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Where Were You the Week the World Locked Down?

Wednesday March 11, 2020 9:00pm.  I exited our bible study, hopped in the car and flipped on the radio to catch the latest news. To my shock, the first thing that I heard was that they had literally just postponed an NBA game after Utah Jazz player Rudy Gobert tests positive for Covid-19.  Moments later I heard a report that Tom Hanks and his wife had tested positive and were quarantining in Australia.   I couldn’t believe it and immediately called my wife Joy to see if she had heard.  That evening we watched CNN and MSNBC with amazement of what we were hearing.

Thursday March 12, 12:00 Noon… 15 hours later I was standing in the halls of our offices talking with my boss. She was explaining to me that we were closing the office within the hour and that we should probably plan to work from home for the next week or possibly two. In that moment my cell phone rang. It was my son who just popped in the night before on his way back to school from spring break. He said one of his roommates from spring break was sick in the hospital and had to be tested. My Lord… have we all been exposed? “Stay in your room and don’t open the door!” I called Delta to cancel my flight to Pittsburgh to see my mother scheduled for the next morning. All evening the two of us were glued to the television once again taking in every word. “Is this really happening?”

Friday March 13, 7:30am Joy heads to the office as normal.  I head to the kitchen to set up my temporary office for the day.

Friday March 13 12:00 Noon… Our son received the phone call telling him his roommate tested negative for Coronavirus. Praise God! With that positive news I convinced my wife that we could safely attend a movie because the AMC theatre is operating at partial capacity and we can select a seat far from other movie watchers. Anyone who knows us knows that movies are just what we do! Our first date was a movie. In fact, we went to Las Vegas and went to a movie while there. Let’s just say dinner and a movie is what we do. So, there we were in a movie theatre that had maybe 3 or 4 other couples. As we leave the movie we walk past a restaurant where there are only 2 other tables occupied. We ask if we can be seated not too close to others and they give us an entire section to ourselves. The meal was delicious albeit eerie. Little did we know that this would be our last date (outside of our home) for quite some time.

Saturday March 14, 9:00am – 4:00pm The men of our church gathered in a hotel conference room for our Men’s Retreat. Our first experience of greeting each other with awkward “elbow bumps”, waves and the occasional almost hug (you start to hug and then realize it’s not appropriate). On the way home I pick up what will be the first of MANY take-out meals to share with my lovely bride.

Sunday March 15, 9:15am… We prepare breakfast, set up our computer and tune in to the Ben Hill United Methodist Church Virtual Worship Service. We thought “will this work for a few weeks?” Later that day we ordered take-out once again. I thought “if we’ll be stuck in the house the next week or so, this take-out thing works for me!”

This was us the week the world began to lock down. One year later we’re closer as a couple than we’ve ever been. We’ve gained… We’ve lost… Through it all, God has been with us and despite everything we’ve experienced, our marriage is blessed.

Now it’s your turn. We’d love to hear your story about the week the world locked down. Please share your story.

Mike Watkins Atlanta, GA



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