By Sonia Fernández LeBlanc
In mid-December 2021, I contracted COVID most probably while serenading Dominick the Italian Christmas Donkey to a whole room full of lovely humans who were celebrating Christmas and raising money for a good cause. Someone there probably had it and didn’t know, thereby passing it on. That’s how COVID has been creeping in. The shame, anxiety and fear that creeps in too certainly does not support healing in any way either. I know very little about the personal experiences people have with COVID because I think often people choose not to even say they are sick for fear of how they may be perceived. But, New Earth community, I have spent most of my life not one bit worried about what others think about me, combined with wanting to share my business with everyone every chance I get! Telling our stories is medicinal. So sit back for a dose of COVID healing medicine!
So here is how I healed from COVID’s invasion of my body and my home. I’m fine, y’all. I felt like I had a severe sinus and upper respiratory infection that runs you down and makes it necessary to eat and drink hearty broths and teas while binge-watching mystical Netflix shows. All my beloveds are taking such good care of me, as is my extended community with virtual check-ins, distance reiki and healing energy shares, food drop-off and gift cards, and just all the Love.
That’s what I want to reflect on here. The Love. For me, this illness is an active healing moment in the physical present sense, but also in my lineage—for my own ancestors before me and as I become the elder and ancestor for those to come, at a threshold that I needed to cross in order to step fully through the fear entrenched in so many of us for nearly two years and come out the other side fully healed. To bear witness first hand… I will survive COVID in 2021, at age 44, because of the bridge between science and spirit that exists now, and that I believe in fully. It didn’t exist like this for my ancestors nor for yours, and we feel that deep in our core.
I have the privilege that I can tell my own story, but it is a universal ancestral story regardless of where we came from. The old stories of illness live in all our DNA. Here is the one I am healing. It cycles back 120 years to the respiratory epidemic, tuberculosis, or as her death certificate says “consumption,” that took my maternal great-great-grandmother, Ellen Mogan Baine, at age 40. There was no medicine to help them fight the infectious disease that consumed her and her husband, leaving behind their twelve year old, my great-grandmother Mercedes, to be raised by her surviving aunt and grandparents. My husband and I contracting a mild case of COVID, somewhat of a mirror to those ancestors of mine, received all that medicine can offer right now and allowed spirit to work from the other side, so that this line of loss that started in 1899 is being healed with intention called forth in the throes of my illness and reinforced through the ritual of these written words. In my rest and healing of COVID, I’m also healing the matrilineal line of fear, amplified when my own grandmother was born on Armistice Day 1918, at the height of the Spanish flu pandemic to that orphaned mother. As a mother myself, I have spent much time thinking about how she brought a child into a world of unmitigated illness while holding the trauma of losing her own mother in another era of unmitigated illness. She passed her fear on, which was compounded by her daughter, my grandmother Julia’s fears for her own beloveds, my mama and uncle, during the polio epidemic that raged throughout their childhood. Fear continued to perpetuate and be fed through my generation when, in 1980, my own brother died at 9 days old because of a slew of micro-negligences, both sanitary and procedural in nature, on the part of healthcare workers in local hospitals.
I was unintentionally receiving very clear beliefs about cleanliness and all the ways you could get sick and die and distrust everyone and everything, expanded out to encompass all the fears of death you can imagine, from a deeply loving and protective family who had four generations of direct trauma around germs, illness, and how these are contracted running in their veins. It was molding the way I looked at the world as a danger from a very young age, as well as the rage I constantly felt when all these adults and their fears were laid upon my shoulders to carry their generational burdens. Even being told to wash the dirt out from under my fingers after playing outside enraged me as a child. Germs, and disinformation about good and bad germs, already got a bad wrap even before a global pandemic that kills millions, but now we have a whole new generation to be traumatized, and often for a very good cause, but often very much misplaced and ignored. In that complex place in between is where I am trying to heal my line. Along with traceable lineage stories, I carry the simple trauma of ancient ancestors who have succumbed to plague, illness and devastation at the hands of fellow humans and nature alike. That’s just in my DNA. But we all carry the burden of this foundational pre-pandemic trauma just for being embodied on this Earth. No wonder we are all exhausted, judgmental, and constantly afraid and/or pretending like we don’t care because we simply don’t have enough capacity in neither a physical, mental, nor spiritual sense to deal with the threads of wounds stretching far back in history, right to this very moment where the ever-present fears of an evolving two year global pandemic are literally unraveling us.