Coping With Fear Of Dying Because Of The Coronavirus by Robert Covington Jr.

I need to get my feelings out. I am scared that I may die from coronavirus and CovID-19. I am a 51 year-old black man that is pre-diabetic, but in overall decent shape. I’ve elevated my exercise routine, I’m eating better and thankfully fully insured. As a resident of Philadelphia, which is a high population density city, I know that I am blessed to live in a city that has excellent healthcare hospitals, but as we’ve seen in New York, even the best hospitals can only do so much against this deadly virus.

Amid my reality, I continue to channel my fear in positive ways as best I can. I take all of the necessary precautions in maintaining physical and social distancing. I shop once a week and go very early in the morning to minimize human exposure and contact. I wash EVERY item that is purchased at the store with soap and water. I spend more time with my wife and children playing games, watching TV and entering their world of Tik tok and silly vines.

My wife and I know how truly blessed we are in having jobs that allow us to work from home during this crisis. We live in a high poverty city and through our occupations, are keenly aware of the structural, racial and economic inequalities that are exacerbated because of the pandemic. As consumers of news, we see the same dynamics revealed in other cities and towns around the country. The quiet and heartbreaking suffering of millions serve as an undercurrent to the more visible displays of struggle when you see the thousands of cars lined up for food bank assistance or thousands lined up to fill out unemployment applications.

We cope with our fear by giving to those less fortunate than us. We continue to help family members financially that are struggling as best we can. The joy in giving and helping others is priceless. We zoom, call, Facetime and text friends on a regular basis for connection and comfort during this time of great uncertainty. We hang out on our porch and backyard, weather permitting, and enjoy the ability to relax, embrace our love and appreciate what we have with the humbling awareness that it could be taken away by no fault of our own.

I really don’t know what the future holds. I’ve always been a man of daily prayer, but I must admit that I’ve added a coronavirus prayer to my morning routine. I don’t want to die this way. I don’t want to die in isolation, and I don’t want my children to grow up without their father. This virus has killed hundreds of thousands of people and the numbers are expected to rise. None of those fellow human beings wanted to die this way either, but they did. I am a true believer that God is in control of all things. As a spiritual being, this is reassuring, as a man, it is still terrifying.

I must continue to battle my fears with purpose and clear perspective. I cannot act and think in death and despair while I am still living, breathing and having an opportunity to positively impact my family and the world. I will continue to take precautions, emotionally and physically prepare for the unknown and determined to fight like hell if I somehow catch CovID-19. God wouldn’t want it any other way.

Follow me on twitter: @robcovingtonjr

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