At first, it was a virus that was so far from us that all we can do is shake our heads and thank God that in America, we are safe.

A few weeks later, we saw Europe starting to get infected and we kept a curious eye out. We read reports that this is beginning to become a global concern, but not a real threat.

Weeks passed by and then we got the news that the virus has landed in our country. States, cities and neighborhoods started to see spikes in Corona cases. In NYC, where I live, we became “Ground Zero”, the war zone of the virus with the most cases.

Every week, we see the line increase and we wish and pray that the line flattens. It doesn’t. Not yet.

We see, read, and hear of people who have been sick and have been taken to hospitals. We shake our heads and do our best to abide by the stay at home mandate. We move on.

And then you get the text, or the phone call.

Then It becomes personal!

A friend’s father is sick and was taken to hospital. He’s not in good shape. A few days later, he passes away.

A couple, friends of yours, who live in the Bronx have been home for 2 weeks with fevers, coughs and body aches. They’re fighting it in isolation and though they feel terrible, they are not in the worst shape to require hospitalization.

A co-worker who sat 2 rows away from you had been silent and didn’t reply to emails. Two weeks later he finally comes online and shared that he was sick with the virus. He thought twice that he wasn’t going to make it, but he did. He’s still weak and weary but doctor cleared him.

One of your best friends who lives in New Jersey texts saying that his father wasn’t feeling well and he felt like he was struggling to breathe. They rush him to the hospital and has been in ICU for a week. Last night, they had to administer CPR and revived him. His kidneys are failing and he’s very weak.

Things look grim.

It’s so easy to stay at home and brush this off as something that won’t affect me or my family. But when it starts to affect the ones you love, this becomes personal! It hurts! It becomes your war too!

Since we are all quarantined in our own homes, all you can do to comfort those we love is send a text message, FaceTime, pray for them and hope for the best. Though this is great considering the situation, it still doesn’t feel like it’s enough.

This week is Easter. For us Christians, we remember, mourn and celebrate the sacrifice of Jesus on a cross. On Sunday, we’ll celebrate his resurrection!

I know many people don’t believe this. Heck, people who sit on pews every weekend still struggle with it. And to be frank, it is absolutely ridiculous and defeats the laws of nature. But this is my hope (I won’t speak for others).

My hope this Easter is that we really come to understand the pain of death, sickness and grief. That we hate it with all of our guts because it seems… unfair! It is!

My hope also lies in the resurrection. As hard as it is for most people to believe, I do. There is more to this life than to live and then die. There lies hope in resurrection. It tells me that there’s more to it than this. It gives… hope.

Hope. There’s a word that rocks the very foundation of my being. But it’s a word that is so needed today.

Hope…

I hope this virus dies soon!

I hope my friends and family stay safe and healthy!

I hope those who lost loved ones find comfort and peace!

I hope we all realize how fragile we all are.

I hope we change!

And more importantly, I hope we… hope!