Beacons in the Storm

Covid-19 has swept across the globe, its destructive wave affecting every aspect of our lives.  To complicate matters, facts are buried under a pile of opinions, misinformation, manipulation, and downright lies, which leads to nothing but a deafening roar of white noise, confusion, and fear.

Panic ensues, which is never a good thing. Panicked people make stupid decisions, like hoarding toilet paper, paper towels, and ammo. Of course, it didn’t help that, for months, governmental leaders downplayed the severity of the situation, mocking those sounding the alarm. This has led to sycophant media outlets claiming conspiracy theories of hoaxes designed to create hysteria in an election year.

Which is so far beyond delusional it enters the land of flat-earth stupidity.

I’m usually the optimist in the room, but the past few weeks I’ve feared that America’s willful ignorance about this pandemic would be the deathblow to our way of life. It seemed no one in power was reading the tragic social media posts coming from Italy, nor paying attention to the positive outcomes of mass testing and isolation.

But the midst of the darkness and uncertainty came the beacons in the storm. Businesses, corporations, theme parks, sports organizations, and state and local governments, banded together to create a united front to stem the flow of this pandemic. The federal government stepped up to the plate. The usual blame-game that normally inundates my social media feed was replaced by informative graphics, educational posts on understanding social distancing, and the latest articles on how the virus spreads and what we can do about it.

In a day, people came together with one common goal–to get this nightmare under control.

So, thank you, state and local governments, for making hard decisions early, aggressively being proactive by canceling schools, large gatherings, and events. Thank you, theme parks, for putting people over profit and shutting your doors while offering to compensate hourly so they don’t lose everything they’ve worked for. Thank you, businesses, for encouraging your employees to work from home, if possible, and for finding innovative ways to reschedule the rest to decrease office traffic flow.

Mark Cuban, Mavs Announce Hourly Arena Workers Will Be Paid During NBA Hiatus.

You’ve given us a fighting chance to flatten the curve, to keep our loved ones safe.

For those of us with little wallets and big hearts, we too can be a beacon in this storm. Lead through example and stay home. Check on each other, especially those that are alone or elderly. Share resources, no matter how little, with those who need it. I have friends that are “sharing a square” for those that have no paper products. Freeze small portions of casseroles and give them to those on a fixed income who don’t have the resources to buy a month of groceries in one chunk.

Post positive things on Social media, not accusations, negativity, and blame. Purchase gift cards from local restaurants to be used at a later date to help keep small businesses afloat during this crisis. If you had theatre tickets, don’t demand a refund. Instead, consider that ticket price a donation to keep the actors, directors, set designers, and everyone else working in the arts paid. Have your children write cards or draw pictures and send them to nursing homes because they can’t have visitors at this time. Stay plugged in with your community on what you can do to help.

Most of all, focus on the positive. Be kind. Practice compassion and empathy.

We’ll get through this.

Together.

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