We Can Do This

Before we go any further, yes I know what I wrote last week about not writing about the virus and about not sure about when I’d be writing here. But, in case you’ve been living under a rock, a lot has changed in the last week.

Depending on your own situation we are now somewhere around day four or seven of self-imposed quarantine. I have been teleworking since Monday. I’ve discovered that I am having difficulty filling up eight hours on a time sheet. Because, even on the busiest days, I’m not working non-stop for eight hours. There’s no going across the hall to chat with a co-worker or checking in with the office assistant about the supplies for the latest project. It’s just a laptop, a phone, and an Internet connection.

Don’t get me wrong. I’m getting things done. Perhaps even more efficiently.

At the same time, when that work is done, I can no longer write and whine here about all the things I have to do with my other projects. I mean, sure I still have a list and there’s still yard work to be done. But, the show I was directing is closed. The theater where I serve on the Board is likely delaying projects. The opening of the amusement park is delayed.

Like I’ve said to a few friends, I think we are working toward a new normal, and it’s not pretty. This virus is scarier than we first thought. While I still don’t think we should panic, I do think we all need to be careful and follow the recommended guidelines for containing this. That’s what we’re trying to do. Flatten the curve.

Most of all, stay informed. There’s a lot of misinformation out there. There are a lot of peoople trying to score political points.

Here’s the thing. The media is giving us all a lot of false information. And partisans are spinning it to gain or regain political power.

That’s not how we’re going to get through this. If we all can work together to contain the spread we’ll be able to get back to sniping at each other soon enough.

I would like to think that, on the other side of this, we’ll come out a better sort of people. Kinder and gentler if you will. It saddens me to think that I don’t have enough faith in humanity to believe that might be the case.

In the days and weeks following the attacks of September 11, 2001 we all swore that we would be better people, that we would “never be the same again.” We gathered to pray, we stood in line to give blood, we waved our flags.

But once we adapted to the white zones being for loading and unloading only, we pretty much got back to business as usual. And, heaven knows, in the last few years we’ve been a lot crankier and snippier. Especially when we can hide behind the safety of our keyboards.

We’re stuck behind those keyboards now and we face the greatest challenge to our generation. How we respond will resonate for centuries to come.

We’ll get through this. And we’ll get through it as a better people if we see it as opportunity rather than difficulty.

It’s scary. We’re already a little bored. But let’s not surrender to that.

Let’s rise to the challenge. Look deep within yourself to see how these next few weeks can give us all a chance to make ourselves into better people.

And when that day comes when once again we can grab coffee together, or an adult beverage, or just take a walk together, let us appreciate it for the precious gift that it is.

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