• Helena Smrcek

Conspiracy or Not

Watching the final broadcast of 2020, the consensus seemed to be that the entire year should be dumped into a giant garbage can and set on fire.



Yes, it had been a year full of challenges, pain, and suffering, but let’s be honest, it could have been worse. I thought of the Spanish Flu pandemic and couldn’t help to draw comparisons. A hundred years ago, the world was torn by the bloodiest conflict to date, millions had not returned from the war, countless were wounded and maimed, economies were shattered, families stricken by poverty, and then the flu hit. The loss of life was horrendous.


Looking at our situation – most of our fridges were never empty, government aid packages rescued us from financial downfall, many home improvement projects finally saw the finish line, and our communities were seemingly united in cheering for the frontline workers.


In my eyes, 2020 was a one-star-kind-of-a-year, but God’s grace definitely gets five stars from me. Our family experienced such mercy it often brought me to tears. My mother-in-law passed in February. We tragically lost two of our friends in March. My husband underwent three major surgeries, all of them successful – the cancer had been removed from his body. We had sold our house amidst all this and moved the entire farm, built a workshop, new barn, cleared a field of weeds, dealt with polluted water system, and started to plan the construction of our new home.



My eyes were opened to grace and generosity of our family and friends. Never had I relied on help as much as this past year. Being a definite type A personality, this was something totally new to me. From packing, help in the garden, cooking, baking, cleaning...to the cards, countless words of encouragement, and continues prayers – we were carried through the hurricane that threatened to destroy our life. How do I ever express my thanks adequately?


Having gone through such a humbling experience, I can only marvel at people who seem to feed on conflict and controversy. Isn’t there enough pain without adding new layers of discontent and perceived conspiracy theories?


It had been only five short weeks since we faced yet another tragedy. My husband’s Dad passed, due to COVID-19. This was perhaps even more difficult than the passing of his Mom earlier this year, because this time, we didn’t even get a chance to say goodbye. One day he seemed to be getting better, the next morning a call came. He was gone.


I think of the thousands of families mourning the loss of their loved ones and must pause as I hear those who subscribe to the conspiracy theory of COVID-19 not being real, or refuse to wear a mask, citing their rights. It feels like a slap in the face. How can someone say the pandemic is a lie as we see the numbers rise, struggle through yet another shut down, worry about our fragile economy, face tough financial decisions? Most of us cope with face masks and sanitizer every time we leave the house. All of us miss our family gatherings, regular activities, work, school, and all those other things taken for granted. How can someone proclaim that the pandemic is a hoax as the death toll climbs? It is definitely not a hoax to us, as we won’t be celebrating Dad’s 80th birthday this year. I guess everyone is entitled to their opinion, yet what I failed to understand is the callousness of those who refuse to offer their sympathy and understanding, to show their compassion towards those who suffer. ‘We are in it together’ may sound like a cliché at this point, but the truth is, if every one of us does their best and follows the rules, perhaps we can beat this virus and spare lives that do not need to be cut short, so help us God.


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HELENA SMRCEK

Stories with a Soul 

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