Pandemic Loss Across Generations

Oct 10, 2021 | Covid Stories

Shared by a longtime dedicated volunteer of the Bradley Food Pantry
My name is Donnie. I live in Middlesex County but my roots are in Newark, and I also have family in East Orange and Irvington.

This pandemic has affected me emotionally and spiritually. I worked for the Port Authority of NY&NJ for 32yrs and in that time I have seen and responded to many challenges but COVID-19 is like nothing I have experienced before.

It has affected me emotionally because in the last 4 months I know personally of 12 people who have had the virus, and of that 12, 7 have died. I lost 2 cousins within weeks. Their funerals were on consecutive days and because of the 5 max people rule at that time for funerals, I had to say goodbye by live stream.

My childhood friend had to sit in the parking lot of a hospital while his mother died in a Covid unit because at that time they were not allowing people in the hospital.

My wife lost 2 cousins, a mother and daughter, who were on life support at the same time. The family took them off together and they passed together.

My life is one of vigilance now. My daughter is compromised because her controllable asthma becomes an issue if she gets a common cold. So mail is sprayed; clothing comes off at the door; no one is allowed to visit, and we have not visited anyone. My wife has not seen her mom in person in months. I go out once a week and get everything done on that day. Mask, gloves, social distancing.

I struggle spiritually to keep my heart from being hardened toward those who treat this virus with a cavalier attitude. I don’t understand the selfishness and self entitlement of some individuals… not wanting to do just the basics like wearing a mask in public and social distancing. If it just affected them, that’s their right. But their actions have a direct affect on others. In many cases those actions could end in the death of another person.

They have to understand, sometime things happen and life is changed forever and will never go back to the “old normal.” Society adjusts and creates a new normal, like our lives post-9/11.

We adapt. We overcome.