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Take a bow for surviving pandemic

Take a bow for surviving pandemic
Take a bow for surviving pandemic
Judy O'Bannon

Stand up! Take a bow! You are a genuine hero! You are about to survive the COVID-19 pandemic. You have lived through what I consider one of the most challenging times life on our planet has ever endured.

Historians, artists and scholars of all interests will be writing about the plague that hit the world in late 2019 and affected every aspect of human life.

Almost three million people have died from this coronavirus. No more will these folks have a chance to live out a normal span of life on this earth. Left behind are loved ones and friends marked and sadden forever with the losses. No one knows the total numbers of people who have suffered the pains of bearing the disease themselves. Statistics show that worldwide more than 127 million people who were tested were infected.

The virus is still a mystery to laymen and experts alike. Its symptoms and affects on the body are so varied. The warnings to people have evolved over the long months and are still unraveling as we try to slow the spread of the virus. Such uncertainty has created fear and confusion among all of us.

Many families and communities have been forced to stay within their homes as their loved ones died silently in quarantined places. Uncompromising separations invaded everyone’s life.

Our everyday finances were shredded as businesses closed. Institutions were shuttered, and opportunities dwindled.

Despite all this negative force of the past year, you have survived. You have overcome and are a survivor of a worldwide historic tragedy.

At our house, we have been so fortunate to have been spared much of the beyond-comprehension pain. I know the impact on me has been minimal compared to others who have been on the front lines of this harsh condition.

Last week, for the first time in a year, we had dinner with old friends inside our home and without wearing masks. I decided it was a chance to “dress up” for a change. During the last year, I have gradually forgone much makeup and worn the same serviceable clothes. A mask covered much of my face, and we only ventured out to pick up grocery orders. But now, as I looked in the closet with my “dress-up clothes,” I realized I hadn’t seen these garments in more than a year. It gave me a haunting reminder that much in my life had stopped. Dreams have been lost as I am becoming too old to gallivant around again.

There are a great many things each of us have not done or not seen in the last year. Grandparents have not held grandchildren, let alone seen them take their first steps or comforted their crying. Schoolchildren have missed creating friends of their own age or learning how to grow socially with people who differ from themselves. Parents have had to quit their jobs to care for children, and others have worked from home, if they were lucky to have employment that accommodated for that. Such scenarios diminished dreams and created uncertain futures.

Just as I have lost my last years with the ability to travel while confined at my farm, so have high school students lost their only time for a school dance or their time span to compete in athletics.

In every aspect, this pandemic has reshuffled all of our lives.

So, give yourself some credit. You have, with your skills, talent and moral fortitude, adapted and survived. You have built up a record that should give you confidence that, whatever unexpected setback life throws at you, you can handle it.

Our technical inventors have developed advanced systems that adapt to the new normal of our times. Our artists have learned how to reach beyond physical confines and engage and speak to communities. Scientists have responded to the urgency of changing conditions with research and developed new opportunities and solutions. Educators and spiritual leaders have expanded awareness and understanding of human beings and our place in the universe. Every day our eyes are opened to greater insights into the present and visions for the future.

We are living in epic times and need to be fully aware of that.

With the awakening of the earth this spring, we see the glories of God and His creation. Hallelujah; you are all part of that miraculous gift called life.

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