Monday proved to be a grind. And Tuesday is serving up more of the same. This ain’t last week, folks. The adventure’s gone. The novelty’s worn off. And some of our leaders are wandering away from medical intelligence and the world’s evidence, and instead are fantasizing about wonder drugs and this being over soon.
Wonder drugs? Over soon?
I believe most Americans look at the world’s losses and know we’re not on third base heading home, we’re still in the batter’s box waiting on a terrifying inside fastball that hasn’t even left the glove yet.
We see that testing centers are reaching capacity and turning people away before they even open for the day. That tells us how many of our neighbors are worried, or sick, or worse.
Hospitals are begging for masks and protective equipment that the country could be producing with the activation of an already signed order. Instead, we get meandering murmurs of “not wanting to make the cure worse that the problem.” But we the people look around the world and see exactly how big the problem already is. We know that this nation is not close to being done administering tests, no less assessing the results, or treating the ill. And if we’re sent back to our lives before we have confronted this enemy, whatever we have accomplished will be undone. And the numbers of the sick and the dead will explode.
However, there is considerable evidence that Americans know the world’s numbers, dread them, and are turning to state and local officials, and to their own morals, for guidance. We work from home, educate through distance learning, shop In progressively more sane ways, and stay inside. Tuesday morning saw TV commercials become nonpartisan pep and unity rallies, promising support, belief, and strength from furniture outlets and car companies and other familiar brands. And news reports began to emerge showing still other companies manufacturing medical masks and gloves on their own. Communities are working to find ways to feed those in need, and citizens from rock stars to students are utilizing social media to spread hope.
I have faith that most of America sees COVID-19 as the global pandemic that it is, and it seems clear that many of us are doing what needs to be done. It speaks to what lives within Americans, the toughness to take on the unbeatable threat and get to work creating an answer.
In the 1940’s so many countries were threatened by the Axis of Evil, and Americans turned factories and scrap metal and housewives and skinny high school grads and Pearl Harbor into the steely resolve needed to break the allegedly insurmountable Nazi stronghold at Normandy. We stormed those beaches and willingly paid the price to make the world a better place.
We’ve battled for civil and equal rights since the 1960’s with marches and sit-ins, and we lost good people there too. We defied the noose and the gun and still battle stubbornly lingering hatred to make the world a better place.
We’ve been knocked to our knees economically, socially, medically, and spiritually. We’ve seen adversity before and we’ve suffered hard times. None of it has been easy and much of it is ongoing, but when all is said and done, one thing still stands…
The American Spirit.
Not the consumer version or the politically marketed version or any of the cable news versions. Not the Hollywood exploited version or the scandal sheet version or the hot new series now streaming version.
The True American Spirit dwells within everyday people who love their children and work their jobs and dream their dreams and pet their dogs and spend their lives trying to do what is right and what is best for all.
And in our hearts we know the right thing to do now is to take the rough road, to storm this seemingly insurmountable Normandy the way it needs to be stormed. We know the right thing to do is to sit-in against this microscopic violation of our lifestyles, our dreams, our families. In our hearts, that American Spirit burns with the desire to fight this enemy any way we need to, to pay the price to take our lives back, not for a week or a month or a year, but for the future, because we love our children and our families and this worthwhile Idea of America.
But it is going to be a grind and we’re going to need to marshal maturity and all work together and listen to proven experts and not give in to short cuts or false hopes. Our children deserve better than that. Our families deserve better. As do our friends, neighbors, co-workers, and fellow Americans.
The bell is ringing. It is time we step up and do what needs to be done to meet this particular threat the way Americans always have. Our country is calling for us to make the world a better place once again.