The year 2020 brought not only to the United States of America but to our entire planet an Uninvited Guest who prowled around like a snarling, roaring lion looking for his next unwitting victim. With his powerful grip and unyielding jaws he rendered his prey helpless. One victim he would wound and spit out. Yet another he would swallow and digest. Then he would continue his search for some other person to devour. Of course one name of this Uninvited Guest is COVID-19, the unprecedented pestilence of the twenty-first century.
As we enter the year 2021 our hopes are high for those anti-viral vaccines which have been produced at what some call warp speed. The speed of distribution in the USA, however, has been far less than what was initially anticipated. But as more people are inoculated with these COVID-19 vaccines, perhaps we can slow down our Uninvited Guest in his race through our country and the world, reining in this savage beast in order to lessen the number of his victims left injured and dying.
Who were and are the injured and dying? Our health care providers. Our police, firemen, EMTs and other first responders. Our grocers. Our garbage collectors. Those who get water, electricity and fuel to us. Our merchants. Our delivery/postal persons. Our hairdressers/barbers. Our teachers. Our spiritual and other advisors. Our neighbors. Even your family members and mine. Some have been patients within the hospitals, many leaving this life without family at their bedside. Each person lost was someone’s special loved one whose non-presence in the home has brought an overwhelming grief.
Some were adults and children of color who have been snatched at a disproportionate percentage of the total coronavirus cases and deaths. Not only have cases of injustice and rampant violence plagued our American cities and towns in 2020 and into 2021, but these instances of viral infections in black, brown, white, and persons of all colors and backgrounds have been cause for alarm. Seemingly no race, ethnicity, or age is immune. And even if asymptomatic persons are not affected in their own bodies, they can spread the disease to others.
We are waging a war against the Uninvited Guest and we hope and pray that our arsenal is sufficient to bring this foe down. May we all have the wisdom to keep up the good fight and do what is right.
Short Essay on Being Strong in the Face of Adversity
Connie Carlisle Polley, 2021