The Coronavirus Pandemic 2020: From a Georgian Perspective

The past few weeks have been crazy since we all departed our separate ways from Sterling College. I was expecting to return and that things would have improved for classes to remain in normal sessions. I was disappointed when I checked my student email and saw that everything had been moved online. Normally when I am completing an assignment for a class, I am in my college dorm. But this time, I am writing from my Grandmother’s couch from a city in West Georgia.

Since being on break I have recognized many things. We can never take our health for granted. We should never take our loved ones for granted. We should never take our favorite hobbies for granted and most importantly, we should never take our daily lives for granted. I find it amusing how fast things can change over time. 

A few weeks ago, I was looking at CNN and I saw that a virus had broken out internationally. A week later, I discovered that the US had its first case of the virus. Shortly after that, cases were popping up everywhere and even in my hometown. I noticed the people’s attitudes around me changed in such panic. Businesses were closing. Mayors of towns were issuing “Shelter In Place” orders.  I saw the Governor of Florida express on the news of how he felt to see beaches overcrowded during the pandemic. When he stated “College Students” within his text, I frowned and shook my head in disgust. 

    Just recently, Governor Kemp, the Governor of Georgia, issued “Shelter In Place” order for the entire State of Georgia. As a citizen of Georgia, I felt like it was coming. Governor Kemp, awhile ago, gave a statewide Town hall meeting that was televised nationally through all 159 counties of Georgia. In this meeting, he and other ranked medical personnel addressed many questions that had risen up within population of the state. He desperately asked each of us to cooperate with him and his officials so we could “Flatten the curve” here in Georgia. Instead we did the opposite. Driving home from Atlanta, I could see parks packed with people. Most of them laying out on blankets or having picnics. They acted as if they did not care about themselves or others around them. We were not flattening the curve but roughing it up. 

I just really thank God that this is not the state of New York. From my grandmother’s couch,  I watched their governor beg for anyone that is medical staff or related to come and help them and they would return the favor. This morning, I drove all over the small city of Bowdon, Georgia, stopping at stores looking for medical masks and sanitizers, however they were all out. The store managers stated they did not know when the next truck would be in. For nose and mouth protection, I will be using a “Shemagh”. A “Shemagh” is an Arabian scarf used as protective equipment in the Middle East for the head, face and neck for protection from the sun, wind and sand. I used them a lot when I was deployed in Afghanistan in 2019.

Many people in the US are dealing with quarantining in different ways. When I open my instagram app, I see many of my friends and celebrities summoning “Tik Tok” challenges among each other. I see some celebrities praising God in the midst and thanking him showing his grace among them and others. I see many people overall remaining in positive spirits. Tequila Farmer, a resident of Riverdale, Georgia which is south of Atlanta stated, “I am blessed”. 

I, on the other side, continue to train of course. I try to avoid staying outdoors for as long as possible. I take time out of my day to reflect on what is happening around me and others. I believe that I will be called in for duty soon. The governor of Georgia has started deploying out medical battalions and because certain numbers are not being met he will be forced to pull others. I am taking pre-cautionary methods to make sure that I do not contract this disease so that I am ready for duty if called. I reach out to many of my friends back at Sterling to check on them throughout the week . Rhonda Schueren, A widowed and single mother stated, “I have grieved the fact that my college students have left. My daughter that was away at college is now home, she brought a friend who is staying with us. My high school son is now home. So my home was quiet, now it’s busy and full. I love it, but trying to figure out our new rhythm of life and that we can’t go anywhere. Like highschool and college sporting events.” Rhonda is also taking this time to learn about new technologies and how to be able to remain connected.

    When this is all over, I pray that the world will be changed for the better. I believe that many minds have been convinced to change for the better. I don’t think we will ever take life for granted ever again. As there became a time in our generation where life was not normal. I will remember this as bearing witness to the world falling apart in front of me but coming together beautifully again. We are resilient. However, a nation that stands together will rise. But one divided will fall. This is a test from God. 

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