Millions of people around the globe have survived Covid. But, in the wake of it, we know that hundreds and thousands of survivors have serious long-haul conditions like brain fog, extreme fatigue, and muscle and joint pain. These effects have led to depression and unfortunately even suicide.
Those Covid survivors probably thought, like me with polio at age 6, that a short time after Covid that that was it. Life would be reset back to normal.
However, their new normal is in no way normal and it has gotten old for them very quickly.
Fear sets in. Questions abound. How can I live with these conditions? How can I work with these adverse effects of Covid? Will I ever get back to where I once was? How will I ever be strong and courageous enough to overcome the suffering and pain I endure every day?
I had polio. Polio was a fecal virus like Covid. I survived it. For 30 wonderful years after polio, rehabilitation, and surgery I reached a plateau of basically a pain- free very manageable productive existence. Then, out of nowhere, after 30 years, like hundreds of thousands of polio survivors worldwide, I started to have the late-effects or long-haul effects of polio (Post-Polio Syndrome).
Adverse and unexpected effects like sudden muscle weakness and pain and respiratory fatigue. These effects hauled me into an iron lung. Each night, the iron lung breathed for me for five years as a thirty-six-year-old lawyer, father, husband, and child of God.
The devastation of both long-haul Covid and the Post-Polio Syndrome is inestimable and heartbreaking. It’s like being twice cursed. Yet, we have an exceedingly, inestimably loving God.
For Covid survivors with long-haul effects and me, we feel like we survived one curse and then were cursed again. We may be twice cursed but, most importantly, we remain blessed by God’s love and grace. That blessing enables us to bear any cross on earth.
To those of you who are long-haulers, I have a message for you. I reached a new plateau of health and well-being after Post-Polio Syndrome more than 30 years ago. Just when I thought my life was over, in prayer, God stepped in for me. With my bride, Dorothy, and the help of God I became the best me I’ve ever been. I helped raise our two children and am now a grandfather to 4 grandkids. God had plans for me. God has plans now for you too.
God is there for you and me for the long haul today, every day, to the very end. This Easter season reminds us that that earthly ending will be a new beginning for you and me. God is the longest hauler for us as forever is forever, eternal and everlasting.
God has spoken in Scripture about being there for us.
Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.
For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.
Let us pray together.
Dear God, in prayer, I ask You to heal and comfort all persons who have the long-haul effects of Covid.
God, please give them pain-free days and nights to enjoy life and the living of it.
God, please let the long haulers have faith that You and Your inexhaustible love are there for them for the long haul. That forever is all we need and all we have from You. Amen.
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Jack H. Emmott is a Senior Counsel of Gray, Reed & McGraw, LLP, a 145-lawyer full-service firm in Houston, Dallas, and Waco, Texas, a Board-Certified Family Law and Master Credentialed Collaborative Law Professional Divorce Attorney, Mediator, Author, Entrepreneur, and Inspirational Speaker. For more information about Jack or his latest book, Bending Angels: Living Messengers of God’s Love, go to the Bending Angel website.