By Steven Zimmerman
SAN ELIZARIO, TEXAS – Living with COVID-19 and trying to navigate the myriad of ordinances coming from every level of government has not been easy. We’ve seen businesses close, school move to an online model, and our lives turned upside down. I miss the beginning of the year when COVID-19 had not yet found it’s way to our corner of the world.
It’s been hard, being away from what I love to do – collecting and sharing your stories, your celebrations, your life events. Today, while working on another story, I ran into one of the San Elizario High School Cheerleaders, and that got me to thinking.
We’ve begun to place an unconscious distance between us as a community. Sure, small groups still see each other, even communicate online, be we are beginning to lose our sense of community, our understanding of what makes us San Eli Strong.
I miss stopping into City Hall and talking with Nancy Montes and Delores Lopez. I miss just catching up on what is happening in their lives and around the city.
My visits with Father Juan Victor, Ester Amparan and Edna Limas have become a distant memory.
If you’ve never had a chance to sit and talk with Father Juan Victor, you are missing out. He is an amazing man and a remarkable servant of God. I can’t wait to be able just to sit and visit with him, give him a hug.
Then there were football games, basketball, volleyball, the electricity that radiates from San Elizario High School sporting events. The passion and intensity they bring to the field or court are incredible.
I could go on – the teachers, the students, the coaches…
I miss every one of you!
As I drive through the streets of San Eli and see the park empty, the football field void of life, and think of everyone at home, I also worry.
I worry that we may never get this virus under control. I fear that when a vaccine is found, out of some nebulous fear, most will choose to forego it and take their chances.
I fear, as we reopen businesses and we rush out the door, out of some sense of regained freedom, we will see a second wave of COVID-19 that will be worse than what we’ve already seen.
I miss everyone, but I also worry about each of you.
I want to see our seniors walk across the stage, take their diplomas in hand, and face a future that is full of promise, not quarantine and social distancing.
I want to see Coach Herrera lead the Eagles to a state championship. I want to cover back to back wins, homecoming, and senior night.
Next season, I want to see Coach Contreras take the Lady Eagles to new heights. My heart broke when they lost in Monahans. I wanted to find a way to turn back time and give them just a few extra seconds on the clock.
This year, the Lady Eagles take State.
I want to watch Coach Perez take the Varsity Boys to State as well. There are so many fantastic players on the team that I know, and I just know they will make it.
This past year was also my first year covering volleyball. I was amazed at the intensity these girls bring to the court when they play. They are some amazing girls and I can’t wait to be there when they next take the court and show everyone how the game is really played.
At all the games I covered, filling the stands were friends and family of the players. There was a sense of community, a sense of family, and we seem to be social distancing those connections away.
We need to hold strong to what makes us San Elizario. We need to remember our neighbors, our elders, those who may not have enough food to eat. We need to remember those who may have lost their jobs because of the virus, those who have been laid off. We need to check on them, make sure they are well.
We need to encourage our students, our future leaders. We need to be strong for them and set and example that they will carry into an uncertain future.
We need to remain San Eli Strong.
Check out some photos from games I’ve covered:
As Mountain View was hosting San Elizario it was also Senior Night for the Lady Lobos. San Eli News wants to congratulate all the seniors from Mountain View High School […]