whenever you talk to anyone about Christianity. It’s easy to get defensive when people challenge aspects of it but try really hard not to!