It’s Easter Sunday, 2020, and just like everyone else I have had to modify my family’s traditions thanks to COVID-19.
Anyone who knows me knows that I don’t sit still very long or very well. Around this time every spring, my family and I are usually consumed with preparations for the annual Ceres Street Faire. Not this year.
In the past five weeks, we have seen parts of the world literally shut down. Including here in what I used to call the “comfy part of California.”
I come from a generation that has felt neither invasion nor devastation. We all watched in fear and sorrow as 9/11 unfolded on television, planes dropping from the sky, the towers falling, first-responders giving their all to save whomever they could. I stood in line with others to give blood, and we mourned as a nation while vowing never to be the same again.
From a distance, we have seen horrific devastation from hurricanes, tornadoes, floods and fires. I have no idea what it feels like to be rescued by a helicopter crew or to launch a canoe from my roof.
Here in our Valley, we can breathe a sigh of relief when such devastation occurs.
Yes, we have tragedies – senseless violence, like the ambush-killing of Sgt. Howard Stevenson 15 years ago or the murder of Deputy Dennis Wallace in 2016. As the wife of a peace officer, I was particularly touched by these incidents. This could have been my family’s ordeal and legacy.
For each of these terrible episodes, I was a devastated spectator; watching the horror and sadness unfold on my television or following through social media.
But this Easter Sunday was different. The state, nation and the world are together in a life-and-death struggle against an insidious virus. Each citizen in every town across the world has been activated to save themselves and their neighbors. That includes our part of comfy California.
This time, we’re are in a fight together – sheltering at home, washing our hands, breathing through masks and praying that everyone is being just as careful. There is no way to know for certain whom it will affect next, why or when.
So Easter Sunday found me at home, marveling not only at the birds and bees in my backyard but also at the genuine spirit of people who all feel just as vulnerable as I feel … and who feel just as committed to carrying on.
In the community I love, I see countless people practicing social distancing. But I also see them making eye contact and smiling as if to acknowledge that we’re all in this difficult time together.
Every day, I see dozens of heroes – not just first-responders and medical staff, but grocery clerks, truck drivers, restaurant owners, farmers, delivery workers and people working in food processing plants.
The moments of kindness, generosity and grace have been countless.
Turns out, my belief that tragedy simply won’t strike comfy California was a myth. This tragedy has stricken our entire planet, forever changing all our lives. But it hasn’t crushed or even dampened our spirits.
It seems we’ve been given a collective pause in our lives. We’ve been granted the opportunity to reevaluate our priorities, our lives and our future. We’ve been given the opportunity better understand what is truly important – not just today, but in a better tomorrow.
Lisa Mantarro Moore is a longtime Ceres resident who has been active in the community for decades. Her full-time job is serving s the District Director to state Assemblyman Adam Gray.