By Wenda Grabau
My brush with the virus
A few days after my family’s return from a trip they had been on, symptoms reared their ugly heads. Coughing uncontrollably, nearly sleepless nights, sore throat, and fever all descended on our little home in the country. Doing his regular chores drained my husband’s strength. Life was not going as usual.
After several days of this scenario, we decided to have our travelers checked for the virus that had captured the world’s attention. Not expecting a positive result, we were quite taken aback when the diagnosis came. Since I presented no symptoms, I was not tested. But when my temperature started to rise it was quite certain that I, too, had been invaded by the virus.
It became evident that we could not continue the usual routine without help. Our capable friend took on the chores for morning and evening for many days. My daughter, my husband and I continued to fight the ups and downs of temperature fluctuations. Acetaminophen was a regular help at controlling our body temperatures. Yet strength waned.
I had the lightest case in our household. I could still ride my exercise bike. I could wash dishes and do laundry. I set up meals for the family. I cannot take credit for the menus, however.
Friends and neighbors rallied to bring us soups, fruits, bagels, beverages, yogurt, fresh maple syrup, honey, cookies and even disinfectant cleaning supplies. The good wishes and concern coming from all directions was overwhelming. Neighbors down the road, relatives from nearby towns and out of the country called us, emailed us and sent us cards to lift our spirits.
One discipline I maintained was spending time reviewing promises set forth in the Holy Bible. One such promise is Psalm 50:15 which says, “And call upon Me in the day of trouble, and I will deliver you and you shall glorify Me.”
Another says, “Just as a father has compassion on his children, so the Lord has compassion on those who fear Him. For He Himself knows our frame and is mindful that we are but dust.” (Psalm 103:13, 14) This was certainly a time to call on the One who loves us so. And we did.
So many of our friends and acquaintances expressed their thoughts about us and prayers they were presenting to the Lord on our behalf. How wonderful to hear that others acknowledged the need for God’s mighty, healing hand to work in our lives.
At length, my husband’s symptoms became a concern. He was exhausted. We transported him to the hospital for help. He was admitted to the hospital in isolation. Since my daughter and I were still in quarantine, we could not see him for seven days. How great it was to have a telephone with which to keep up with his situation. That week went by slowly. We were never quite sure when we would be welcoming him home again.
But finally, the big day arrived. We picked him up from the hospital and made the drive home while we were all still in quarantine. The warm, welcoming sunshine brightened and warmed us for the occasion.
My husband’s strength has slowly returned. The medical team has been monitoring his progress. We all look forward till we hear the words, “Your quarantine is ended.”
When I have the chance to bring soup to a sick friend, a favorite recipe I use is Bacon Potato Chowder from the Land O’Lakes Country Heritage Cookbook.
Bacon Potato Chowder
8 (1/2 lb.) slices bacon, cut into ½ inch pieces
1 c. (2 med.) chopped onions
2 c. (2 med.) chopped potatoes
1 cup water
1 tsp. salt
1/8 tsp. pepper
10 ¾ oz. can condensed cream of chicken soup
1 cup sour cream
1 ½ cups milk
In 3-quart saucepan cook bacon over medium heat until browned. Add onions, continue cooking until tender (2-3 minutes); drain. Add potatoes, water, salt and pepper. Continue cooking until potatoes are tender (15-20 minutes). Reduce heat to low; stir in soup, sour cream and milk. Continue cooking, stirring occasionally, until heated through (3-5 minutes). Season to taste. Yield: 6 (1 cup) servings.