An unforgiving time

William T. Robinson, Jr.

While we are praying daily for a subsiding of this deadly COVID-19 pandemic that is wreaking unimaginable pain, suffering and death globally, we must also be grateful for the impenetrable power of family and friends—making us aware of what is really important in our lives.

That is not to say that many people, especially young people, are not selfishly feeling they are being punished and denied participation in activities they feel are paramount in their lives.

This feeling is keenly felt in those graduating from high schools and colleges who are not able to enjoy what is supposed to be the most memorable and rewarding year of their lives. Imagine being seniors in high school denied proms, senior trips, spring break vacations and sports activities highlighting one’ senior year. Can you imagine how senior athletes feel in not being able to highlight their athletic talents that may be paramount in determining their chances of receiving an athletic college scholarship?

Unfortunately, some high school and college students refusing to adhere to the reality and facts concerning COVID-19 continued their spring break plans. They cajoled on the beaches, contributing to the spread of this contagious deleterious enemy. Being in denial and wishing it away is not an option at this point. This disease is decimating populations throughout the world, demanding to be taken seriously. Sorry, but youth does not make you invincible or immortal to the unpleasantries of life. It isn’t about you now, but about doing what is necessary to keep others safe by not participating in the spread of this virus.

One can only imagine the disappointment of groups and individuals who had scheduled vacations and conventions that have been cancelled or are pending rescheduling. But ‘life’ should, hands down, trump business, relaxation or pleasure. Trips and events may be rescheduled, but death is permanent.

A really sad part about COVID-19 is its detrimental and disproportional effect on African Americans. The mortality rate with COVID-19 is higher among African Americans because of the racial disparities in their health as regards diabetes, hypertension, obesity, asthma and other respiratory diseases.

Like it or not, African Americans are at a disadvantage concerning dying with this disease; therefore, we should be more cognizant utilizing procedures and practices to help keep this diabolical demon at bay.

There are universal practices we all should adhere to, e.g.:wearing a face mask when in public; social distancing (staying at least six feet away from someone); avoiding crowds; wearing gloves; washing your hands after touching objects; abstaining from touching your face (eyes, nose, and mouth); disinfecting surfaces you feel may contain the virus; and staying at home if you think you are sick.

Stay inside and avoid publicly socializing in cities or states that have city or state quarantines. Don’t go out if possible unless you are an essential employee.These practices will help in containing COVID-19.We need everyone’s help in diminishing this pandemic.

This is a painful time in our history with mounting deaths, affecting many families. Whether we like it or not, we must accept that things are probably never going to be the same. We are suffering socially, economically and emotionally awaiting the pending outcome. We have a new normal arising that will make us more conscious of what is really important in our lives.

Our economy is being ravished, but human lives are not to be compromised when it comes to priorities. This COVID-19 pandemic is not a scenario that anyone could have imagined or wanted. But it is showing our propensity as humans to love and persevere. The acts of dedication, love, and humanity demonstrated by health care providers, law enforcing officials, firemen, store employees, utility workers and other essential employees are inspiring as well as phenomenal.

This COVID-19 pandemic is devastating. It brings hurt, pain and death. But it reveals the power of universal love. Hold on to faith and spirituality, and we’ll get through this pernicious pandemic. While we are hurting immensely, it is our optimism and faith that will eventually help get us through. The pain we are enduring will make us stronger as well as more appreciative of what is important in our lives.

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