Point of View: Talking to COVID-19

In the movie, “Out of Africa,” a phrase stays with me. Meryl Streep, the main actress, bends down to greet a small African boy, a son of one of her workers on her new coffee plantation in Kenya. In tattered clothes, the boy holds a wooden crutch to walk on his injured foot, which is now infected. She tells him to come to her house for care of his foot, and in the mean time, to be careful. He responds, “Yes, Mim, I will talk to this foot.”

During this past year of COVID-19, reading, writing, gardening while looking down, I have strained my neck that I call “my COVID neck.” After seeking help to reclaim ease of movement, I’ve been talking to my neck when I exercise it and when I think about it. This may seem strange; however, we are a total organism with all parts connected that communicate with each other. This is part of my healing. One hand on my neck and one hand on my heart, I tell it to heal and that I love my neck and want it restored.

Western medicine can learn from indigenous people. Me, my neck and body are one.

Before our boys, now adult men, had left home, we took them to Indonesia. While there, we visited a small island, Gilli Tawonga (little land). Our oldest son became ill and had a high fever. Our exchange student, Dadang, told us he would find a local doctor who practiced natural medicine. As concerned parents, we watched this man. He asked our son to sit in a chair while he put his hands on pressure points, and gave instructions to our son to put his hand on his heart and one on his abdomen and tell his body to heal. Then the healer laid him down and performed other hands on “medicine,” speaking in Bahasa Indonesian while pressing on various parts of his skin.

When finished, he instructed our son to sleep and then left quietly, refusing any compensation. He asked Dadang to translate that he did nothing but channel healing energy through his hands. Two hours later, our son awakened fever free and went swimming with his brother without another incident the whole trip. Watching “Out of Africa,” I recalled this healing in Indonesia.

During these days of COVID-19, perhaps as a community attempting to get on with our lives, open the economy and schools without having to close again, we might use our wondrously powerful brains to channel healing energy in all aspects of our lives and relationships as one more means to fight mutating COVID-19 viruses. Maybe we need to “talk to this virus” and tell it to leave us? Maybe we need to walk quietly and patiently with each other, decrease rancor regarding vaccine, masks and individual rights, and embrace healing energy that surrounds us?

None of us give a thought that our body will heal a cut to the skin during daily activities. We assume healing will occur. Let us embrace healing regarding each other and offer compassion and understanding as we live through a once-in-a-hundred-years pandemic. Let us support each other and pay it forward with a sense of building a community in which our children and ourselves will thrive.

Flo Larson is a Homer Foundation trustee.

September 2021 Nonprofit Needs

Hospice of Homer is in need of blank cards to send messages of support and gratitude to members of our community. Contact Holly at director@hospiceofhomer.org.

The Homer Community Food Pantry is looking for frozen meat of any kind (except bear) and canned chili. Contact Dennis at homerfoodpantry@gmail.com.

Homer Senior Citizens Inc. is looking for a table-tennis table (foldable) for our Parkinson’s Support Group. Contact keren@homerseniors.com.

Homer OPUS is looking for sturdy music stands. Contact Ginnie at homeryouthstrings@gmail.com.

Haven House is looking for bleach wipes, children’s disposable masks and small journals or notepads. Contact maggie@havenhousealaska.org.