Hope in Coronavirus: An opportunity to change the world

Noah Jennings

Noah Jennings

What a time we live in—a major holiday for all of us in quarantine has come, and with it has come an opportunity. Though we are several hundred miles away, my wife and I tuned in to the First United Methodist Church in Carson City for their Resurrection Sunday service. As we watched, we felt connected—not just to each other, but to the community of Christians at large, as we all celebrate from home. This weekend follows Passover, where members of the Jewish faith adapted with virtual Seders, bringing together families spread across the world.

As we experience this separation, it is amazing to see the resiliency of all of us on display. Every day, the news brings updates of the latest testing and those who have lost their lives to COVID-19, but along with it comes a message of hope. We see and hear stories of courage from the hospitals and front-line workers, from the women and men of the National Guard tirelessly helping their communities, and from the acts of kindness and selflessness of everyday people on display everywhere. Here in Phoenix, a six year old girl battling acute lymphoblastic leukemia made 70 Easter baskets for children in quarantine.

In Las Vegas, local businesses have banded together to buy Chromebooks for the Clark County School District, where they have a shortage that could leave thousands of students without a way to leverage digital learning to continue their education. In Sparks, ER nurse Catherine Bunn has joined over a thousand nurses answering the call and running toward the fight, leaving for New York to aid those hospitals hit hardest by coronavirus. In our own Carson City, teachers are adapting to continue to make sure their students receive the best education possible, and local businesses like Carson City Toyota are rising to meet the increased need at the community’s food banks.

We are in uncharted territory, and certainly in uncertain times—no one can dispute that. However, as happens during every tragedy, we are seeing the best in humanity. With Easter here, I recall the story of Jesus’ suffering, death, and resurrection. The suffering of Jesus some two thousand years ago saved all of us—and through our own suffering during this time, we have the opportunity to leave the world changed in a similar way.

The inherent goodness within people is truly showing through, the skies are clearer, and around the world we are all sharing in this human experience. In spite of the divisiveness of the last several years, we have a unique chance to change how all of us behave. Right here, right now, wherever here is for you, I issue this challenge: take the opportunity of the isolation we are all experiencing to grow closer than you have ever been with your family, friends, and neighbors. Allow this virus to not defeat us, but to strengthen humanity and our natural resolve to unite and to help one another.

Noah Jennings grew up in Carson City, serves in the Nevada Army National Guard, and currently resides in Phoenix, Arizona


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