The way we were will never be the same. Coronavirus is not déjà vu. We cannot fix yesterday today! But hope is a good thing. For example, “It is necessary to inconvenience the many to save the all” (The Daily News editorial in April, ‘Go home, the party isn’t fun anymore’). Nothing is accomplished without sacrifice. Hope is a good thing!
In many instances, COVID-19 is forcing us to do things that we thought we could not do. For instance, 15-year-old Jyote Kumari cycled 745 miles (in May in India) with her disabled father on a bike to save themselves from hunger. Hope is a good thing!
Unlike a hurricane, a pandemic disease such as COVID-19 doesn’t last for one or two days. Rather, it creates an uncertain future. We’re in the first month of the hurricane season, a time when anxiety and stress begin to grow in many of us. Many residents still have not had their roofs replaced or repaired. Moreover, the news by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (The Daily News, 5/25/20 – FEMA cost estimating method could shortchange territory out of millions) is now appearing to dig our financial hole deeper because their method of estimating construction costs in the U.S. Virgin Islands is some how equated to that of the U.S. mainland. But when Virgin Islanders are confronted with catastrophe, we tend to pull together. Hope is a good thing!
Permit me to divert for a moment.
COVID-19 is forcing us to look more closely at racial equality. In Jenice Armstrong’s national news story on black men and face masks, for example, caution was advised that when entering a business wearing a mask, be sure to not make the proprietor uncomfortable. (The Daily News, 4/16/20). This is the “bad” of COVID-19.
Due in part to COVID-19, hard economic times will hit us, according to Office of Management and Budget Director Jenifer O’Neal. Negotiations are active for a $60 million loan between two banks, but these banks require a statutory lien and a waiver of sovereign immunity (a judicial doctrine which precludes bringing suit against the government without its consent — the 11th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution) (The Daily News, 5/14/20). Hope is a good thing!
COVID-19 has brought with it anxiety, stress, and depression to some. Thanks to The Daily News for its daily publication of COVID-19 statistics, we appear to be in good position thus far. To keep it will require us to follow the directions of the medical experts. It seems as though the administration has a steady hand on the situation at this time. Hope is a good thing.
Much thanks to the doctors and nurses who put their lives on the line in caring for us. Thanks to all those in some manner, large or small, who give of themselves each day so that someone would be better today than they were yesterday! Thanks to my former colleagues — the first line of defense in keeping us safe, despite inadequate resources.
As for those who have succumbed to COVID-19, not only at home but throughout the world, our condolence to their families! Sudden death does not give us a chance to say goodbye to those we love and appreciate their love, care, and kindness. It’s sad to look at the television news reports of the destruction by COVID-19. It brings a teardrop down one’s face. I thank our son, Lorenzo, who keeps a daily check on his mom and me!
— Retired paralegal and Police Capt. Al M. Donastorg Sr. resides on St. Thomas.