I’d not yet heard of the novel coronavirus or the COVID-19 nomenclature when TSD’s #ACCESS901 columnist Joy Doss broached me about the expat-repat concept several months ago. I embraced it free of any acute need to give my mental and emotional systems a much-needed break from a flood of news about a pandemic.

Yet, here we are. The series was delayed several times for varying reasons and was on standby when much of the planet got turned upside down in tandem with the rest of the nation and the world. While most eventually recover from the virus without hospitalization, it has proved to be deadly. And the stupefying fact that inadequate testing blocks us from knowing the extent of the infestation in the U.S. is sobering, if not downright frightening.

So, we move forward listening to our health professionals, washing our hands religiously, distancing ourselves from each other appropriately, isolating ourselves as called for and being hospitalized when things have gotten that far out of balance.

All of which brings us back to Expats and Repats and the first in a series crafted to highlight people who have planted roots in Memphis on purpose. They are, Doss says,NOT people that feel stuck but people with options.”

As we hunker down, I thought it would be therapeutic to debut Expats & Repats, focusing in on people who love Memphis, flaws notwithstanding. I’m thinking that reading about the love of others will provide a reference point for each of us to reflect on our love for Memphis and its people.

We are going to need multiple expressions of deep-seated love for our city and each other in the days, weeks and months ahead.


Taking stock of our expat-repat connectivity