The Night America Woke Up to COVID-19

In the span of 30 minutes tonight after President Trump gave an address on the coronavirus, actor Tom Hanks announced himself and wife Rita Wilson have tested positive for COVID-19. This was followed by basketball player Rudy Gobert’s testing positive for COVID-19 and the NBA announcing an indefinite suspension for the rest of season. I was just about to publish this post when I saw the U.S. Department of State has issued a Global Level 3 Health Advisory and is now telling US citizens to reconsider travel abroad due to the global impact of COVID-19.

Image Source: NY Times

I have been closely following this story since mid January. Lately I have felt like I am living in a movie with an unbelievable plot. From the first whistle blower in China, Dr. Li Wenliang, being diagnosed and dying of the virus and to citizen journalists Chen Qiushi and Fang Bin going missing after sharing videos from hospitals in Wuhan these men, along with many more reporters, deserve the entire worlds thanks and gratitude. If not for them the world would not have known about this virus or its severity.

In the United States testing is still widely unavailable. Without mass testing capacity there is limited data available to show where the virus is spreading and how many people have it. I live in Arizona, population 7.172 million, and at the time of this post being published we have tested 100 people. At this point we all need to assume that it is rapidly moving among all our communities. The lack of testing and limiting testing criteria shouldn’t have happened. Crucial time was wasted.

Tonight proves to all Americans who have not been paying attention or brushing this off as “just the flu” that this needs to be taken seriously. The United States has recently started exporting cases to other countries which means that the virus has been active and undetected in multiple cities for several weeks.

Two weeks ago the world started seeing a large number of cases that were linked to recent travel from Italy. Today Italy reported 2,313 new cases and 196 new deaths. In total Italy has reported 12,462 cases, 827 deaths, with 1,028 in serious condition and 1,045 recovered. Scientists have been saying that the United States is two weeks behind Italy in regards to virus spread.

If you have not started preparing you need to. The CDC recommends having a two week supply of water/food and extra prescription medication. Social distancing is going to be something we hear for awhile. No more handshakes, cover your coughs and sneezes, don’t go out when you are sick, and stay home as much as you can. Now is not the time to panic. Make a plan and start getting prepared. There is only so much at this time that we can control. If you feel anxious start making a list of what you can control now. I will have a follow up post to help with this soon.

Know that you have a voice. Be positive and be kind but speak up. We need to hear how our local governments are trying to flatten the curve. Use your voice to encourage and use your voice to inform others. We need to hear from first responders and healthcare workers at the front lines of this pandemic. And yes, it is officially a pandemic as of today, the World Health Organization finally made the announcement this morning.

My thoughts and prayers go out to everyone who has been diagnosed and to their loved ones. Stay safe!

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Suja Three Day Fresh Start from Costco Review

On one of my many recent trips to Costco I came across the Suja Three Day Fresh Start box and was intrigued. It was on sale for $15 and I decided to give it a try. I also got a box for Josh.

The box comes with 9 cold press juices and a meal plan. The meal plan features a plant based recipe for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. The recipes included overnight oats, crunchy veggie bowl, and roasted veggies and lentils.

Everything is laid out easily for you to follow. And there is even a grocery shopping list include.

What I Loved

You can’t beat the cost of this boxed set. While you still have to buy your food and prep your meals, $15 for the juices and all the information included is a great price.

Three days is also a very doable length of time. I think if you are newer to plant based eating or wanting to clean up your diet this would be a great way to start. Josh and I are wanting to try to add a few meals each week that are plant based and this gave us some ideas for dinners.

I have done juice cleanses in the past and I honestly don’t think I could do one currently during this season in my life. I appreciate that there are products for people who are looking to make incremental changes when it comes to their eating and love that Costco is selling this!

What I Disliked

The drinks caused both myself and Josh to have horrible stomach cramps. Mine hit at night and his was in the morning. I am fairly certain it was directly related to the juices because since finishing this a week ago I haven’t had any issues. My stomach was rock hard from all the cramping and at one point I was curled up on the floor in our bedroom because it hurt so bad.

