O Noble Health…

Fr Gregpry during covid-19 illnessOne of the Polish poets once wrote such words: “O noble health! No one will know what you taste like until he loses you…” I think most of us could say similar words, because we all appreciate people, health or even favourite things or pets, especially when we lose them. Today I can say with certainty that I know what health tastes like and these days I appreciate it even more than a few days ago.

As you know I’ve lost my health and I cannot understand how or when it has happened. Last Saturday, after a short period of feeling unwell, following the advice of one of my friends, I decided to do test for Coronavirus. My only symptom was a slight sore throat and it’s easier for me to tell what symptoms I haven’t had on last Friday. I didn’t have a high temperature, I didn’t lose my taste or smell, and I didn’t feel any muscle ache. The last two have appeared since last Tuesday. Most of my friends – probably wanting to cheer me up – told me that my throat problem was just an innocent symptom of ordinary cold or mild flu that many people experience in early September when it gets colder outside. I clearly remember my great surprise when I got a text message from NHS saying my result was positive. I couldn’t believe it and immediately imagined all the people I had been seeing in recent days. I felt a great responsibility for those who attended Mass on last Sunday at St. Edward’s Church. I also imagined my parents who think and care of me every day. Today it is difficult for me to describe all the feelings that appeared in my head on Sunday at 4:06 pm. At first, I thought it was just a bad dream or a nightmare that would end quickly. It hasn’t ended quickly… Throughout the evening and the following day, I asked myself many times: Could it have been prevented at all?

I trust that God has at least kept my parishioners from becoming infected and I have not heard of such cases so far. Today, as I am writing this letter, my health is improving significantly and I hope that I will be able to return to my daily activities soon. I will only do this when I am sure that my ministry does not pose any threat to the health of other people. I look forward to my return to work because the most difficult experience for me is isolation, being idle and limiting my ministry to office work only. The only positive thing about my illness is that I have plenty of time to pray and develop my personal relationship with Jesus. Maybe it was he who wanted me to slow down and realize once again that not everything depends on me. Maybe it is thanks to my illness and my suffering which I am currently experiencing other people will open their eyes to the real threat of the pandemic. I will pray that it is so…

Thank you for your support and understanding! Thank you for all your good wishes that come to me recently, especially via e-mails. Thank you for your care, for bringing me food and doing shopping for me. Please do not take lightly any symptoms of even a mild cold, flu or other illnesses that may eventually turn out to be dangerous symptoms of Covid virus. Don’t ignore any rules and regulations that help us protect other people’s lives. “O noble health! No one will know what you taste like until he loses you…” Health is a priceless gift from God, let us appreciate it while we have it.

You are all in my thoughts and prayers.
Fr Gregory Marchwinski