The word “coronavirus” is on the tip of everyone’s tongue. I watch the news regularly because I need to know what’s going on. People have said, “don’t watch the news.” I understand why they say that; it is because we become fearful about what we hear or, they believe the news hypes everything up.
As a former journalist, yes, the media does a great job making the heartbeats of Americans soar. What is happening globally is a dream for the media – there is so much going around surrounding the virus. I am listening to the rhetoric of the reporters vs. the governors, the governors vs. the president, the president vs. the scientists/doctors. I am concerned that the “experts” (scientists and doctors) are not being heard. Specializing in illnesses, diseases, viruses, cures – the medical community is not heard. I am concerned that the president wants to predict a time for us to go to work – as if he has a timeline for the virus. I am worried that the president called reporters childish names because they ask questions that the public wants to know, and spouts tantrums about governors who are not appreciative.
In this time and space, the leadership in this country is less than stellar. I’m not impressed with the handling of the crisis. Many people will say, “but he’s giving us money.” Yes, that is very gracious – but money is not going to stop a virus. New York City is one of the largest cities in the United States, and they are having a hard time keeping the coronavirus at bay. They are scrambling for protection (masks, gowns, gloves), and to help their patients (ventilators). To create a makeshift morgue out of a refrigerated truck is sad – it breaks me.
To funnel it down, I’m here in Arizona. The latest updates are 17 deaths and 919 cases in the state. Phoenix is the state capital of Arizona, which lies in Maricopa County, and there are 545 cases reported; in Pima County, the next largest city of Tucson (my hometown) reports 153 confirmed cases. I wasn’t aware of the growth of cases until a friend wrote indicated it on a Facebook post.
The shifts and changes, the ebb and flow of the virus are explosive. The consistency of the mantra: “Wash your hands; don’t touch your face; use sanitizer; stay out of crowds; stay home” is repeated daily on television, on the radio, and in conversations with friends and family. I’ve watched two documentaries recording the evolution of Ebola and the Bird Flu. What was said in 2005 and 20012 was a warning of what is happening today. The scientists and doctors who were interviewed in these documentaries said, the viruses will evolve into something that they haven’t seen before, and there will be a pandemic. It was a warning.
I don’t care who dropped the ball – the pandemic is here. The war is here. It is World War III sans guns, tanks, and bombs.
Just like everybody, I am in isolation. It is me and my dog, Chuy. I am a teacher, and the change to offer online courses to our students is difficult but worth the change. I am adjusting to new technology apps, attending virtual online meetings, and I am exhausted. Not only that, but I also am anxious because I am over 50, I have asthma, and I am a diabetic. The #alonetogether slogan provides a bit of assurance as it reminds us to check on each other during this isolation period.
But, I’ve awakened around 3 a.m., thinking about the 33,551 souls who have lost their lives globally. I wake up, and I talk to God. I ask God to comfort their families and friends; I thank God for the people who have survived the virus. However, this coronavirus has taken me on a spiritual journey. I get angry, downright irritable about what is happening. It is hard – I am human. There are times my faith suffers and shatters, and I forget about the adversities t I had overcome in the past with the help of God. In fact, I was in an accident in Mexico in 1991 that should have killed me! My car flipped into a ravine and landed upside down. The Federales in Mexico said they’ve seen accidents like mine, and no one survived.
I walked away with only scratches.
My mother suffered an aneurysm burst in her brain in 1986. She had an operation to stop the bleed. She lived through the surgery, but she was in a coma for three months. My mother woke up from the coma. Science said, “she’ll never be able to walk or eat solid food…” My mother walked with a cane and ate chicken whenever she had the chance. Her primary care physician said, “Mrs. Watson, I never thought I would sit here and talk to you face to face.” My mother, in her brain-damaged shaky voice, responded, “Doctor, didn’t you there is a God?” My mother lived until 2004 – 18 years! A miracle.
Two of my sisters had cancer. Unfortunately, one did not survive, but the other did. There are times that people are tired of suffering and want to leave life; I believe my oldest sister was tired of going through the pain and asked God to take her away for good.
I had people ask me how can I believe in something I cannot see. I told them what I cannot see – I can feel. The miracles I’ve witnessed are unexplainable to science.
The point of my blog is to let people know that, although I am a Christian, there are times when I don’t understand what is going on, and my frustration lets loose. But I don’t stay there. I can’t. I have to remember that God is in control. Some of you might not believe that. Some of you might not even believe in God. But, all I can tell you is that God is dealing with everyone on the Earth – the believers and nonbelievers. There is a tug-of-war of faith, a battle between good and evil. Believe it or not, we are all in this fight together.
I am praying for the world. I am praying for our leadership. I am praying for the medical staff who work tirelessly to help our sick. I am praying for my family and friends’ protection. I am praying for equipment to come to those on the battlefield. I am praying for the cold and callous people who don’t understand the fear others may have. I am praying for more patience and compassion; to strengthen my resolve; alleviate the confusion my students may have about life and their role in all of this!
When I have these meltdowns, I look at a small wooden plaque I have in my entryway on top of a table. It reads: “I saw that.” – God.
God sees me. God sees you.
The isolation can be difficult, and it can be cleansing or time for self-reflection. Just like waterfalls: they can be dangerous, and they can be beautiful.
I am praying for you.