There are three reasons I chose a profession in journalism. The first and obvious one is that I love to bring a story to light through writing. Secondly, no two days for a journalist are ever the same … redundancy bores more.  Finally, being a journalist allows me to be a student of life’s everyday challenges, its ups and downs, and its historic moments.

Compiling a special COVID-19 issue in UMOJA Magazine, one year after our world turned upside down, made sense from a journalism perspective. The pandemic is one for the record books packed with an abundance of life lessons and faith.

Little did I know that the articles in this edition would cause me to absorb so many emotions. Crushing emotions. 

Aleta Allen is a traveling nurse who has witnessed more death than anyone should in his or her lifetime. The coronavirus took Leonard Davis near death’s door. COVID sickened three generations in Dr. Jasmine Zapata’s family.

We did use this issue to applaud all the frontline workers and put a human face on the war of the novel coronavirus which has taken the life of more than 500,000 people in this country and counting. That’s equivalent to the entire population of Milwaukee being wiped out. The numbers are unfathomable. 

Black Americas are disproportionately affected by the coronavirus disease. We are infected more, hospitalized more and end up dead more than any other ethnic group in this country. With the release of COVID-19 vaccines, we went right to the source for answers. Dr. Sheryl Henderson is an infectious disease specialist with first-hand knowledge of clinical trials and the inner workings of our body’s system. She explains how the vaccines work and squashes misinformation floating around.

UMOJA is also excited about introducing you to Sandra Lindsay. The Jamaican-born medical professional is the first in the United States to receive a COVID injection. We let her tell you how she’s feeling and what message she has for those hesitant to inoculate themselves from this respiratory disease.

 We hope this issue will be a guide in learning much about the coronavirus. There are many more topics and experts surrounding COVID that we did not have the space to include in this March issue, including the pandemic effect on Black business and school-age students.

We urge you to continue reading and researching all you can because coronavirus information changes daily. Always consult your physician when making decisions about your health. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention ( is an excellent source for information, along with your city and county health departments.

This feels like it’s been the longest year of my life. I miss hugs and singing out loud in church. However, hope hangs on the horizon and I believe together we can get through this.