The following was written by Connie Moore, who serves on the Community Foundation’s Board of Directors, as part of our Board Perspective blog series.
The COVID-19 pandemic which has shaken our reality to the core, caused so much death, illness, and misery, and brought our economy to a standstill, is often described in superlatives. We’ve heard that this coronavirus is the most deadly pandemic since the Spanish Flu in 1918-1919, which killed 675,000 American souls. Another metric—US deaths caused by COVID-19 have already surpassed the total US military lives lost in the Korean War, Vietnam, Iraqi wars, 9/11, and Afghanistan. By any measure, COVID-19 has left an indelible, terrifying imprint upon the world.
Recently I’ve been thinking about the parallels between this pandemic and my own long road to recovery after a crippling infection that left me hospitalized for three weeks. Afterwards, I was unable to stand, walk, or talk, much less smile. It literally took years of therapy to re-learn how to live and work in my new, more challenging world.
Similarly, we are all re-learning how to live in this new, virus-infected world. And by “we,” I mean all of us – individuals, families, city dwellers, townspeople, rural populations, healthcare providers, teachers . . . the list goes on. We’ve all had to adjust, adapt, lament, rejigger our finances, carefully hunt down groceries, work from home, or look for new work – you name it, we’ve been compelled to adapt quickly.
Think about it for a moment. In 2020 we have been forced, metaphorically, to re-learn how to “walk” and “talk” in this new world. In many cases we’ve had to adapt whether we like it or not. For example, we’ve been called to:
- re-learn basic hand washing hygiene
- greet people we know and love without handshakes or hugs
- respect and protect strangers by wearing a mask
- work from home and manage remote workforces
- teach our children at home and online
- keep food banks going 24×7 to help others in need
- stay occupied while in isolation
- stay fit and in great mental health while sheltering in place
- worship and attend community meetings virtually through Zoom
Most of all, we’ve had to re-learn how to protect and care for the least of those among us. Let’s face it, while some of us are “making do” during the pandemic, others have lost their jobs and homes, seen their savings melt or disappear entirely, gone hungry, and lost the basic security that we call the “social safety net.”
The Community Foundation of Loudoun and Northern Fauquier Counties (CFLNFC) adapted swiftly to this new reality by creating a COVID emergency relief fund for those in need. The fund has grown quickly thanks to donations from many people, and also from Visit Loudoun, Google, and the Loudoun County government. Those needing housing assistance, food, medical care, child care, and other basic needs can apply to this fund through Catholic Charities and Loudoun Cares. Those of us who have what we need but are greatly concerned about those among us who are lacking can donate here. Help us collectively to re-learn how to live and help others in need during these perilous times.
To donate to the Community Emergency Relief Fund, visit communityfoundationlf.org/emeregencyrelief