This week, because of a fire last Fall, we are staying in a cabin on the Siletz River in Lincoln County while contractors work on some of the larger renovations in our home.
It's been wonderfully quiet... in part because of spotty wi-fi and almost no cell phone reception... but also because there's only a handful of humanity here. One side of the river is lined with modest cabins, some with full time residents, most as vacation homes sitting empty because of the lack of pandemic tourism. The other side of the river is wilderness. Nothing but a cathedral of tree line as far as the eye can see.
We opted for a spot like this because, in a time where COVID considerations need to be made, the location of our very urban home likely won't afford us many uncrowded fishing and/or swimming opportunities this summer. As an immunocompromised individual, I'm working to figure out how to give my family access to as much normal life as possible, while also keeping us safe.
And yet, we are keenly aware that there are many in our midst, many friends, who live in circumstances where, when we get to make considerations for our health, they don't. Their living quarters are cramped and full of frontline workers. Food processing, grocery store clerks, and construction labor just to name a few. Additionally, to cover their rent in their over-priced Portland area apartments, they're forced to live with multiple generations in their home, which then means they live with the fear and stress of possibly passing on the virus and exposing their family to greater risk.
I won't lie. COVID has unnerved me and made me aware of my own vulnerabilities and fears. But, because of our privilege (we had insurance to cover our home after the fire... we're aware enough of how systems work to advocate for ourselves to be given safe options), we can make steps to insulate and protect ourselves. And the way that that perpetuates greater vulnerability for people in our community unnerves me all the more.
When we return home, it's my hope... my prayer even... that our small family will figure out ways to advocate for people made more vulnerable by this crisis. In our life, those are typically Spanish speaking individuals, but we won't limit ourselves. This week of rest will hopefully equip us to lean in and help all vulnerable people with whatever resources we can muster.