CLEVELAND — An anniversary card, and one of encouragement for having made it to one year.
It's been that long since my lockdown began.
Because of the pandemic, about a year ago, WKYC 3News said, "Leon, go home. Work from there."
My year of the lockdown changed much. Many people could not work from home; others had no jobs to which to report. Some still wait for an economic recovery.
During the lockdown, I miss a lot: restaurants, theater, large ballpark crowds, religious gatherings in the pews.
A year ago, we saw bare grocery store shelves of many products. Life changed, the schools closed, hugs were hands-off, handshakes disappeared.
We are 12 months into the lockdown. The sad tally of COVID death is daily broadcast into our lives. Nationwide, the numbers are staggering, but understand each number is really a name and a face.
Among the dead were two of my aunts I knew as young women and then older; each had coronavirus. In my family archives, the recorded voice of one aunt from better times still speaks to me.
"What do you think about 87 years?" I say to my Aunt Dorothy Bibb Fowler in cell phone video.
"I thank the Lord that he spared me to be able to see it," she replied.
Sadly, coronavirus did not spare Aunt Dorothy, nor Aunt Pearl.
Twelve months of lockdown and we are socially distant from each other, yet we try to stay close emotionally. The pandemic, like a bomb, dropped on us, and it and the lockdown have been our story. A lot on our plates, lockdown and everything else.
We are continually reminded that Life comes at you fast, filled with its twists and turns. But even in lockdown, I try to summon the goodness of life and build on the inspiring moments pointing me to a better future.
My 12 months have been a time of waiting for cracks in the lockdown. One came, called "Vaccine."
When it was my turn, I accepted, aware science and medicine would "give me the best shot" for the future. I figure it like this: A year into the lockdown, with the vaccine and everything else good, ALL of us must work together for a better future.
So I'm sending you a card of encouragement. Although we are socially distant from each other, all of us can still hold hands and walk together to the future. I'd send my card of encouragement through the mail, but television's faster.
A year into the lockdown, I'm still sayin' "Hang in there; we're in this together. Thinking of you. Thinking of us."
More from Leon:
- History of medical mistrust: How can we convince the Black community to get the COVID vaccine after decades of deceit?
- How Black History Month strengthens the fabric of America
- His second act: Former Cuyahoga County commissioner is now making a name for himself on the stage
- Chaos at the Capitol: A tale of two demonstrations as different as black and white