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Another Catastrophe

Image by Wilfried Pohnke / Pixabay

“Morgues are full.” Ukraine struggles to bury the dead. So the headline reads on my news feed this morning.

Wasn’t it just yesterday that some of our own morgues in areas hardest hit by the pandemic were bringing in refrigeration trailers to cope with the overflow of bodies? So many of those deaths, like these, unnecessary.

The grief, the upheaval, the uncertainty. I watched as workers and volunteers at the Andrey Sheptytsky National Museum raced to wrap and secure over 12,000 cultural treasures: works of art including statuary, sacred icons and rare manuscripts; the Ukrainians’ precious heritage.

Two nights ago, as my husband and I sat in a café to enjoy a long-awaited session of Irish music, a muted television screen in the corner projected images of more than 1.5 million Ukrainian citizens fleeing their country. Women and children bundled up in heavy winter coats, arms laden with personal belongings, leaving behind husbands and sons who stay to fight the Russian invasion. They make their way through smoke and debris, their futures uncertain. Families shattered, loved ones lost. Casualties so far number over 400 civilians, many of whom were killed when they were shelled while in a supposed “evacuation corridor.”

Another horrific and senseless human tragedy on the heels of the global pandemic. My heart goes out to the Ukrainian people and to the Russians who stand in opposition to the tyrannical totalitarian regime of their president. Stay strong.

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