To be completely honest, I was doing everything in my power to avoid talking about the COVID-19 virus and all that’s going on in the world. So much so that I just stopped talking about anything. Part of being married often involves talking about things that you don’t want to. Ministry is no different. We have to address things that we might not want to address. Just as God admonishes us for our growth, we have to bring things out in the open. Deal with it, grow, and move forward. So, let’s have a heart to heart. There are some things that are inevitable while this is going on. It’s scary, but you have to talk about this right now.
COVID-19 is also known as the Novel Coronavirus. In a very short amount of time, it has become a global pandemic. The likes of which we have not seen in our lifetime. Our lives have been upended by what’s going on. Schools have been closed. People are working from home…if they’re still fortunate enough to have employment. Parents who had neither the time nor desire to homeschool are being thrust into the role of teaching alongside their actual teachers. It’s al been stressful, overwhelming, and exhausting. The emotions that we’re dealing with are beasts of their own.
Mechanically, COVID-19, attacks the lungs. There is a lot more detail into its mechanism of action, but at the basest level, it interrupts your lungs from being able to get oxygen into your blood and to the rest of your organs. Saying that it’s not a pleasant situation is putting it mildly. Thankfully there are a lot of people who contract the virus and their body/immune system is strong enough to fight it. Many people are recovering from the illness. Praise God!
The reality of the situation
Unfortunately, there are many in our population who will not be able to survive the infection. Individuals with underlying health conditions, mostly those with heart and/or lung issues and cancer patients/survivors, are at the greatest risk. Being an immunocompromised or immunosuppressed individual is where the danger lies; as a result, this population has the smallest chance of surviving the infection.
I am one of those people.
We’ve taken every precaution of disinfecting our mail, shoes, and every item that crosses our threshold. We wash our clothes more often than we used to. Additionally, doorknobs and light switches are sanitized daily. Contact with my family is almost non-existent, save for my mom dropping off supplies when she has extra on hand.
Despite all of the precautions we take daily, in the back of my mind, we still wonder “What is going to happen if we contract the virus?” As careful as we are, there is always the chance that we could still become infected. Being terrifyingly open and honest, if I contract the virus, the chances are very slim that I will make it.
it’s scary, but you have to talk about this right now
It shatters my heart, but the reality of the situation is that there is a lot of death in this outbreak. Coronavirus is so ubiquitous that when someone is admitted to the hospital for the infection, they have to be alone. I’ve heard many stories of people who are losing the fight…alone.
Losing a loved one is hard enough. Knowing that you don’t have the opportunity to say goodbye and that your loved one is scared and alone is traumatizing. Living with this fact is going to make it virtually impossible to make decisions and arrangements for their final rest. Then it will be too late to try to figure out what your loved one’s wishes were. Was there a Do Not Resuscitate (DNR) Order in place? Do they want to be buried or cremated? Is there life insurance to take care of the family? Yes, it’s scary, but you have to talk about this right now.
Since we can’t avoid it, let’s talk about the death part. The only thing we can do is be prepared for it. God (and the salvation found in Christ) has the spiritual part of it under control. Firstly, make sure that you’re right with Him (Mark 16:16.) That is eternally more important.
Next, you need to get your house and physical life in order.
The list of things to get it together
Growing up, I possessed an innate fear of buying life insurance and having a Last Will and Testament. My biggest driving factor in that fear was that if I wrote a will, I would die. As I’m older, that fear no longer correlates but I was still a little hesitant. To quote Ben Franklin, “In this world, nothing can be said to be certain, except death and taxes.”
The emergence of this pandemic has put us on high alert for how quickly and tragically life can change. If you have not yet been affected, don’t wait until you are to get your house together.
In order to do that, here’s the basic list of things that you’ll need:
One of the first things that we did after we got married was to craft our Living Wills. A living will is defined as “a written statement detailing a person’s desires regarding their medical treatment in circumstances in which they are no longer able to express informed consent, especially an advance directive.” Basically, it means when you can’t speak for yourself, your loved ones know what you want to say. This is incredibly important when you’re hospitalized alone and unconscious. If you don’t want to be resuscitated or put on life support, this is where you let the medical professionals know your wishes. Here is a link to do the paperwork; it will let you complete the process according to the laws of your state.
Power of Attorney
Your Power of Attorney is when you give your spouse or family member “the authority to act for another person in specified or all legal or financial matters” You may or may not need this for a hospital stay but if your spouse or loved one passes away, you’ll need to be able to take care of financial responsibilities. After death has occurred is not the time you want to find out that you don’t have access to a bank account. Additionally, your state may have laws that are specific to your community. Find the forms you need here.
In speaking to my financial institution about a separate matter, I discovered that the traditional Power of Attorney is not all-encompassing. Banking institutions will eventually accept the PoA that you create, but there could be a lot of red-tape bureaucracy involved. Banking institutions require you to have a separate PoA on file with them, even if your spouse is a joint owner on the account. Be sure to contact your particular institution for paperwork and any additional documentation you may need.
Health and Life Insurance
Vowing in sickness and in health