I have had Suja juices before and never had this problem, but these drinks were all new to me flavors so maybe that is why? I honestly have no idea. Maybe the high amount of fiber in my diet also had something to do with it.

Regardless, I was not a fan of all the stomach issues I had and if this had been more than three days I would have had to stop before it was over.

Would I Recommend This Product

✰✰✰

Out of 5 stars, I give the Suja Three Day Fresh Start a 3 star review. I love the price point and the idea of this, but it killed my insides. For someone who is looking to jumpstart their nutrition, or add in more plant based eating to their diet, this could be a good option. But because of the experience Josh and I had I am leery of this combination of juices. If you have tried this please let me know if it hurt your stomach too. I am curious to see if anyone else has experienced these symptoms.

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What I Learned From Reading The Bible (2019)

This year marks my fourth consecutive year reading through the Bible. I picked ESV Story of Redemption Bible which uses a daily reading plan to read through the entire Bible in 365 days.

If you have never read the Bible in its entirety before I highly recommend purchasing this version. It has a reading plan in the back (which is what I used) and it is full of easy to understand commentary. I am going to be using this Bible again in 2020 but following a different plan.

My first time reading the bible I started with Matthew and read to Revelation and then read Genesis through Malachi. I have also used The Bible Project Reading Plan and Reading God’s Story: A Daily Chronological Bible 

Here is a quick review of what I have learned from reading the Bible in 2019!

What I Learned From Reading the Bible

I had great plans to type this post up over the year as I learned things but that didn’t happen, there is always next year :). With that being said, what is below is truly what stayed me over the course of the year.

Genesis

Earlier this year I did an in depth study on the first few chapters of Genesis and really enjoyed it. The major takeaway I have from that study was learning that Moses wrote Genesis for the Israelites as a history lesson. He was showing the Israelites where they had come from as they were moving out of Egypt and towards the promised land.

Moses didn’t write that God created the sun and moon, he implied it, but didn’t use that verbiage. The study I did suggested that this was intentional because he was trying to create a new mindset for his people.

They had been living in Egyptian culture for a long time. They were susceptibly to view the “sun” and “moon” as Egyptian gods vs. viewing the two great lights (Genesis 1:14-19) as God’s creation. Idolatry was a huge problem for the Egyptian culture and God was calling his people out of Egypt and away from this thinking.

I had always read that passage of scripture to say God created the sun and moon, and even though it implied that wasn’t written. This was a good lesson and reminder for me to slow down and really read the text. I can get into a bad habit of mindlessly reading my Bible. This year I tried to make more of an effort to focus more and be more intentionally when I am reading. That didn’t always happen but I am trying ;).

The Good Samaritan

Along this same thought pattern of reading and understanding scripture in the context it was written and the audience it was for I really appreciated my pastor preaching on the Good Samaritan (Luke 11:25-37) this year. Again, this is a super familiar passage of scripture and story that most people have heard even if they don’t attend church. I have always tried to put myself into parables like this one and assumed I was the good samaritan in the story. My pastor offered a new to me perspective on the church being the inn and Jesus being the good samaritan. That is never how I read this before but his explanation made total sense. Jesus said he was going to come back and reward the man for all his help on caring for the injured man. You can listen to the entire sermon HERE if you are interested.

I learned this year that reading scripture never gets easier. In fact I think it gets harder. Especially when the Holy Spirit keeps convicting me and showing my areas in my life that need him. And yet I will continue to read my bible because I know it is for my good and His glory. Even when it is hard.

2020 Reading Plan

In a few days I will be starting my new Bible reading plan, Read the Bible with TGC in 2020. I will be reading the Bible following Robert Murray M’Cheyne’s plan. This takes you through the entire Bible in a year (including the New Testament and Psalms twice). If you visit the link you can find all the information you need if you would like to do this plan also.

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