At the time of publication, all recipes were free of the allergens listed as being free of in the title (i.e. soy-free, milk-free, etc.), and all other information shared was accurate to the best of my knowledge.
Though I strive to update outdated information quickly and work diligently to make sure you have the most accurate information possible at all times, it is your duty to double check labels EVERY TIME to ensure that the ingredients you use are SAFE FOR YOU.
Your doctor or allergist should also be your first go-to for information on how to handle your medical needs. That being said, if you DO notice an error, please send me an email letting me know (tell me what page or recipe the error is on, what the error is, etc.), and I will correct the error ASAP.
Thank you so much!

Please Be Advised:
I make sure all of my recipes use foods that are free of the allergens they say they are free of. You will need to do the same. For help with this, please see the appropriate "Alternative Names" page for the allergen(s) you need the recipe free of.

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Friday, March 20, 2020

Recent Reflections - March 2020: Coronavirus (COVID-19)

This is the third Recent Reflections post of 2020.  Recent Reflections goes live the third Friday or Saturday of each month.  Each Recent Reflections post covers something that I'm reflecting on.  If you'd like to share a post with a similar theme, feel free to leave a comment with a link to your post, and I'll hop on over and leave a comment (and maybe some other readers will, too).

This month, I will be reflecting on the Coronavirus (COVID-19).

Image courtesy of the CDC.
{Just a note here before you read any further: This illness is not a joke, and it should definitely not be taken lightly.  We do not have immunity to it, there is no cure or medicine for it (though they are working on it), and there is no vaccine at this time.  It is especially a danger to those who are elderly or immune compromised because they don't have the defense systems to fight it off like a younger and/or healthier person.  Please, please, please obey the rules and laws for the sake of our most vulnerable, and don't brush it off as "just another flu, cold, virus, etc."  Social distancing (healthy or not) and staying home when you are ill or even when you don't have to be out and about (i.e. no play dates or parties) does and will save lives.  If you do go out, don't shake hands or hug or even sit or stand close to people (especially if they appear to be ill) other than immediate {healthy} family members.  Don't panic, but be smart!

Don't hoard supplies, either - this only hurts the situation further.

Also, don't spread rumors, and make sure you're getting your information from reliable sources (like the ones I will list below) vs. a source designed to spread sensationalism, fear, etc.  Keep your heads and keep your hands clean.  

Also, our governments - local, state, and federal - are indeed doing what they believe is best for those in their charge, and they are also doing what they can to get testing available for anyone that wants it, but those tests take time to get (just reality - reliable tests take time to make) and results take time to get.  If you are asked to quarantine or do home isolation, test or not, do it (Here's a link to the current guidelines from the CDC about what to do if you are sick.).  That's being courteous, responsible, and a good citizen.
Everything we do may seem like overkill now, but it may be just enough.  My prayer is that it's not too little.  I'd much rather have it said that we overreacted than underreacted.  I'm sure you feel the same way, too.}  

So much has changed in such a short time.  

About 2 weeks ago, I could go to the store without too much worry about finding the supplies I needed.
Today, I can't say that with 100% certainty.

About 2 weeks ago, I could assume that if my kids were a little congested or stuffy or even complaining about a mild sore throat or coughed a bit that it was just seasonal allergies.
Today, I can't say that with 100% certainty.

Today, I have to weigh everything I do by a different measure.
I have to be cautious, not only for myself, but for those around me.
I have to check temperatures when I otherwise wouldn't.
I have to heed every complaint, no matter how minor, and weigh it with reason instead of the instant panic that threatens to rises up within me when I know there is a pandemic around that has so much unknown to it yet, and I need to seriously consider if I should call the doctor over what I would normally consider only a mild complaint.

I have to live with my decisions to stay home or go to the grocery store, and I have to be willing to accept the fact that every trip outside the house could lead to exposure to a disease that may do very little to me, my husband, or even my kids, but could be deadly to some of the dear elderly people that we know and may run into later on.

I also have to realize that there is a lot of misinformation and confusion out there.  One person's bad experience is being shared like that's standard operating procedure.  One person's phobia is becoming fact instead of a hypothetical possibility.  It's hard to find reliable information, and that's why I will share some reliable resources later in this post.

