I am writing this on March 24th from my house in Newark Valley.
Last week on St. Patrick's Day I was tested at the UHS Clinic in Newark Valley for the flu
and for coronavirus. At the time, I had cold symptoms for over two weeks and was coughing
a lot epecially at night. While I didn’t feel I had a fever, I had an episode of the chills so Iwas
tested for coronavirus as a precaution. On March18 I received word that the flu test was
negative. I was told that I should receive the results of the coronavirus test by that Friday or
Saturday. As of today I have not received the results.
While I am waiting I am in quarantine. Each day I have to check in with the Tioga County
Health Department and give them my temperature and fill out a questionnaire. If the results
of the coronavirus test comes back negative, the quarantine will be lifted and I will return to
the rectory in Aurora. If it comes back positive, I will remain in quarantine. I am feeling fine
right now. It has been four days without coughing during the night and I don’t have a fever so
I feel, hope and pray the test results will be negative.
I have been celebrating Mass each day for you and keeping you in my prayers. Remember
God is with us in this crisis. I encourage you to persevere in prayer. I know it is difficult
being in isolation and not being able to gather as a faith community to pray and celebrate the
Eucharist but I encourage you to pray at home and to watch Mass on TV or live streaming on
your phone, iPad or computer if you are able.
Lent is a season when we reflect on the dying and rising of Christ. This Lent we are
experiencing the Christian life of dying and rising with Christ in ways we have never
experienced in our lifetime. But know that we are in this together and that our God is with us.
We all might be in isolation but we can still pray for one another and reach out to each other.
Check in on your neighbors, especially the elderly and those who live alone. If people need
food or have a need to have their prescriptions filled, offer to help. If you yourself are in
need do not hesitate to ask for help. I would not have made it through this past week if it
were not for the help of good neighbors.
Finally, the coronavirus has been a hardship financially. I know there will be hard times for
many. Hopefully, government assistance will help many get through this crisis. I pray that
God gives wisdom to our public officials so they made good decisions for the common good.
If you are able to continue your financial support of the parish, I ask you to do so. We might
not have public Masses at this time but we still have bills that need to be paid. Please
continue your support. You can mail your contribution envelopes in to the parish office or
sign up on the parish website to make your contribution electronically. I thank you for your
support and prayers. Know that you are always in mine.
God’s blessings and peace, Father Bill