The first time I heard the word Coronavirus was in early January when WHO announced that there was a new virus that had originated in China. The first cases were located in Wuhan, a port city of 11 million people in the central Hubei province. At the time, Chinese officials believed it was an unusual pneumonia. The first thought that came to mind was SARS, another virus that originated in China. It killed more than 770 people worldwide in 2002-2003. With that in mind, I, like I’m sure many Americans did, went on about my daily activities believing that Coronavirus would have fifteen minutes of fame and then become a distant memory. Unfortunately, I was wrong. As of March 12, the global death toll has surpassed 4,600 with infections exceeding 126,100 cases. It appears as though Coronavirus is hellbent on stretching out its fifteen minutes.
This week Hollywood royalty, Tom Hanks and his wife Rita Wilson, announced that they had tested positive for Coronavirus. Not satisfied with targeting the world of entertainment, the virus has spread to the world of sports. Utah Jazz basketball players, Rudy Gobert and Donovan Mitchell have also tested positive for the virus. With more and more people being infected, countries shutting down, schools closing, events being cancelled, sporting events being suspended, American’s making runs on toilet paper, hand sanitizer, water, and the stock market plunging, wreaking havoc on retirement accounts, there’s no way I can turn a blind eye to Coronavirus. It’s not a deadly virus “over there”, it’s everywhere.
Today I shot a print job and there was a safety meeting prior to the shoot. People were elbow bumping, keeping their distance and casting wary glances at anyone who coughed, sneezed, blew their nose or sniffled. The set was littered with sanitizer. I’m still grappling with how this virus seems to have just come out of the blue and how it has unleashed global pandemonium. I’m torn. How should I react? Should I get on the panic train? Albeit, the virus has hit me in the pocket in a big way. Moreover, I am at a crucial point in my writing career and progress has come to a screeching halt because of Coronavirus. Please know that I’m very aware that my aforementioned woes pale in comparison to the thousands of people who have been infected and those who have died. My heart goes out to them and their families. Every day I hope and pray for an announcement that a vaccine has been discovered, every day I hope to wake up to learn that everything has gone back to normal. But what is normal? Are viruses like Coronavirus the new normal? Is Coronavirus the beginning of the end? So many questions and no answers.
As a woman of faith, the only way I know how to cope is to lean on God, the One I lean on daily, the One I pray to daily, the One I trust and believe in. I know God created Us and the Universe. The Coronavirus isn’t a mystery to Him. The Coronavirus isn’t new to Him. Why is there a Coronavirus? God knows. The world and all the people in it are His creation. I have to trust that He knows what He’s doing. And I do. And that trust is going to get me through, Us through these mysterious and trying times. I pray to wake up one day and be able to hug my neighbor, my friends, even a stranger again. I really don’t want elbow bumps to become the new normal.