We are living in frightening times.
Just a few weeks ago, life was completely normal. We were in the middle of winter. Kids were in school. On Friday nights we might go to a local bar or restaurant with some friends to wind down after the week. If we were lucky, maybe we would catch a game or a show.
Now, because of the coronavirus we can’t even get out of the house. We have been told that in order to stop this deadly disease, we must start “social distancing.” In other words, if we keep six feet away from one another, we can stop the virus from spreading. And this will ensure that fewer people die.
Most Americans understand how important this is and will try to follow the rules. That means in addition to social distancing, we try to “shelter in place”, or stay home. If we have to go out, we wear gloves and try to avoid touching anything, and then we wash as soon as we get home. We have to remember not to touch our faces, despite that itch we’re dying to scratch. If we are sick, we should stay home – and everyone in the house should as well, if possible.
Of course, some of this is easier said than done. Especially the social distancing part. For a lot of people, that means they can’t work. And THAT means there’s no income. No money to pay bills and buy food. And how long is all this going to last?
Fortunately, the government is stepping up with some relief. There are bills in Congress that call for additional unemployment insurance. Some provide food assistance. Others propose that the government will send money directly to workers and provide assistance to small businesses. Many suggest free testing for the disease.
This will help, no doubt. No, it will not replace the sense of purpose that people have when they do their jobs. It doesn’t give us the satisfaction of providing for our families. It isn’t a substitute for the dignity of work, or the enjoyment of getting things done right.
But I have faith that we will get through this. After all, we have survived a Revolutionary War, a Civil War, a War to End All Wars and a SECOND War to End All Wars. We’ve overcome polio, mumps, typhoid and influenza epidemics. We’ve had stock markets crash and a Great Depression.
And we’ve ALWAYS emerged stronger.
So hunker down. Try to remain positive. We can get through this.
We WILL prevail.