When a negative experience threatens to overwhelm, we encourage people to “count your blessings.” That’s what I choose to do!
When returning recently from a few weeks in America, we found ourselves with a long list of requirements to get back into Thailand, one of which was to stay in a government-authorized hotel quarantine for 11 days.
Counting my quarantine blessings:
Bruce and I could be in a room together during the quarantine, which was not a given. To get permission, we had to produce an original marriage certificate. I am glad ours is still readable after 49 1/2 years.
We had a very comfortable bed to sleep in, which was also not a given. We have stayed in many Thai hotels with VERY hard beds.
We had un-pressured time to get over our jet-lag. This has previously been a challenge. Usually, when we arrive at the other end of a 20-to-24-hour trip, there are expectations that we and other people have, and those expectations require us to immediately function in the new time zone (with a twelve-hour difference). Our not-so-young bodies have struggled with that.
Food was prepared and delivered to us three times a day. They did their best to accommodate our unique dietary preference. The traditional Thai-Asian diet for a vegetarian/vegan is very limited, but we gained a new appreciation of being able to purchase and prepare foods that are familiar to us, while living in a foreign culture.
We had COVID-19 testing done twice during our stay and it was all included in the quarantine package. We didn’t have to pay the exorbitant price for it that we had to pay at the urgent-care clinic in Mishawaka.
The staff at the hotel were kind, pleasant and helpful to us. They even spoke to us in English. They were always respectfully covered for their protection and ours, so as not to infect us with the virus that was spreading very quickly in Bangkok. (Presently, Bangkok is in a DARK RED zone. This is the worst in the country.)
We were so delighted when twice during our stay, the staff came and escorted us to the roof of the building where we could enjoy the sunshine and outside air for 40 minutes.
We had hot and cool water available to us 24/7. This proved very helpful to me when I got a head cold for a few days. I practiced the contrast showers that we had learned more about during our “immersion” experience back in March.
We had floor-to-ceiling windows that allowed us to observe the constant flow of human traffic in the street below our fourth-floor room. I love watching and praying for people and I had lots of down time to do that.
Also, those windows were so wonderful because there was a ledge just outside that offered a perch for feathered friends. While they seemed oblivious to the fact that we were just inches away from them, we could clearly study the intricate patterns and colors of the Creator’s design.
We appreciated the fact that we live in the day and age of excellent media connections so that we could stay in touch with our family and friends as well as our missionaries and home office during our stay.
We could sleep, read, listen to YouTube sermons and sing to our hearts content without feelings of guilt for wasting time. We discovered a wonderful YouTube channel called “Sabbath Sing-along” coming out of Australia. What a blessing that was for us.
Probably the most wonderful part was that I got to spend lots of time with my best friend, Jesus, unpressured and unrestricted. Lastly, it was wonderful to come out of quarantine having spent so much quality time with my wonderfully supportive husband and still be best friends!
Thank you, Lord, for this call to just “be” for a little while and not have to “do” anything in particular.
Philippians 4:11 (NIV): “I am not saying this because I am in need, for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances.”