Argentina reacted very fast to the corona virus. About a week after the first case, Argentina declared quarantine. People who do not have permission to be out and who are not going to buy groceries are to stay in their houses. So since the 20th of March we have pretty much been in the house the whole time, except for when I go grocery shopping (children are not allowed into the stores and really aren’t supposed to be out at all).
So what is quarantine like?
Pilar said we were like Rapunzel trapped in her tower.
My sister-in-law doesn’t know how we keep sane in such a small space, not being able to go outside- especially Pilar- but because of that she has been praying for our sanity everyday and I think those prayers are helping me not cross over the line into crazy town. The big thing they tell you not to do is close yourself into your home when you move countries because it can make depression worse and it can make settling into your new place take longer, but what do you do when you have to, by law, stay inside? I’m looking at these weeks and I think: God is really good and gracious. That has been in my heart everyday of the quarantine: God is good and gracious. There has been some ups and downs emotionally, but all in all I have this peace. I’ve had lots of moments with Pilar- without distractions, without having to run around and “fit” her in. We have played an insane amount of games, read a ton, played with stuffed animals, built with legos and even went “camping and fishing” in the living room. Since we are in no hurry, we cook together (because let’s be honest- when you’re trapped at home you cook and eat a lot), we homeschool and read through the Gospels together during Lent. Normal house rules like no running in the house has become “please run around and jump so you get some exercise.” My (by some people’s views strict) limits on tv and electronics has become much more flexible especially with the school system having educational shows on a couple hours a day. Through it all, time in quarantine has been filled with rest and good memories have been made. Pilar has dealt really well considering she can’t go outside and has no kids to play with. She’s been amazing The ladies of the Redentor church of Christ and sometimes people from other countries have been meeting together on zoom Monday through Friday. Someone shares a thought or devotional and then someone shares something they like or are good at. Some of those things have been explaining how to make certain dishes, how to give yourself a foot massage, questions to get to know each other better, etc. Redentor has also continued with church and mid-week Bible studies and even set up some topical classes through google meet as a way for people to stay connected to each other and stay encouraged during this time. Quarantine has actually been a pretty full and busy time for me, but through it all I also hear God calling me to rest. To take time and just be still in His presence. To turn off the cell phone and TV and be present in the moment. To cultivate that inner silence in the middle of all the noise and thoughts. What I have heard from many and pray for is that when the world returns to “normal” the lessons we learned during this time stay with us. Truly and deeply appreciating the community of believers. Taking advantage of moments with people and slowing those moments down. Relying on God and His providence and care. Time with family in a truer sense. Being thankful for the big and little things and moments. Until that time, let’s continue to listen to what God is saying to us and encouraging one another always. A good book to read during this time is “The Rest of God” by Mark Buchanan and I’ve been reading the “Return of the Prodigal Son” by Henri Nouwen which is an excellent book and requires a lot of introspection.