By Daniella Ghafari
It was so easy to turn off the TV and say, “Oh that’s too bad,” when I saw helpless people dying in Syria. It was so easy to keep scrolling past the UNICEF post of the teary-eyed mom and her malnourished son before he learned to walk. When the Ebola virus dominated Africa, I thought, “How lucky am I that I am thousands of miles away.” When the first cases of coronavirus were reported in China I said, “Thankfully, I am thousands of miles away from this, too.”
And then, COVID-19 came to the United States, and before I knew it, the country was panicked.
“It’s not going to come to Michigan,” I thought to myself. And with the blink of an eye, school was canceled indefinitely. My dad worked from home and my mom continued to go fill prescriptions at the pharmacy she works at. Then, more and more of the other stores began to close because of new COVID cases. I couldn’t believe that people my mom knows are getting sick.
Around this time, I thought about the famous quote from Pastor Niemöller. You know the one that says “there was no one there to speak for me.” Yeah, this may be referencing World War 2, but the message is ultimately the same: we need to help each other.
About a week ago, I was tapping through Snapchat stories, trying to find anything to distract me from completing my online assignments. I saw this post:
My friend’s uncle had gotten sick from COVID -19. It really hit me that no one is safe from this virus: young, old, healthy, on medication - no one is safe.
I thought about my mom working tirelessly to fill prescriptions to help those in need, with barely any safety regulations to keep her healthy, and my heart sunk. I hate to say it out loud, but it could be my mom who gets sick next.
Reader, it could be your mom, your dad, your grandma. It could be anyone you know who gets sick next. I know if it were me or my family, I would hope that someone would be there to help me. But like what Pastor Niemöller implies, if we don’t help each other, no one will be left to help us.
So, reader, I ask that if you had COVID-19 and have recovered and are 28 days symptom-free (or you meet the requirements of a hospital's requirements), you would consider donating blood to help others who are still fighting. At the end of the day, we are all human, and we all have an upward battle ahead of us.