In the matter of a few months. Our world has been changed forever. All the worries that we thought we had, gone and exchanges for a new set that involve keeping jobs and businesses afloat, having enough food in the pantry, and just staying alive from a virus and not infecting our loved ones. Tomorrow which seemed promising now seems full of questions. And those questions involve our basic needs such as health, shelter, and food. No wonder there are those who are hoarding toilet paper.
What this time also is quickly unearthing is moral character. Not just those in power, but those around us and those who care for us. Today I had someone offer to send me and my wife masks they made at their home. Yesterday, my Dad’s neighbor and friend bought him toilet paper she found while she was out. Another neighbor asked us how we were doing. Lately, I’ve been talking to my Mom everyday. It’s amazing how quickly your priorities and gratitude can change in an instance.
I’ve recently started a project that involves studying historical events in Oklahoma. I just had no idea that when I started this project I would be living in a historical event. Not just in Oklahoma, or America, but the World. Not since 1918 have experienced something of this magnitude. We’ve been hearing this over and over again. But what does that mean for us? A question we can ask, but we will have to live through it to know the answer.
Today, I’m working on learning more about Mickey Mantle. His Dad, Mutt, worked the Zinc and Lead mines in Picher, which is now a ghost town. The working conditions were horrific. I often wondered what would keep someone working in those kinds of conditions. It was then I learned that before that his job was working for farmers tending to their land, when the Dust Bowls hit. We think that hard times are just for history and the past, and then we are confronted with the reality of it.
This may be a different type of fight, but we will get through it. We are lucky enough to have running water with toilets, to have the ability to run out of toilet paper. We have stores that continually stock food. We have people at home making masks for others with sewing machines. We have forward-thinking hospitals, physicians, and nurses who risk their lives on the front lines. We have a big fight on our hands, but together as Oklahomans, as Americans we can work together to see it through these uncertain times.
Sarah Popejoy Jackson