The Covid 19 Virus was first identified in December 2019 in Wuhan, China. It spread around the world. No one knew what to do at first. The President of the United States, Donald Trump, closed incoming flights from China, but it was too late. The Virus was here in the United States. The world had not seen such a virus since the Spanish Influenza of 1918 that killed thousands of people. The CDC announced preventative measures for the United States to follow: wear face masks in public, social distancing, avoid crowded areas, ventilation, and air filtering, disinfection of surfaces, washing your hands with soap and water for twenty seconds, use hand sanitizer, and stay at home if possible. Schools were closed, later going to online learning, nonessential businesses especially restaurants were closed to all indoor dining. Grocery stores like Fry’s and Safeway sanitized all carts between uses, public events like sports and concerts were canceled or postponed. Nursing homes like Haven and Heritage were closed to visitors for the residents’ safety, but it still got in. We lost two people, like Dorothy Tippett and Donna Anderson. We went to Dorothy Tippett’s birthday, talking to her on cell phones thru a window with her on one side and us on the other. That was the way you were able to see your loved ones in the nursing homes. Their vulnerability to exposure to the Covid was too great. They both contracted Covid. Museums, like the Gila County Historical Museum and Bullion Plaza Cultural Center, closed. The Center of the Arts and Besh-ba-Gowah closed. All hospitals, like our own Cobre Valley Community Hospital, were closed to all visitors. When you had labs or doctor appointments in the hospital, a person was required to answer whether they had been exposed to Covid. The clerk took your temperature, and you signed a paper verifying your answers. Doctors spaced out the appointments so only a few would be in the waiting room and socially distanced and wearing masks. Non-emergency surgeries were postponed. Some of these closures were mandated for our safety. The health imperatives caused an issue for some people who felt their individual rights were being violated. Many felt the Virus was all a hoax and the government forcing all citizens to comply.
People panicked that made things 100 percent worse. The public went to Walmart, Safeway, and Fry’s and cleaned the shelves bare of everything edible. You would see toilet paper, cases of water, or jugs of water, disinfectants, and hand sanitizer gone. Shelves bare. When the stores restocked some of these items, they would be gone by the time you got there. You had to be there first thing in the morning or it was all gone. A person was limited to one package of toilet paper or one case of water if you were lucky to be there in time before it was all gone. If the people had not panicked there would have been no shortages. The stores like Fry’s and Costco designated an hour first thing for senior citizens only so they would have limited exposure to the public to get their groceries. Stores, like Fry’s, had and still have online shopping. You place your order, drive to the store, park in the designated area, call the store, let them know that you are there, and a clerk brought your groceries to your car. The store also delivered to your home. This helped so many people who had underlying health issues from public exposure for their safety.
Restaurants, like La Casita, Irene’s, El Ranchito, Guayo’s on the Trail, Guayo’s El Rey, Burger House, Dick’s Broasted Chicken, and Jumbo’s, along with many others provided takeout only. Our friends and neighbors in the Globe-Miami area supported them and kept them from closing their doors permanently. Sadly, China Taste Buffet was closed the whole year.
Churches were canceled. Many churches conducted their services via ZOOM. Thank Goodness!
San Carlos was hard hit with the Covid Virus. One whole Family, the Sanford Cassa family (the father, Sanford, who was postmaster at San Carlos, his wife, and two grown sons) lost their lives to Covid. The family has one daughter left.
Lamont Mortuary was hard hit especially by San Carlos. The Native Americans were not allowed to have wakes, so they had services at Lamont. There was a ten-person limit as to the attendance allowed.
Many of our friends and neighbors passed away some because of Covid, some due to other issues, but funerals were private due to attendance restrictions, or Memorials for the loved ones were postponed for a later time.
Thanksgiving and Christmas were hard for all. Those are the times we are all together as a family. Not in 2020. Family events were canceled or limited for everyone’s safety.
As to the way Carl and I handled the Virus, we only went to the Post Office, Fry’s, or Walmart when necessary. We masked up and socially distanced. If I felt the parking lot had too many cars, we did not go in. We drove by and then went on another day or time. We supported our local restaurants by ordering takeout. We stayed home. We kept in touch with friends and family by telephone. We got a lot of cleaning and yard work done. We also put on a few pounds, but we survived. I was very proud of our residents in the Globe-Miami area. Most all followed the guidelines during this pandemic and we survived. It was inconvenient at times. The facemasks were hard to get used to, your eyeglasses fogging up, etc. But we complied.
Carl and I got the Moderna Vaccine at the Cobre Valley Community Hospital when it became available for our age group. Our local hospital was most efficient in the process of administering the vaccine. I was amazed when you would see all the problems other places had in their process. Globe-Miami was a perfect example of how it should have been done.
Covid 19 Virus hit us all in one way or another. The disruption of our lives economically or socially goes beyond words. A year later we are still feeling the effects. But we will survive!!
-Carl and Linda Lopez