Many have died in the last few weeks and many will die. We have been frightened and ordered into our homes, and although there is a glimmer of hope on the horizon, much of the story is yet to unfold. Even so the journey has already changed us. Life was so fast and complicated – always striving to control the uncontrollable. Now, we realize there is no control. We do our best to follow guidelines and directives, but we all implicitly understand, if it is our time, it’s our time. But, while fear is no one’s friend, and death and disease are at our door, amazing, wonderful things are happening. Humanity is alive and well. Good is coming out of this trial. Good that was unimaginable only a few short weeks ago.
In practical terms, our understanding of pandemics is growing exponentially. That is a good thing. Hollywood has given us a taste in the past. We have had scares and warnings, but that was all quite different – most unrealistic. We have learned that pandemics can be controlled. We have learned that the government needs to act fast; that China and the World Health Organization are not to be trusted; that closing borders and social distancing works; that networking and cooperation can succeed; and that politics has no place in a disaster. Why did the professionals get it so wrong? When this is over, we’ll have time to figure it out for the next time. As Speaker Pelosi said, no finger pointing, just a growth in our understanding.
Before the Coronavirus hit home, politics was eating at our souls. Someone was always at someone’s throat. Twenty-four-seven, anger, insults, retaliation and a constant drone of hatred dominated our broadcast and digital media. It was inescapable. It gnawed at our minds and our faces. It was hurting our families, friends and neighbors. It was hurting our humanity, and it was hurting our nation. But, in the last few weeks our cultural cancer has been in remission. The lull has allowed us to reunite with our inherent goodness.
Families have been brought together. We're working at home. Our kids are home from college. Our kids are home from school. Sure, it’s an adjustment, but gosh it’s nice to have them here. Family meals, every meal, and a dozen hands for every task that needs to be done. When is the last time you played a hand of cards or board game? When is the last time you had a room full of people watching a movie? When is the last time you had a serious conversation that just didn’t matter? Compromise, cooperation and love – it is so good to feel those things again.
And, heroes, oh my God, I am so proud! Our first responders, our doctors, our nurses and our medical personnel down to the lowliest maintenance worker. Our military personnel that came to our aid on land and sea. Our teachers and possibly the most glorious heroes of all – our grocery store clerks. Of what wonder are these people made!
But it doesn’t end there. Private citizens, with no dog in the fight, save for their place in humanity, stood up and said, I got this! Jack Dorsey, CEO of Twitter, gave away a billion dollars – over one-third of his wealth to help with the relief. Dozens of billionaires have given away billions to help. A small businessman in Texas, who has spent the last thirty years of his life building a business, pledged to his employees, he would continue to pay them until there was nothing left. Thousands of business owners nationwide have done everything they can to lessen the impact on their employees, their communities and our nation. And, what about these stories of amazing tips left behind at restaurants? One elderly couple wrote a check for $30,000 at their favorite restaurant to help their friends there get by. And, music and theatrical stars from New York to L.A. have entertained for hours from their living rooms and on their balconies just to lessen the load. Countless other Americans, have done amazing things for the elderly held captive in their homes, and the list goes on and on... What a country we live in!
Photo courtesy of the prairieecologist.com.