My experience with covid has been five weeks of struggling, and now I get to be a long hauler. I had most of the symptoms including respiratory problems, fatigue, coughing, aches and pains, and a general emotional and spiritual upheaval.
I also developed two pneumonias, one bacterial and one viral. So, I was really ill with three severe respiratory illnesses at the same time Even now, as I start back into my daily activities, I am struggling with chest pain, hurting lungs, tiredness, loss of breath, and small bits of brain fog.
Although it has been years since the last time I was really unwell, I experienced a difference with COVID. It wasn’t that it was fast. I mean really fast! Literally one day I was fine and within two days I was struggling to breathe. It wasn’t the severity or the wide range of symptoms that came with the virus that hit me the hardest.
What really struck me as the most significant issue of this illness was the darkness that accompanied it. It was a darkness that attacked my mind and my emotions and my spirit. I am not saying the Covid is spiritual. But in my experience, there is a spiritual dimension surrounding it that is going unreported. There was a sense of hopelessness, sadness, and doom.
But I was able to overcome for a number of reasons. Number one is prayers.
I am fortunate enough to have had Christians praying for me on the West Coast and the East Coast and in several cities in both the United States and Canada. In my home town, whole churches stopped and prayed for both myself and my wife, Stella, who also had a serious COVID case. I had other pastors dedicated to daily prayer time for me and with me. I was covered in prayer, and I am sure God heard my name and Stella’s name mentioned every hour of every day.
These prayers kept me alive and kept me out of the hospital. My wife used to work in an Emergency Department and knew which signs to monitor and to look for, Prayers combined with her care and knowledge kept me out of that isolated hospital room with nothing but a ventilator to cheer my soul.
Prayer and my counselling experience and experience with chronic pain and illness helped me deal with the emotional attacks and the mind games that came with Covid. I was able to use techniques to overcome negative thoughts and the fear never really got its claws into my heart. My spiritual background and my foundation in Christ helped me battle the spiritual darkness that tried to engulf me.
Not everyone is this blessed. And even ones who are, sometimes die. Bad things happen to good people, and although I am not a good person in many ways, bad things happened to both Stella and myself. This ought not to surprise us. The rain falls on both the good and the bad.
But COVID is not a natural-born virus. Viruses do not have such darkness attached to them. Viruses follow certain rules and their behaviour can be predicted, and we know how to stop them from spreading. Covid did not behave normal with us. It didn’t follow any rules but made up its own set of directions.
That is why I believe it is a man-made illness. As for the emotional and spiritual elements of Covid, I am not as certain about where they enter the picture. Perhaps because of the fear and hopelessness associated with Covid which would give fear and doom footholds unto which to grab. I simply don’t know the origins of the spiritual connection of Covid. I only know the impact of it.
I had the best care available both at home and at the COVID Medical Assessment Centre. Physically, I could not have asked for anything more. Excellence describes my physical treatment. Spiritually, I also received excellent treatment by equally skilled and dedicated people.
Today, as I struggle with being a long hauler, I am thankful that there is nothing on earth or in the heavens that keep me away from God. In a few moments, my life changed. God never does. His love is constant. Put your faith and trust in God and don’t be rocked when bad things happen to good people. Even when it happens to you.
Andy Becker is a pastor, retired counsellor and former CEO of a Hospice organization. Currently, his wife, Stella and Andy, lead both Lighthouse ministries and Bread of Life ministries in North Central Regina, one of Canada’s poorest and roughest neighborhoods. His book, The Travelers, is available at Amazon.com and Amazon.ca.