Then there is this reality: We have no immunity to this thing.  That means that our most vulnerable people have a greater chance of dying from this virus, though it is likely to leave us otherwise healthy and/or young{er} people unscathed for the most part.  That's just overwhelmingly heartbreaking to me that we could lose so many precious people to this thing, even if it would statistically be a "low number".

Add to that the fact that we don't want to overload the health care system if we can help it, especially if recovery at home is possible, so we absolutely need to take self-isolation and social distancing recommendations seriously.  We need to be rational, we need to not panic, and we need to realize when to seek care and when to stay home and ride it out.  And right now that means calling the doctor for advice if you feel ill vs. rushing to your local hospital (unless you are experiencing an emergency - i.e. trouble breathing, severe pain, broken bone) and following his/her instructions.

I consider all these things, and realize I have a choice to make.

Am I going to live in fear or live responsibly and trust the Lord?

2 Timothy 1:7 (KJV) says,"For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind."

I choose to trust the Lord.

It would be extremely foolish to assume that the Coronavirus is not in my neighborhood.  I am of the mindset that it is everywhere, and that there are a lot more cases going undiagnosed due to those particular cases being mild/symptom-free/confused with another illness than there are cases being diagnosed.  This knowledge doesn't make me feel paranoid, and it actually makes me feel thankful because I'm glad that so many people may already be over and immune to this nasty virus.  I also have chosen to trust the Lord with the true facts of disease spread, do what I can to practice good hygiene and social distancing, and live the best life that I can.  

This outbreak did not catch God by surprise.  He is not up there wondering what to do next.  He already knows the future.  I'm so grateful that I have Him to lean on, and I'm so blessed to have His peace.  I know that, come what may, God has my best interests at heart, He loves me and mine more than I do, and He is able to protect us.  I choose to trust in that.

So, what happens if worst case scenario happens?
God is still good.
God is still on the throne, and I will trust Him to use it for my, my family's, etc. betterment.

This is not the first time we have personally faced the unknown with some very scary possibilities on the line, so I know He is faithful.  I choose to allow Him to use this crisis to bring me closer to Him.  That's my choice, and it brings me joy and peace.

Here are my last words of advice before I share some infographics from the CDC and some links to helpful (i.e. factual vs. fear-mongering) information about this virus around the world: 
  • If you are looking for this peace that I'm describing, go here and read this.  If you have questions, email me.  I'll be more than happy to discuss it with you!
  • Stay calm!  Panic helps no one.  Do what you can to stay positive.  Take things one day at a time, and don't dwell on the "what if"s.  If you need help finding {reliable} information or resources, email me!  I'll be more than happy to help you find them.      
  • If you need someone to talk to or need a prayer partner, email me!  I'm always willing to be a {virtual} shoulder to lean on.
  • Last, but not least, stay safe!  Wash your hands, keep your hands off your face, stay home if you're not feeling well or simply just feeling too vulnerable to leave your house, and remember to breathe.  Check on your neighbors (especially your elderly) if you can and are healthy, and be kind!  We're all in this together.

Here are some infographics from the CDC that can be of help to you at this time:

Links for current COVID-19 information and updates and other helpful information:

-CDC's Coronavirus page:
(This site gives updated COVID-19 data, advice on how to avoid the spread and when to seek medical attention, etc.)

-WHO's Coronavirus page:, especially their page under "Protect Yourself".
(This site gives updated COVID-19 data, advice on how to avoid the spread and when to seek medical attention, etc.)

-Our World In Data's Coronavirus page:
(This site mainly gives facts and statistics, but also gives advice on how to recognize symptoms, how the disease progresses, etc.)

-An infographic from the Allergy & Asthma Network that is helpful in distinguishing between COVID-19, Asthma, and the Flu:

-Pandemic Pondering:
(This is a daily blog written by a doctor which, according to the site, has "expertise in vaccines, immunology, lung disease and pandemic response".  The blog endeavors to answer some questions and concerns about COVID-19.)

I truly hope this post has been a help to you, or at the least made you stop and think a little.

Maybe you want to share something in comments that God has done in your life recently to bless you as a means to be an encouragement to others during these trying and difficult times?  Feel free to do so.  Positivity and blessings are always welcome!  

What are you reflecting on?

Have a wonderful weekend!

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