HUNTSVILLE, Ala. – March 13th, 2020, Alabama records its first case of COVID-19. To many, the past year has been a blur when you think about where we’ve been and where we’re going in the fight against the virus.
We had no idea how our state, our country, our world was about to change. Our hometowns becoming unlike anything we’d never seen before. We soon realized beating COVID-19 was going to be a marathon, not a sprint.
The race was on.
Some businesses were told to close their doors to keep employees and customers safe from the unseen enemy. Many of our neighbors lost their jobs. We shut down our schools.
People were panic buying, stocking up on food and cleaning supplies, stripping store shelves bare. You couldn’t find a roll of paper towels or toilet paper to save your life. I had to mail toilet paper to one of my daughters who lives in south Florida. We did what we had to do to take care of one another.
A lot of small businesses were struggling. Some of them didn’t survive. We found ourselves on a journey we’ve never taken before. And we soon found out the human spirit is tougher than any virus.
When we get to the end of this road, we’re going to look back and grade ourselves on how we handled the hand we were dealt.
In the past year, we’ve found new heroes, health care workers on the front line of the fight, grocery store employees restocking essential items as quickly as truckers could haul them there and unload. Educators making sure children had meals while they were out of school. Neighbors helping neighbors.
We saw an outpouring of love and support for those on the front line of the battle that touched the heart. People showed their appreciation in a way that we’ve never really seen before. A year later, hospital numbers are down, but those same workers are still caring for the sick.
We should continue to celebrate them, the same way they celebrated the recovery and release of those they’d taken care of, including a patient who’d been in the hospital for 95 days.
We’ve spent the past year reinventing ourselves and how we live our lives. We found new ways to celebrate birthdays. And it didn’t matter how young or old you were. We celebrated something good in a year that wasn’t so good.
Now that we have three vaccines and people are getting their shots, let’s pray that 2021 will be brighter. So far, it’s looking up.
I want to think that most people have become a little more compassionate and caring for one another. We’ve found ways to remind one another that we are still there for our friends, our family, our neighbors. And we will eventually come out on the other side. Perhaps we’ll be better. I hope so.