In Light of Hope | Together in Lockdown

It's quiet out there. Once bustling streets are now vacated, save for a few grocery seekers scattered here and there. It's an odd feeling, hearing the birds chirp and the leaves on trees rustle without the backdrop of horns honking or airplanes taking off. There hasn't been the sound of an airplane in 3 days. A peace has descended onto this wild city. Maybe in the quiet, we'll be able to hear hope's loud voice.

From many angles, it all seems hopeless, doesn't it? Another few thousand were diagnosed while you were sleeping. You wake up to the same news every day. It feels like the world is swelling, bigger and bigger with the catastrophe of it all and it's easy to wonder if it will hold or if it will burst into a million pieces. 

But let's look at this from another angle: we, all around the world, are in this together. The entire world, every one of us is experiencing the effect of COVID-19 in one way or another. Some of us are attempting to bring our demanding jobs (that don’t become any less demanding amid a pandemic) home, while kids who would usually be at school are making their demands as well. Others of us are struggling to figure out the next grocery bill, not having or been paid in weeks while the savings are dwindling.

And while many of you, across many oceans, battle the realities of a global pandemic we feel them here, too. The spread is slow here within Nepal’s borders with just under 20 recorded cases. But a country-wide lockdown, closed borders and the looming threat of outbreak are significantly influencing the well being of Nepal. The country has been on a strict lockdown since March 24th and while we wait to see what each day holds, the tension grows each time the lockdown is extended. With so many businesses shut down, kids out of school, and imported resources coming to a slow halt, there can be many valid reasons to fear. And it is into those exact places we strive to bring hope.

Trauma is ... well ... traumatic. But it breaks us down, takes us out of our routine and pushes us to do more, to do better, to be kinder. While much of the world is suffering the same circumstances, we’re also seeing people come together in unforeseen ways to care for one another. I’m sure you’ve seen videos of Italians serenading each other from quarantined balconies and enjoyed John Krasinski’s“Some Good News” channel on YouTube. Here in Nepal, we’ve seen people come together to provide food and shelter for day wage earners who are out of work. We’ve seen hostels and hotels open their doors to care for travelers who are stranded in the city and unable to travel home to their villages. We’ve seen communities step up to care for those traveling by foot to reach their villages.

The most remote of us, even those of us tucked away between impassable mountains are feeling the effects of the virus, too. It seems strange that in places hardly accessible by automobile and animal are equally fearing the threat of this pandemic. But it’s true. And we are working hard to do our part to respond and to care for the people there, too. As you’re reading this, our COVID-19 Task Force is working tirelessly to respond to the realities of the pandemic in the most remote places of the Himalayas. We’re providing health posts in the Nubri and Tsum Valleys with all necessary personal protective equipment needed to prevent and respond when needed. Right now, we’re packing up supplies and food products that our HALO services will deliver by helicopter to quarantine sites and health posts.

Times like these are why we exist: to carry hope. Hope is infectious and available even in the most impossible of circumstances. Wherever you are … at home, stranded from home, with or without your everyday necessities, take hope … we’re in this with you.

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