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First day of spring at a Memphis park had a different feel to it because of the coronavirus pandemic

Families adjusting to new realities as COVID-19 impacts the world

MEMPHIS, Tennessee —

Thursday was the first day of spring. While people filled places like Tom Lee Park downtown, others spent the day dealing with the worst health crisis this country has had in more than 100 years.

Parents and the children. It was going to rain, but it didn’t keep these people away from the fresh air of a March day in Memphis. There might be another reason, with no school and all.

<Voice of Mike Matthews/Local 24 News> “They are home for the foreseeable future. Have they driven you crazy yet?

“Yes, they sure have,” said parent Aaron Irving.

This is one of those times when it’s nice to be a child. Someone who doesn’t know the meaning of that word pandemic. They know what pandemic means all too well at Christ Community Health Services. They know it scares a lot of people.

“We can pray with them over the phone. If they actually show up at the clinic, we can pray with them. Just to give them peace of mind at this particular time.” said Shantelle Leatherwood, CEO of Christ Community Health Services. 

The centers are providing coronavirus tests this weekend. You can’t just show up, you need to call them, answer questions.

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“We have already provided about 22 tests. Our goal for Saturday was to serve 50 individuals, and we have 130 individuals we need to screen,” Leatherwood said.

Back at the park, Aaron Irving is thinking how he’s going to deal with the children.

“I don’t believe in living my life through fear. We live our lives through faith. So at the end of the day, I take this experience as God bringing us closer together as people. So through adversity in America we need to come together. Doesn’t matter about race, backgrounds or whatever. This is the time we can come together and help out your fellow man,” Irving said.