WASHINGTON – Let me begin by thanking all of you who have been praying for me, my family and friends.
Thanks, too, to everyone who has sent notes of encouragement and have been asking for an update.
Here is a brief look at how we are doing.
Thirty-six of us who attended a discipleship retreat on the Outer Banks of North Carolina, followed by my son Jonah’s wedding in Florida, contracted the COVID-19 virus – and almost certainly the Delta variant – several weeks ago.
Four of these 36 – all of whom were not vaccinated – had to be hospitalized because their symptoms were so severe.
Two are under the age of 50. Two others are senior citizens.
Three of these remain hospitalized as of Monday morning – one was released on Saturday.
A number of young people – all under the age of 20 and all unvaccinated – contracted COVID with us.
Of these, most had very mild symptoms. However, one got very ill with a high and nasty fever.
In our group’s experience, those adults who had not received the vaccine got far more ill than those of us who were vaccinated, though most did not need to be hospitalized, thank God.
Among the adults who received the vaccine – myself and my wife, Lynn, included – some got fevers, some lost their sense of smell, some developed nagging coughs, and others developed sinus infection-like symptoms.
By God’s grace, we are mostly recovered now.
In my case, it has been 15 days since I developed symptoms.
The virus itself is gone from my system. I no longer have COVID and am not contagious. I only had a fever for the first few days.
For me, having COVID felt mostly like a raging sinus infection, which I tend to get about once a year anyway.
What has been particularly difficult is how tired I feel.
The fatigue has been severe, causing me to stay in bed and sleep for much of the last two weeks.
And for much of the time I was experiencing what I’d describe as “brain fog” as well.
Couldn’t think very clearly.
Wanted to respond to hundreds of backed up emails, but could only deal with a few.
Wanted to write lots of articles for ALL ISRAEL NEWS and ALL ARAB NEWS, but simply couldn’t do it.
What’s more, I developed conjunctivitis – commonly known as “pink eye” – in both of my eyes.
That required a medicated ointment put directly on each eyeball every two hours or so.
That made it impossible to see, and thus to read or write.
All that, fortunately, has cleared up.
In the last few days, I’m slowly regaining my strength and ability to focus.
On Friday, I slept most of the day, but was able to go to a movie with family and friends and then get a bite to eat in the evening.
Saturday, I mostly slept, but was able to join Lynn at her sister’s house for a family dinner.
Yesterday, I was not able to go to church (watched the service online instead), but was able to attend a family birthday party at the home of Lynn’s brother and his family.
Last night, I barely slept at all, however. Not sure why. Thought I was gaining ground. Instead, I’m heading into the day even more tired than usual.
Thanks again to everyone who asked for an update on how we’re doing.
Hope that was helpful.
We all know we are fortunate.
Many people in Israel, throughout the Arab world, of course here in the U.S. and around the world have been hit with COVID much harder than we have.
Let’s continue praying for all of them to recover quickly and completely.
And let’s continue praying for those who have lost family members and friends to COVID.
Joel C. Rosenberg is the editor-in-chief of ALL ISRAEL NEWS and ALL ARAB NEWS and the President and CEO of Near East Media. A New York Times best-selling author, Middle East analyst, and Evangelical leader, he lives in Jerusalem with his wife and sons.