Coronavirus (COVID-19) Pandemic? Don’t Panic! {DIY Hand Sanitizer}

So we’re living through a pandemic right now.
Crazy, isn’t it?

I must say, I never once in my entire life anticipated anything like the coronavirus, nicknamed COVID-19.

It was very strange going to the store for a regular grocery run and seeing zero packs of toilet paper on the shelves. All I needed was one pack, yet there were none. Why toilet paper? This isn’t an illness that causes the runs, so I’m not quite sure why there’s a run on TP, other than stocking up in case you get quarantined for weeks on end. Even that doesn’t make much sense to me, though. If everyone only purchased what they need for a week or two, like we do under normal circumstances, there wouldn’t be shortages now. But panic-buying is apparently a thing, and it’s just as contagious as the coronavirus is presumed to be.

Even with the shortages of available sanitary items, I’ve remained calm through the entire thing. Why? Because if it’s my time to go, I’m prepared to meet my Maker. He has taken wonderful care of me through the ups and downs of life so far, and I don’t see why that should change simply because a new illness has arrived on the scene. The question through this event, for me, has been…

Do you trust God or do you not?
My answer is a resounding yes.

I trust God with my life as I already have with my soul and daily living since I was seven years old (when I got saved by asking Jesus to live in my heart). Why should that change now that I’m nearly thirty-three? Jesus Himself died at age thirty-three, and He trusted His Father with His best interest and that of every nation and person on the planet. Because of this infinite trust, He sacrificed His life so He could conquer death to save us all… so we could trust God now, even through this pandemic scaring the wits out of the majority of the world these days.

Do you trust God or do you not?

In the end, that’s what it comes down to on a daily basis anyway, whether or not we have a pandemic or the coronavirus or COVID-19 or another World War or the Second Great Depression on our hands. No matter what we face, from hang nails to terrorist attacks, what matters most is if we trust God with our lives and our deaths. He brought us into the world, and He’s the only One who knows the exact moment we’ll leave it. All of our daily living between those two dates (our birth and death) should be lived by trusting that He knows best how to take care of us and that whatever happens to us or around us or halfway around the world from us will be for the good of His Kingdom and the glory of His name.

Even while we’re trusting Him, we should still use the common sense and smarts He gave us. Washing our hands with soap and water is something we ought to be doing regularly, whether or not there’s a rapidly spreading virus. Using hand sanitizer after touching things dozens or hundreds of people may have come into contact with (grocery carts, door handles, touch screens, pens on credit card machines, etc.) is a great precaution for staving off illnesses during any time of the year. Keeping surfaces at home and work cleaned every week is good for everyone’s health no matter what season we’re in. Making sure we take our vitamins and herbs and any medications we require to keep our immune systems boosted on a regular basis also helps keep sicknesses at bay.

These are everyday things, folks. Not just-in-the-middle-of-a-crisis things.

Why the panic? Why the sudden urge to stockpile everything, leaving your neighbors and fellow community members without needed items? What happened to helping out one another during hard or scary times?

I don’t like the talk of “social distancing,” because it breeds apathy. Sure, take precautions. Not touching each other unnecessarily during this time might be wise. But let’s not forget how to communicate with kindness with each other. Let’s not forget to help out friends and neighbors if they need something that you may provide. Let’s not forget that caring matters. Sympathy and empathy are needed much more than social distancing and apathy.

A couple of friends and I still went to the movies over the weekend to see I Still Believe, about Jeremy Camp and his first wife, Melissa. When I got to the theater, I wiped down the cup holders on my seat because I was planning on using them for food and beverage items. This might become a normal habit for me now, because it’s smart to make sure other people’s germs aren’t getting on something I’m planning on putting into my mouth. I wiped down the toilet seat at the theater before taking care of my business; again, another smart everyday sort of thing to do. However, I did not let the coronavirus scare me away from enjoying a couple of hours with my friends, because connecting with people and fellowship with fellow believers in Jesus Christ is important to me.

Besides that, supporting a movie about a Christian music artist and his wife and their incredible journey of faith was something I’d been looking forward to for a while, and it felt perhaps even more important through this pandemic, because faith is exactly what we need right now.

Courtesy of Google Images.
This movie is exactly what the world needs right now.

Why? Because it points people to the only God who is true. It points people to the God of miracles. It shows the world that there is hope in the middle of the worst and scariest moments of our lives.

Maybe those moments don’t always turn out the way we hope or think or even pray they will, but they never surprise God. He always sees the result before the outbreak has even begun. Even more than that, He knows just how to use circumstances of all sorts (happy, sad, scary, and everything in between) to grow our faith even deeper rooted in Him. He refines our faith through the trials we face, and this pandemic, my friends, is a wonderful opportunity to allow Him to refine our faith.

Do you trust God or do you not?

That doesn’t mean we don’t take precautions. It doesn’t mean we take careless chances or risks. It doesn’t mean we act without thinking things through to make sure we’re choosing the right thing for us.

If we trust God, it means we choose to believe that He has a plan even in this moment. It means we trust that He knows what He’s doing. It means we trust Him for today’s needs and don’t freak out or panic about tomorrow’s.

How do you remain calm during a crisis?
What precautions do you take in your daily life?
How is the coronavirus pandemic changing your perspective on everyday precautions and habits?
How may you stay connected with family, friends, and neighbors during this time of widespread panic?

For any of you who do not currently have hand sanitizer and cannot locate any in your local shops, stores, or even online, here is a neat little recipe that Swanson Vitamins recently shared on their website.

First Note: I am not sponsored by Swanson, but I do sometimes shop on their website.

I have not yet tried this recipe, but as soon as I get the ingredients and a few small squeeze bottles with good screw-on caps, I\’ll be trying it using various essential oils from my modest collection. It\’s always fun to try a new recipe, and this one might keep us all a little bit healthier in our day-to-day lives.

Second Note: This product is not to be ingested. For outer use only. If swallowed, please contact your doctor immediately.

DIY Hand Sanitizer

1/3 cup aloe vera gel
2/3 cup 99% rubbing alcohol
essential oils (for scented sanitizer)
small, watertight containers (squeeze bottles or rinsed-out-and-dried baby food jars should work great)

1. Mix together the aloe vera gel and rubbing alcohol.
2. Add in your chosen essential oils to create your favorite scent (mix and match essential oils as desired).
3. Pour mixture into the containers and securely fasten the lids.

That’s it. Just three steps and it’s ready for use.

Third Note: Please keep out of the reach of children unless they are supervised by a responsible adult.

What are some of your favorite essential oil scents?

I’m partial to sandalwood, so I think that will be one of the first scents I try in this recipe, perhaps combined with a drop or two of vanilla.

I’m interested in hearing your scent combinations if you try out this recipe. Come back and tell me which ones you loved and which didn’t turn out so great.

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