FORT HUACHUCA, Ariz., The American public and the Department of Defense have not seen or experienced a crisis like COVID-19 since the Great Flu Pandemic of 1918. Similarly, working remotely with your loved ones far across the ocean in a foreign country under lockdown orders just like you; can often add another layer of concern and uneasiness on so many levels.
However, for Jerry Deaver an IT Specialist with Network Enterprise Technology Command, Command Business Office, there are always innovative ways to stay busy and connected with family in Germany.
“I have contact with my family daily via various social media platforms such as Facebook Messenger and WhatsApp applications. We typically talk via voice messages and on the weekend we do video chats, so we are grateful that we have access to various free social media applications,” said Deaver.
Like many DOD employees working from home, Jerry tries to make the best of the COVID-19 crisis, by using the technology platforms available to stay in-touch with his wife Martina, daughters Jaqueline, Sharina, Jeanine and son Rodney.
“Since Germany’s time zone is currently 9 hours ahead of Arizona, it’s somewhat a challenge for my family. It’s not unusual for my family to start sending me encouraging messages at 2 a.m. to 3 a.m. in the morning when I’m still in bed and they are having breakfast,” said Deaver.
As people and families around the world continue coping with the worry and anxiety of the current pandemic; the Deavers have resorted to communicating on a daily basis and keeping each other informed about the COVID-19 crisis.
“We talk about the status of the COVID-19 situation, and we discuss how we look forward to seeing each other again soon. We strongly encourage each other to stay positive and continue praying for our safety and good health during this challenging time,” said Deaver.
Like any family the Deavers are often concerned about what is happening at each other’s locality being oceans apart. Hence, Jerry tells us what some his family’s concerns are.
“They are worried and anxious, considering that COVID-19 has spread rapidly across Germany and in the Rhineland Pfalz region where they are located. However, Germany has implemented very strict social distancing rules and stay at home policies. My wife is pleased that the German government is doing a good job of managing the COVID-19 situation, and are making every effort to ensure the safety and well-being of German citizens and guests, to include the U.S. military based in Germany,” said Jerry
According to Jerry’s wife Martina she is concerned with what is happening in Southern Arizona where her husband lives and teleworks remotely.
“I am very interested on how the USA is handling the COVID-19 pandemic, especially since we see stories regularly on the German news about some of the challenges in the USA. I always want Jerry to tell me how they’re handling the situation in Arizona and this helps me feel more confident, and it validates for us that Jerry is doing well, considering the circumstances and sudden lifestyle impacts,” related Martina.
Aside Jerry’s family worries, he too often reflects at some of his own worries and how the United States is addressing the Coronavirus.
“I’m mainly concerned about what our government is doing to ensure its citizens are safe and better protected. I’m deeply concerned about how so many people are suddenly unemployed, to include some of my immediate family members,” said Deaver
Jerry also worries about the people on the frontlines of the COVID-19 crisis.
“I pray every day for our first responders who are seemingly doing all they can to handle this crisis as well as protect themselves. I also think about our service members and pray they stay healthy since their sole mission is to protect our Nation; this is always at the forefront of my mind since I am an Army war veteran,” said Deaver.
Although worry and concern for each other are often at the forefront of the Deaver family both Martina and Jerry try to take everything in stride as they both strive to maintain some sort of normalcy in an otherwise chaotic world.
“I like to read spiritual materials, and watch TV documentaries and a good movie occasionally. I started a VA fitness program 4 months ago and have lost over 40 pounds, therefore I am motivated to get out and walk daily to improve my health and fitness, while maintaining social distancing,” said Jerry
“I appreciate it that Sierra Vista has many open spaces to take long walks, and to relax and view the beautiful landscape,” relates Jerry.
Likewise, Jerry’s wife Martina likes to take the opportunity to enjoy the outdoors near her home on the outskirts of Mainz, Germany.
“I like going on long walks with our dog “Metro,” this helps take my mind of the pandemic and allows me to breathe and relax,” said Martina.
“Germany is ‘schon’ beautiful this time of year, its springtime and everything is blooming in the Rhineland Pfalz region.”
Jerry remains hopeful he will get to see his family soon and hopes the COVID-19 crisis will be over soon.
“My family was supposed to come to Arizona to visit me in early May, but we’ve had to cancel their vacation plans. They were obviously very disappointed, and initially somewhat depressed, but we’re remaining optimistic that they can visit later in the year,” said Deaver.