Josephine Lutzo
August, 8, 1919 – March, 14, 2020

The world, as it seems, is going through a great crisis. As with any crisis, whether private or public, uncertainty is tagging along for the ride. Uncertainty is what people fear most. We are creatures of security and routine. When these comforts are disrupted, we tend to go a bit crazy; our anxiety spikes, and our depression rears its ugly head. 

Many are collectively wondering about bills, kids, elderly parents, and if their job will be there while this invisible storm moves through. As with all great storms, a name is required and this one has many. First was the Wuhan virus, then the coronavirus and now Covid-19. Why all the iterations of names? Apparently, during a global pandemic, political correctness is still required. 

But that’s not what this post is about. This post isn’t even about the virus itself, but rather the ripple effects that reach far, wide, and deep. 

I’ve been aware of the virus since January, watching it impact several of my meetings that I manage for my client. At first, we had to restrict attendees from China, then Hong Kong, then Italy, then the world. No more travelers and no more meetings. My heart dropped each day watching a giant novel corona-wave wash through Asia, then Europe, and I knew where it was headed next. It was only a matter of time before it showed up in America. 

The first cluster of cases was in a nursing home in Washington state, sadly claiming the lives of several elderly adults and bringing to light the lethality of the virus to those with compromised immune systems. It’s my opinion that those experts in the WHO, CDC, and medical field were watching their worst nightmare unfold as the data came in, and the words community spread were first uttered. The nature of this virus is such that it can live in a person without making them sick, but they can still be contagious. Hence the invisible trademark of this pestilence. 

I’ve never been worried about the virus itself as those same experts mentioned above have stated that many who get the virus will live to tell about it. That is, it’s not a death sentence for the majority of us. My concern grew for my parents and my grandmothers. My parents, thank the Lord, are pretty healthy 70 years old, but my grandmothers are 100 and 97, or were… 

Remember that ripple effect I mentioned earlier? The ripple reached my front steps today with the news that my 100 years and seven-month-old Grandmother passed away suddenly. Yes, I know she was 100, and every day for her was a blessing and a gift, but she wasn’t in hospice, she hadn’t just gotten out of the hospital, and there were no significant issues that would alert us that her days were turning to hours. 

Grandma started today as usual. But by lunch, she told her nurse she wasn’t feeling well, and before the nurse could get back to her room with the oxygen, she had already passed away. She went so quickly and peacefully. I am sad at her passing, which goes without saying, but when I think about it, I’m heartbroken, thinking she died because of the ripple. 

The ripple is that she knew her nursing home was on lockdown; she knew her kids couldn’t visit her; he knew that Major League baseball was postponed (She was a huge Cleveland Indians fan). She knew that this virus was here, and it took her security and routine away. I believe she died of a broken heart (stress) because she was cut off from her family. Maybe it has nothing to with the virus. Maybe if this world pandemic weren’t happening, she would have still passed away today, March 14, 2020. She was over 100 years old, after all. But the timing of it all seems a bit strange to me. 

These times are unprecedented. Society has come to a standstill. The skies are quiet once again as they were during 9/11. Only this time, it is not for a week but for much longer. If there is one thing that can give us security is that we are all going through this crisis at the same time, we are all in this together, and we can all help each other find our new routines to get us through. 

As for my grandma, I am so grateful that God took her quickly. I know she had a beautiful life, and she is now in heaven, experiencing the beauty and majesty of her Lord and Savoir. Rest in peace, be restored, and enjoy being home in Heaven Grandma. I will always love you.