What COVID Has Done for Humanity
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 by Frank Shortt
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We who are left after all the devastation all over the world during this pandemic have learned some important lessons of life. Aside from the many deaths caused by this virus, there have been many acts of kindness that have not gone unnoticed. Our frontline workers in the medical field, law enforcement, fire departments and others have shone supreme during this crazy time!

The number one thing we have learned is that human life is very fragile. We are not promised tomorrow, only the life that we are living today. Many people throughout the world have kissed their partners, friends, parents, and children goodbye in the morning never thinking that they would never see them again in this life. The ones who never made it home came down with the virus during the day and went to a hospital never to see their family again. Their families could not visit them! They could not even, in some instances, talk to them on the telephone because they were hooked up to oxygen or were in such bad condition they could not talk on the phone even if they were allowed! Life is precious and should be used for positive things at all times!

Another thing that has happened during this time of devastation is that we have learned to get along better with our neighbors. I can say that I have made more friends during the past year than I have ever made in my life. If my neighbors went away for a time, I would make sure that their packages were picked up and put in a safe place, usually my garage, until they returned. If I went away, there would be volunteers to water my patio flowers, pick up my packages, and keep a watch on my place. One young lady watered my flowers at least three times a week as she would go for her walk. If I had not seen one of my neighbors for a while they have been glad to see that I am doing well and I was the same by them.

During Christmas time last December 2020, We could not have our own children to our house for a dinner or exchanging of gifts. Our hearts were made glad when those of other households in our area would come to our door bringing gifts, homemade food, or just a simple greeting of "Is there anything you need? Is there anything we can do for you? Can we go to the market for you?" These were mostly people who did not even know what the Christmas season was all about. They were only caught up in the spirit of giving and wanted to do something kind for their neighbors. Our differences in religion have been cast aside and replaced with kindness, showing love, and realizing that we could be seeing each other for the last time at that time! One teacher friend of ours brought her two children to our patio with gifts for my wife and I and they even brought along a recording for her daughter to do her tap dancing routine for us as an added surprise! We were given food originating from, India, China, Ukraine, Iran, (Persia), Korea, Mexico, Ecuador, Vietnam and Cambodia, as well as, bread made at a mountain retreat called Leoni Meadows, delivered to the Grizzly Flat Community Church who in turn sent the loaves out to anyone who would want it. Will Berndt usually delivered bread to us, and if not Will, our other neighbors the Buchanans, would bring us precious loaves of bread!

Overall, I see a lot of attitudes changed during this time. Some who would not speak to others before are now affording a greeting to others of the community. Masks have hidden our identities to a great degree but in spite of the masks, we have made friends! A comedian once said, "a stranger is only a friend you haven't met yet!" These words have become so true as total strangers have offered assistance, comfort, and hope to their neighbors by simple gestures of love and kindness. On a global scale, entire countries have had to come to the assistance of other countries that have been hit terribly by the coronavirus! Once again, the United States of America has been at the forefront of sending help to others in the form of vaccines, food, water, oxygen, or any other thing that was needed. We have always been a sharing country!

As the cities of America are beginning to open up once again to some semblance of normality, it is hoped that they will not soon forget all the promises made during times of crisis and facing mortality. We are a nation of hope, not only for we citizens, but also for those who are legally seeking a better way of life in the Land of the Free!