There are no COVID deniers on Hayshill. We are learning the truth and the depth of this pandemic the hard way, through family experience.

Thankfully, we have had only one death due to the disease. That was a favored nephew, a 69-year-old who visited frequently before being diagnosed with Alzheimer’s. A resident of Johnson County, he died there while hospitalized and in treatment for the virus.

Others in our family have not escaped the incapacitating effects of this pathogen that seems to be ruling much of our lives right now. Four of our grandchildren have been infected. The two adults in Illinois have recovered and are back at work.

Two teens in central Kansas were infected at a virtual high school debate tournament and have been quite ill though able to remain at home. One is still bed-ridden; the other, up and about but congested. As a consequence, their parents and siblings are also in quarantine, working and studying from home.

A niece and her son in Ohio are still recovering. Her sister is teaching again. A grandson-in-law in South Dakota is self-isolating before military deployment. Three nephews have lost jobs and prospects in Washington and Ohio are not good.

If that’s not enough to convince us of a certain reality, our daughter-in-law in Illinois works for the county health department and helps with contact tracing. She claims case numbers are mounting so fast that they will: “never catch up.”

So forgive us if we stay close to home and observe masking and distancing and disinfecting and all the rest when we do go out. The virus has been hard enough on the “young-uns.” We older folks don’t want or need it.

I can’t seem to “count all as joy” as scripture suggests, but I do try to put things into perspective. That attempt was aided when I read about some other people’s troubles. (Isn’t that the way it goes?) The old saying that “someone, somewhere, always has it worse” is right. The place right now is continents away in Ethiopia.

There, uncounted disasters are worsening daily. First of all, there is a war, resulting in tens of thousands of refugees. Food, fuel and medical supplies are in short supply.

Those losses have been further complicated by the fact that water is running low and there is no electricity in major cities. Add in the confirmed 100,000 cases of COVID-19 and the worst locust invasion in decades and misery is not a strong enough word. This is a true humanitarian crisis.

We don’t hear enough about the rest of the world — news that would help us to maintain perspective. That wider view is needed. We are going through some rough times here — economically, socially, physically and politically — but they could be rougher and we could be tougher. We could unite instead of divide.

I have faith in Miami Countians, in Kansans, in Americans — in all of us. We can and will get through this problemic time, relying on one another, on prayer and even on the promised vaccines. We still have good people, groups and organizations willing and able to help when needed.

And, at least, we don’t have locusts.

Margaret Hays is a longtime Osawatomie resident who writes a weekly column for The Miami County Republic.

(0) comments

Welcome to the discussion.

Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
Don't Threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.