About 45 members of a Fort Worth church were released from quarantine on Wednesday after none showed any symptoms of the coronavirus for two weeks.
"The big thing for me has been slowing down and seeing how small things really make a difference," said George Barlow, one of those ordered to isolate themselves at home.
Their priest, Rev. Dr. Robert Pace of Trinity Episcopal Church, was the first person in Tarrant County to test positive for the virus. He was released from the hospital Tuesday and is recovering at home.
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Church members were ordered to isolate themselves after they attended a dinner with Pace on March 4.
For the past two weeks, they’ve kept track of their temperature daily and reported it to the Tarrant County Health Department along with any symptoms. None showed any signs of the virus, according to church communications director Sarah Martinez.
Barlow, 74, a retired lawyer, stayed at home with his wife.
"We have good temperatures, we have good attitudes and we've had a really great time kind of slowing down and getting to know each other this past week,” he said.
Barlow took it all in stride -- and with a sense of humor.
"I've got two Best Maid pickle beers in the fridge and that tells you I'm down to the nubs, doesn't it?” he joked.
He said he used his time at home to read books, watch movies and even clean his garage, he said.
The church is now holding Sunday services online instead of in person.
Barlow said he learned spending time at home isn't so bad.
"The time we spend loving and spending time with the people we care about is not taking away from our life span,” he said. “Nothing of this will matter in a thousand years. It will just be a historical blip that this happened."
He added it's a little ironic that while he's been cooped up, so much of the outside world has shut down and now there’s nowhere to go and nothing to do.
"You've got to find ways to slow down because you do move too fast and you do have to make the morning last,” he said.