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Dr. Alveda King on her quarantine routine: ‘My spirit is not confined’

Quarantine Routine is a regular feature that asks political power brokers and public figures how their daily lives have changed — and how they’re still doing their jobs — during the coronavirus crisis. 

During an interview with Fox News on Thursday, evangelist Dr. Alveda King, the niece of the late Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., said despite the stress of the coronavirus lockdown, her spirit remains unaffected as she continues her spiritual ministry.

King, who also works with “Priests for Life,” described how her daily routine has changed and how she is continuing to function in the midst of the shutdown.

Fox News: How has your daily routine changed since social distancing measures began?

King: One of the greatest and most dear experiences I’ve had since COVID-19 social distancing came into effect is the virtual hugs I received from my grandchildren. It’s just absolutely amazing, from the little tiny ones and those who are growing up — I have some grandchildren who are adults as well. They are very aware of the losses that COVID-19 is bringing to our families and our communities. And they are very attentive and wanting to express love.

And so, I believe with COVID-19, every cloud has a silver lining. And where there is something bad or evil there is something greater and very good. So those little tender social distancing hugs … I’ve learned to begin to do that as well.

My mother is 88 years old. And she did not understand at first because whenever I see her I give her the biggest kiss and the biggest hug. And when I begin to blow kisses I realize that love is not only expressed by human touch — that’s important — but the gestures mean a lot as well.

Fox News: What are the biggest challenges in doing your job during this crisis?

King: Because my job, my career, involves travel I have found it very challenging to not be able to jump in my car and run into a meeting or jump on a plane and go to another city for a specific purpose. I don’t miss it so much because there’s a lot of wear and tear and stress to travel. However, it is different. And making those adjustments, so many people are accustomed to coming and going.

When I talk to my neighbors over the fence, for example, they’ll say, “I never knew this would be so hard.” And yes, it is a challenge. But even more challenging is the reality of those who are still traveling, who are still going out and interacting and intermingling. Especially those instant responders, those dear heroes that are really giving their lives and putting their lives on the line.

And so, another thing that has changed — I’ve always prayed for responders, instant responders and people. But I’m praying more. Because I’m so much more aware of how much they’re giving to help America remain safe.

Fox News: What do you miss the most about how you did your job before this began?

King: The experiences I missed most during the COVID-19 shut-in are not so much [with] my job, because I can do a lot of my job and a lot of my work from home. I was already accustomed to social media conferencing and things — the different platforms. And so I can get on a phone or a computer or any kind of technology and still accomplish many things.

But what I miss most — it’s almost like a career, it’s a lifestyle — and that is going to my church, Believers Bible Christian Church, when I’m in town on Sunday for church service. On Mondays for choir rehearsals. On Wednesday for Bible study. And sometimes to Saturday church. The very first time our church closed the doors and did the social distancing with just a worship team — I’m on the worship team but I’m 70 years old now so I stayed at home.

But the first day, Sunday, I got in my car [and] drove up to the parking lot and watched the worship team through the window. So I actually miss the gathering of the saints for fellowship at church.

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Fox News: What surprised you most about how life has changed?

King: What has surprised me most about the COVID-19 experience, being somewhat shut-in at home, I am very surprised that I go to bed earlier. I’m also surprised that I wake up early, but I’m not in a hurry to rush out into the world.

I’m so surprised that this has happened and yet I am not afraid. A little bit stir-crazy maybe, having to be in the same place every day can be monotonous. But I find that I’m resting a little more, that I’m walking around the backyard, the deck, to the front.

I’m confined in a space but my spirit is not confined. So I’m rather surprised that I’m able to rest more.

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Fox News: What is something you didn’t do before but are doing now to stay busy during the virus?

King: I am actually more busy than I’ve ever been in a long time, during the COVID-19 experience. I’ve prayed more. I’ve cried a little bit more. I’ve spoken more kindly to more people than I have in a very long time.

I believe that I’ve devoted myself, even more, to things of the Lord. As a Christian, Jesus Christ is my Lord. But I speak to those of the Jewish faith, the Muslim faith — people who believe in our creator God, and God’s enduring and lasting power. I find that if someone calls and asks me ‘will you pray with me,’ if I possibly can, I do.

I find I’m not finding other reasons to keep me from praying. And as a result, I find an abiding joy, great faith, enduring and increasing love during this season. Do I see the bad things? Yes. And I pray with, and for those, who have experienced loss. And yet there is hope and joy ahead. So I’m encouraged — more encouraged — than I’ve ever been in a long time.

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