Well, we made it. Whew. It is like a blur. This time last year, I was thinking about how my parents would be heading back north in a few days. The sound of family with over talking, debating, laughing, and love filled my house. It was so much fun having them near me and with me for about 3 weeks. In the far distance of my mind I remember hearing reports of this strange virus that was in Wuhan, China. It’s weird how out of site is surely out of mind. It was as if that was their problem. Not mine. It was such a distant thought, that I paid hardly any attention to it. I was sympathetic, but not too terribly concerned. I remember hearing how this virus could possibly spread. Again, that was their problem and I was sure that our United States of America would and could keep it out of our backyards.
January passed, then February came and whoa. Things started to get real. More news coverage. I began to really listen and take heed. It had landed in the US. Even still, I had not heard of it anywhere near me and was still confident that we would not be as affected. C’mon, this is the most powerful country in the world. Right?
HOW DOES THE OLD SAYING GO? “FAT MEAT IS GREASY!”
Bring on March and all you hear is Covid-19. Corona Virus. “The Rona”. It was filling the station’s broadcasts and people were starting to really get uncomfortable. The political climate was also competing for attention. It was as if Corona was a lady and the political arena was the man. They were dancing the days and nights away. Not to mention the very noisy (rightfully so) bystander by the name of Black Lives Matter. The three of them were fighting for my attention daily. Coronavirus was here and making noise.
I braved the risk and flew to see a friend amidst all the confusion and warnings. Not proud of that. I made it there and back safely, only to find out that some friends of friends had been stricken with it. It really hit home for me when 3 people from my home town caught it and passed. It was realer than real. I thanked God that I did not get it and proceeded to take this beast way more seriously. This is also when I realized that I may not see family for long time. It began to be all too much.
Fast forward to the summer time and it was on and poppin. Covid, Corona, Sars, The Rona what ever you called it was taking lives with no mercy. Every end of life end of the world fictional movie that I’d ever seen seemed to be happening. I was very afraid. I remember while in the grocery store making eye contact with other shoppers briefly and the look they gave me reminded me of the unforgettable morning of 9/11. I remember Sept. 11 and driving around that day. At the stop light I would turn to look at the person next to me in their car and we’d have this weird, strange, yet identifiable look of grief and comfort towards each other while waiting on the light to change. This was that same look at the grocery store.
No one could answer anyone else. Even doctors. No one had answers. No one could comfort the other with more knowledge than anyone else.
Bring on the disinfectant!
I was like Ceily on The Color Purple when she thought she was going to escape ‘Mista’ and Shug was leaving. Ceily was gathering things like crazy and so was I. I went to one of the big box hardware stores and grabbed as much disinfectant as I could. Yep, I was one of those people. Shelves were bare. People were paranoid, and employees were exhausted and under appreciated in stores. It was a mess.
I had a whole new appreciation for germs. Although I always washed my hands and cleaned. It was personal. It was me against the virus and I was determined that it would not get into my house. I washed EVERYTHING. Mail, papers. I sprayed groceries and washed down the inside of my car repeatedly. This virus was tying me and I was not having it. I masked up and did a lot of praying. People were getting sick left and right and the death toll was rising like I’d never seen before. I never realized that germs needed to be respected.
Vaccine Vaccine Vaccine.
November 2020. So they have a vaccine. Wow. Really? Hmmm…. already? This soon? For whom? Is it safe? Who’s behind it? Who gets it first? By now, I could count on both hands people who I knew either directly or indirectly that had had it or died from it. It is sad. The death toll in the US at the time of this blog is 350,000 people. Insane. There is a vaccine. Infact, there are a couple of them. Soon to be many I’m sure. Let’s start with the first question. How so soon? How is it that they have produced a vaccine at warp speed when there are so many other ailments that have gone without a cure or vaccine for decades. Well according to Medical News Today, “Early efforts by scientists at Oxford University to create an adenovirus-based vaccine against MERS provided the necessary experimental experience and groundwork to develop an adenovirus vaccine for COVID-19.” The groundwork had already been done as Covid is a version of the SARS COV-1.
“We are not guinea pigs!”
Screams many Black people around the world but especially in the US. Many of us are reminded and have been inundated with the Syphilis study on Black men from 1932 to 1972 in our social media news feed. If you are not familiar, I invite you to look it up. Quite alarming. There seems to be a universal meeting of the minds of many Black people that this vaccine could be nothing more than a repeat of such an experiment. Many Black folks are NOT going to take the vaccine. We have every right to question it. We also have to take responsibility in doing what we feel is right for our families. I myself, am going to take it. I do believe in science. I am not afraid. I totally respect those who are not going to take it. I definitely see why and I get it.
Whether you get the vaccine or not, one thing that I personally ask is that you wear your masks. Please. Pretty please. It is just the human thing to do. Try to stay away from gatherings and parties. Hell, I get it. I want to party as well. Really bad. However, it just isn’t worth possibly infecting a vulnerable person with the virus in the event that I am a super spreader.
I am glad to see this light at the end of this dark deadly tunnel. A speck of hope. A vaccine that one way or another will be perfected over time. We will have the long term information at some point. As for now, we can only hope.
Our people are very familiar with hope. We know how to make a way out of no way. We will get through this as well. We will ban together, be our brothers and sister’s keepers and this too shall pass. Wear your masks. Be safe. HAPPY NEW YEAR!
Occupation: Business Owner
Location: Charlotte, NC
“You don’t get what you want, you get what you are so be nice.”