The Scarlet Letter of COVID-19.

Health Update

Today, I’m feeling much better. Just a little coughing. My energy is up. I’m feeling generally normal, except for a few minor symptoms that are still hanging on. I’m thankful for the Great Physician for His healing work in my body. I’m praying for others who are still sick. I personally know about 20 of them with COVID in Northeast Indiana right now.

Today, I received a call from the State Health Department informing me that I was exposed to someone who has since tested positive for COVID-19. They told me my date of exposure and I quickly realized the truth: I wasn’t exposed to them, they were exposed to me.

I have cold hard evidence that my COVID case has passed onto other people. So I’m processing out the guilt in my life again. I wrote about how I do that here.

The Scarlet Letter

The phrase “Scarlet Letter” comes from a classic Nathaniel Hawthorn book where an unmarried young woman gives birth to a baby in a very conservative Puritan colony. She is made to wear a dress with a scarlet “A” (representing her Adultery) anytime she is in public in order to shame her.

I feel like having COVID-19 is a little bit of a Scarlet Letter.

I remember the first time I stepped out into my backyard’s patio to get a little sunshine after “coming out” as a COVID-19 patient. I live in town, and my backyard has a direct line-of-sight to 6 different backyards. I looked around, and saw nobody. Reality was I had only been inside for about 12 hours, but it felt like 12 days.

I Heard Some Lies

As I looked around at empty backyards around me I started hearing some lies.

“They’re all scared of you.”

“Your neighbors are so scared of your disease, they are all staying indoors just because you walked out your back patio. You probably should just go back inside and hide. And the next time you want to go outside, you had better yell out and announce yourself, ‘Unclean! Unclean!'”

Had I allowed that self-talk to continue, I’d probably feel like I needed to move away!

That was a lie. Total lies. I have some amazing neighbors and most all of them have had a conversation with me since then – at least from afar – showing their compassion. I love my neighbors and I believe they love me too.

But at that moment, it didn’t feel like. It felt like rejection, simply because they weren’t outside at that exact moment. It was all in my head, and I listened to a lie.

This is a Common Issue

I am not unique nor am I crazy. I have heard from two other COVID patients who echoed this feeling of going outside with a Scarlet Letter. I believe this is a common problem with COVID patients, so I wanted to write about it. One individual does not want anyone to know they have COVID-19 because they feel they’ll be feared the rest of their life; permanently labeled as “unclean.” That’s crossed my mind as well — I am not going to leave my house until I am confident I cannot spread COVID-19, but will others be concerned to come too close to me?

I can’t do anything about what other people think or feel, but I can do something about the lies of rejection that come to my mind.

Anytime you’re listening to a lie, you need to reject the lie and replace it with Truth.

Reject the Lie

I am not rejected.

I am not unclean.

I am not unwanted.

I am not worthless.

Replace it With Truth

I am accepted (Romans 10:9-13).

I am clean (1 John 1:9).

I am desired, no matter how bad I’ve been. (John 17:24, Hosea 11:1,8).

I have a great deal of value. (Psalm 139:13-16, Romans 5:8, Matthew 10:31).

Need Help Rejecting the Lie?

Some people really struggle rejecting (or even recognizing) the lies they agree with. This will tangle you up and cause significant turmoil in your life. Jesus is the deliverer, and He can help you. My church has a great program to help with that called our “Deliverance Process.” It’s all free.

If you want to be freed from the lies you keep hearing in your self-talk, you can be!

Here is a website that explains the process and a few “You might want to consider this if…” statements. You can look at it there. And then click through to this website where you can begin your own spiritual steps to work through to your spiritual freedom.

It works!

If you have any questions about that process, I’d love to help you.

42 Replies to “The Scarlet Letter of COVID-19.”

  1. We were encouraged to see you outside. It meant you were coping and not fully down in bed with this virus. Keep getting better. Live your reporting on your recovery. May God continue to Bless you and your family.

  2. The first thing I thought is would you feel shame if you got the flu and so did someone else you were in contact with.
    I am sad that you feel any shame for something that you can not control..You are not in control,
    Glad to know you are feeling better. Stay strong! You are loved by so many. Thank you for keeping us updated.

  3. Oh Adam, how wonderful you are willing to step outside the box, literally😅 and talk to us about how you are feeling. May God continue to heal you. I love you, nephew.

    Jan

  4. I probably would if the flu put them in the hospital! Of the 20ish people that I personally know with COVID, 2 are still hospitalized (one is extremely serious) and 2 others have had to seek ER treatment. That does not seem to be a fair comparison to the flu.

    But that’s besides the point, the scarlet letter feeling doesn’t really come from shame of causing a sickness- but rather a fear of rejection. Like “oh look at the man with leprosy! Stay away!”

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