COVID-19 has affected people all over the world and in many different ways. Last week I had a funeral in Phnom Penh and afterwards met a young couple, the man from the United States and the woman from Malaysia. They were married in March and came to Cambodia for a honeymoon–and are still here. Because of travel restrictions due to the pandemic, he cannot go to Malaysia and she cannot go to the United States. Seven months now….how long is too long?
2020 is the 50th anniversary of my class’s ordination to the priesthood and I was looking forward to seeing the guys again at the alumni reunion in Baltimore last week. But thanks to COVID-19, such was not to be. Instead a bunch of us got together for a Zoom reunion online, and it turned out to be an interesting and enjoyable experience.
Olga, one of our lay missioners, has had to stay in the Philippines because of COVID-19 and death in her family. She will not be able to return to Cambodia so today a crew of Maryknollers emptied out her apartment. Sisters Regina (the organizer), Ann, and Helene were there along with our office manager Siphal and his wife and also lay missioner Julie Lawler and Charlie Dittmeier. Note the common Cambodian space-saving maneuver on the stairway: dividing a normal stairway into half sideways. Broad shouldered people beware.