DAWNINGS: Remembering and still healing from COVID

By Rev. Dr. Dawn Weaks

Pastor, Connection Christian Church

Coming to Spring Break means we are at the third-year anniversary of the COVID outbreak in our world. Since then, I’ve had COVID twice. I am fully recovered except that sometimes, I still can’t smell right. Sometimes I get the most putrid smell from the most innocuous things. I can’t quite trust my sense of smell anymore.

Many people have much greater losses to grieve – serious health concerns, the death of loved ones. All of us lost something, whether time with family, mental health, a job, or simply the peace of knowing that life continues in a predictable rhythm. Most of the time, I am an optimist who presses on through challenges. Yet sometimes, taking a moment for shared grief and remembrance is needed, as unwelcome as those feelings of sadness may be.

So Odessa, let’s remember and pray for God’s continued healing of our community and our world.

I for one will never forget walking into the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit at Odessa Regional Medical Center and seeing the faces of the staff who turned it into an additional ICU for COVID patients. They were bone weary, giving all they had to care for the patients entrusted to them. They were wearing so much protective gear that made them sweat profusely, yet not taking off a single piece for up to 12 hours a day. Let’s remember our healthcare workers and all they have been through, and the way they showed up for us. The trauma from this experience stays with them. Hold them in prayer.

I, too, will always remember Ector County Independent School District’s leadership in providing meals, technology, and dedicated teachers trying to reach our students. The first time our church helped with meal deliveries to families counting on school lunches, we were stunned by the far reaches of our district geographically, and by the far-reaching compassion of district staff from cafeteria workers to principals. And the way our schools have been resiliently working to overcome the mental health traumas and learning gaps from the pandemic is nothing short of miraculous. Have you seen ECISD’s new “B” rating?!? Let’s keep thanking our tireless educators for what they have done, and what they are doing.

Let’s remember too the families who lost loved ones, 725 precious neighbors here in Ector County. May they be comforted by the Peace of Christ which passes understanding.

What are you remembering? We are bounding back from the challenge of Covid that began three years ago this week. And we are still healing. May we be gentle with one another.