My COVID-19 Story

Story shared by Virginia Gabrielle O'Flaherty of Cardiff, North County

Collage-Darkness-and-Light Virginia Gabrielle O’Flaherty May 2020

May 2020

The collage is intended as a tribute to the multitude of heroes who sustained us and brought us together as one people during the COVID-19 pandemic.  It features healthcare professionals and many other essential workers from across the globe who worked tirelessly to take care of our physical and emotional needs during a grim period of escalating sickness, death, and intense social isolation. The new coronavirus had no discrimination.  It attacked the rich as well as the poor, people of all races, creeds and politics, in over two hundred countries.  But it disproportionately harmed the most vulnerable among us: the elderly, the poor, and people of color. Cities across the globe were deserted.  Yet doctors and nurses worked tirelessly to save multitudes of lives and held the hands of dying patients unable to be with their loved ones.  With protective equipment scarce, some nurses improvised scrubs from plastic trash bags. Paramedics, police, firemen and other first responders continued to safeguard us.  Grocery workers, farm workers, delivery people, caretakers, and janitors continued to provide essential services, regardless of the risk to their own lives.  Volunteers cared for the hungry, manning food banks and handing out food to the homeless.  Hungry families lined up in their cars to receive food packages at parking lots. Musicians improvised ways to lift our spirits.   To support frontline healthcare workers, the Global Citizen organization gathered together musicians from around the world to broadcast and stream a two-hour concert into our homes.  The historic “One World: Together at Home” concert was the source of many of the photographs in this collage. This is a small representation of those who helped us, some risking, even losing their lives to save us.  May they inspire us to link our hands together around the world in unity.

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