Did the COVID 19 pandemic make it easier to say goodbye?
While there has been the internet and social media, as well as phones to keep people connected; there definitely has been a disconnect as some went a year and even longer not seeing their friends and loved ones.
Some are just leaving their homes and with all the violence, it’s no wonder that some are preferring shopping online, attending bedside ZOOM services and preferring the sanctity of their homes.
Recently when I traveled back to my hometown, I was pleased to see that Sandwiches Unlimited was still thriving in East Orange, NJ.
I hadn’t been there since 2012 and to walk into that business and place my order, well, it was wonderful!
Now there was a boom of new Black-owned businesses opening their doors during the pandemic. And according to several studies and surveys by the Black Chambers of Commerce and other entities, Black-owned businesses saw a decline of as high as 41%.
Black-owned businesses also saw a surge following the murder of George Floyd on May 25, 2020.
But that warm and fuzzy feeling from the powers that be didn’t last too long as promises were made and three years later businesses, organizations and communities are awaiting this huge display of benevolence and corporate citizenry that was pledged.
It wasn’t until more and more were vaccinated and the death count declined, along with restrictions lifted that we started coming out and really seeing what the semi-post-pandemic world looked like.
Sadly folks stopped wearing masks and probably stopped washing their hands even though the CDC in pointing out that May 11, 2023, marked the end of the federal COVID-19 (PHE) declaration; also noted that there were 570 weekly deaths in the U — the lowest weekly numbers in 2023.
For some, it is like the pandemic never occurred. For others, we’re just realizing the devastation because we now really see that people are gone and so are places.
There were so many casualties.
One friend, a former resident of the Belly of the Beast, said losing someone during COVID was similar to losing someone while behind bars.
“You hear the news but it doesn’t seem real because you can’t get to them, you don’t attend a funeral and you don’t get to grieve with others,” she explained. “But then you are released, you go home and they aren’t sitting in their favorite chair to greet you with a smile.”
Which brings us to my truth.
Since 1995, we have been kicking off the summer months with Cheryl Smith’s Don’t Believe the Hype Celebrity Bowl-a-thon (CSDBTHCB); raising money for scholarships, internships and fellowships.
It was challenging over the years but we had a lot of support from so many and we were looking forward to returning in 2023.
We are returning!
However, the place that was the home of the CSDBTHCB will no longer exist. It started out as Don Carter’s West, 58 lanes of fun. Then new owners came in and it became the USA Bowl.
For some, it was the home of the Don’t Believe the Hype Celebrity Bowl-a-thon at 10920 Composite Drive in Northwest Dallas.
After discussions with management, we were expecting this year’s event to be the last big event at the venue; however the owners decided to make an early exit.
Now we are exploring other venues and we’re looking at a September 9, 2023 date.
This will give our sponsors, volunteers, team members, supporters and communities time to do what we’ve done a lot of in the past three years, pivot!
So, mark your calendars and plan to join us.
We will be sharing information through social media and right here. We want you to get your teams ready by purchasing a lane, becoming a vendor, donating or purchasing auction items and supporting our scholarships.
With the late date we won’t have the involvement of Sen. Royce West’s Dr. Emmett J. Conrad Internship Scholars, but we expect alumni to be in the house and if we get enough donations between now and July 30, 2023, we will be able to award our annual scholarship in August!
I can’t thank those supporters enough for all they did for the cause. Find out how you can support at 214-941-0110.
We’ve all lost so much and we’re rebounding.
Let’s not say goodbye to this good thing!