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  • Ellen Owens-Karcsay

Mother Nature, Lady Luck, and COVID-19

July was an interesting month for me personally. Mid-July, I turned the half-century mark. My husband and I had big plans for my milestone birthday which were, as you can guess, were canceled. Instead, my fantastic neighbors and friends hosted a carport party, complete with face masks and social distancing. You know you have quality people in your life when they come to hang out with you in 110˚ heat.



Hurricane Hanna

“Let’s go to a beach for the weekend”, my husband suggested, so we did. We flew for an extended weekend getaway to South Padre Island, Texas. Now, if you paid any attention to the news (other than COVID coverage) the weekend of July 25th, you know that hurricane Hanna made landfall in south Texas that weekend. Growing up in the Midwest I was constantly worried about a tornado touching down and taking our house and dog up into the clouds as depicted in the Wizard of Oz. Fortunately, that never happened. Hanging out in the time of COVID as people sheltered during a hurricane, was not as disruptive as you might think. People hung out on their balconies, some stood out in the sand-stirred waves, while others checked out early heading back to the mainland, not willing to stick around. It may sound strange, but it was a nice distraction from COVID.


As a result of the storm, our flight was canceled. We were able to get flights out of San Antonio and made the 4-hour drive through tornado warnings, torrential downpours, and flood streets to get there. Along the way, we saw the damage the storm had caused, twisted trees, telephone poles down, and the occasionally displaced trampoline or barn roof. Most of the restaurants and businesses along the way were closed because the power was out.

I could not help but to think many of these businesses had reopened following the COVID shut down and were trying to get back to businesses, now this. Like most businesses located in tornado alley, they know this is the risk and most will repair or rebuild, and get back to business, knowing it could happen again.


So after making it back to the valley of the sun and heat and closed gyms, I was out running at Tempe Town lake, my typical route around the lake, the last two miles taking me back on the south side, under the train tracks and past Tempe Center for the Arts. My pace was a little better and I was feeling good, listening to tunes, despite the high temps. I turned to make my final mile back home and saw the black smoke billow in the air. It was not until I got home, I realized that a train derailed moments after I crossed under those tracks. I was glad and amazed that there were no injuries because the park was busy that morning.


I started then thinking about how COVID is equally unpredictable in many ways, lurking undetected on objects, just waiting to touchdown and do damage to its next host. You wash, you sanitize, you mask up, you do everything you can do to reduce your risk – but there will always be a risk. I suppose there will be a risk after a vaccine is created too. The virus will mutate, and new vaccines will need to be developed.


So, in my wise age of 50, I am not going to stop living my life, I will adjust, adapt, and be aware, count my blessings. Don’t mess with mother nature, don’t bet against lady luck, and don’t think for a minute that you can outmaneuver COVID.


We may not be able to change our current circumstances, but we can change our perspective and our attitude.

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