Living Among Those Most At Risk of COV-19

The devastation of COVID-19 moved close to home this week. I am across the street from one of the “hot spots” in South Carolina.

I live in a continuing care community. It was announced that 32 residents and two staff members in the healthcare facility have tested positive for the virus. They are housed only a few hundred yards from where I am “sheltered in place.”

I watch as staff members occasionally come outside for a break. A few times, I’ve spotted a family member appearing outside the window, attempting to provide support and comfort.

And, my daughter is the director of social services in a nearby long-term care facility. Although her facility has no cases, at least yet, the building is in lock-down; and she worries about either unknowingly bringing the virus in or taking it home to her family.

Those across the street are my close neighbors. Many of the staff members are friends. I have worshiped with them, joked with them, shared ministry with them.  Now they are putting their lives on the line.

I feel powerless to respond! I can’t visit. Even notes and cards from the outside are forbidden. The campus chaplain is there for spiritual support. She is marvelous! Sensitive! Compassionate!

I can and do pray for them. But, are there ways I can provide concrete answers to those prayers?

It is a small thing, but I’m going to get more flowers for my backyard since the residents can look down from their rooms. We all need beauty, especially when surrounded by grief and potential death.

I’ll be intentional in providing words of support for the staff, and I’ll be patient if I have needs that aren’t met quickly or efficiently.

I will also abide by the CDC guidelines and protect myself against the virus and avoid carrying the virus to others.  I’ve added those practices as “spiritual disciplines” and acts of love. I’ll wear a mask in public out of respect for the health of others.

I will also advocate for the most vulnerable and those on the frontlines of care. That means insisting that policies in response to the pandemic be based on science and facts, not on political expediency and selfish advantage.

There is a lot of dangerous religious nonsense circulating with the pandemic. Claiming that the virus is God’s punishment only adds to the suffering and totally mischaracterizes the nature and action of God.

The notion that God is inflicting the virus on my neighbors across the street is blatant blasphemy; and any who suggests such are insulting God and my neighbors.

God is present amid the pandemic, suffering with those most at risk and sustaining those who care for them. God is also present in those researchers and practitioners who are diligently seeking therapies and vaccines.

As I sit in my sunroom and look across the street where several neighbors live with COVID-19, I sense that life will never be the same for them or us.

I pray that we will so live among those most at risk that we will emerge from the pandemic a more compassionate people.























22 thoughts on “Living Among Those Most At Risk of COV-19

  1. Thank you for this … and so many of your other writings. My father died with dementia 2-3 years ago, so your reflections on your wife have been most touching and helpful.


    Craig French


    Liked by 1 person

  2. Pingback: Living Among Those Most at Risk by Bishop Kenneth L. Carter – God in the World

  3. Hi. This is so powerful. I tried a reblog but it wouldn’t work for some reason. I hope it’s okay, I quote you and then provide a link to your blog from my God in the World site. Blessings and prayers for your daughter, neighbors, and those people caring for them. I agree with you, I pray we become more compassionate.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Yes! May blessings continue your way! It’s one of those times when we must just hang in there and do our best–and trust in His mercy no matter.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Well put, Bishop Carder. Thank you! I miss visiting my mom but, for once, I’m glad she doesn’t realize what is going on. She’s safe & well cared for at Brookdale with no Covid outbreaks. I am thankful for a compassionate staff that aid in FaceTime calls. I pray for all during this time & look forward to having my family & our church family close together again.

    ❤️ Callie Dunn Sent from my iPhone


    Liked by 1 person

  6. Thank you, Ken, for sharing your perspective. Even though I am retired, my heart still belongs to long term care, and the amazing staff members who care for our vulnerable elderly. I marvel at the dedication and love shown by the caregivers, and I keep them in my prayers. They, including your Sandra, are my heroes.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Thank you for writing this! You put into words the feelings I have as Dale and I walk daily past the building that houses these neighbors of ours and the staff who care for them. I love the idea of following the CDC guidelines as a spiritual practice. These actions are indeed expressions of respect, care, and love.

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  8. Thank you for your update , I have been concerned and will continue to keep you , Sandra as well as affected residents in my prayers. Those religious persons who believe this pandemic was Gods punishment worship a different God than I, you expressed it better than I. We are guilty of failing to be good stewards of this beautiful earth that has been good to us . If this possibly contributed to it we brought it upon ourselves,at any rate we must improve or stewardship. May god bless you and keep you safe.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Thank you for sharing your perspective, spot on as usual . Regarding your remarks re. God punishing I surely do not believe our loving God is punishing, I do however think we humans perhaps my have contributed to this pandemic by our failure to be good stewards of his universe we have been blessed to share whether or not our failure to be good stewards is a factor we have most assuredly failed . Just consider all the clearing of the atmosphere, waterways etc since we have stayed home. Sorry to hear about fellow residents of your community will keep you Sandra ,other health care workers and victims in my prayers. God bless!

    Liked by 1 person

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