For months now, most of America has been glued to the news, reading and watching the 24/7 coverage of the dreaded COVID-19 pandemic. We were horrified as some of our cities and states, and other countries lost thousands to the virus. Some of us lost family and friends while most of us have gone (hopefully) untouched. We’ve seen academic models that predicted up to millions of dead in our country.
Truthfully, I think most of us were afraid. We watched as our political leaders and our medical professionals struggled to make sense of what was happening. The medical community was and still is awash with different theories about what we should be doing, but nobody really knows. And no one knows what will happen next. We are all hoping that modern science and technology will soon find some answers and that somebody will make the right decisions that will drag us out of this insanity and back to our normal lives.
It has been a time of great turmoil that has truly revealed the character of the American people. As in any disaster, the bad people, the heartless criminals have stepped forward to wreak their havoc. But what has really stood out during the calamity is the incredible compassion and heroism of the American people.
I would call it the “great American spirit,” the same one that won the two world wars. It happens when somebody or something attacks our country. Everyone forgets their differences and starts pitching in to help in any way he can.
On 9/11, the heroic policemen and firefighters charged into danger to save the lives of their fellow countrymen with no thought for their own safety. Many paid the ultimate price for their selfless acts.
Hopefully we will learn some lessons from our shared experience with this pandemic that will create a lasting bond among our countrymen and some good will arise from the rubble of this horrific disaster.
Some good things:
l We as a country now understand that the Chinese communist government is not our friend and that we cannot depend on it for anything, especially important strategic necessities. It was China’s lies and deceptions that caused this horrific pandemic.
l We learned to not believe every so-called scientific or academic model. They were projecting anywhere from hundreds of thousands to millions of dead in the U.S. There are groups that use these types of models to scare people and gain political power.
l Our nation now understands that while Hollywood stars and professional athletes amuse and entertain us, it is people like Drs. Anthony Fauci and Deborah Birx, along with the myriad of scientists leading the charge against the coronavirus, who are the real heroes in our world. And we should give our highest tribute to the courageous frontline doctors, nurses and first responders who are risking their lives to save our lives.
l Our citizens and especially our youth will remember how the people of our country came together to fight the pandemic and they will develop some national pride as Americans.
l Our free enterprise system really shined. Privately owned business and individuals all over our country leaped to the challenge and in record time started producing the supplies that our medical people and first responders needed to fight the virus.
l When faced with the reality of a global emergency, people now understand the vital importance of our food supply and producers.
l Our farmers and ranchers didn’t miss a beat. They kept on doing what they do best, growing produce to feed us and the world.
l Our grocery stores and hardware stores remained open and supplied us with food and the other necessities of life.
l We have plenty of toilet paper.
l Medical research has made historical gains and is moving at warp speed to find new treatments and vaccines to corral the coronavirus.
l Emphasizing personal hygiene habits (remember what our moms used to tell us) such as frequent hand washing during the pandemic could lead to a dramatic decrease in other deadly diseases such as the flu.
l There has been an increased use and acceptance of telemedicine. This is a great advancement for rural areas that lack doctors and hospitals.
l Teleconferencing and teleworking from home have become more widespread and accepted. This would save a considerable amount of time, money and energy.
l Wow! How about the giant hospital ships that sailed to New York City and Los Angeles? They were three football fields long and each equipped to handle a thousand patients. Didn’t that make you proud to be an American?
l Samaritan’s Purse, a non-profit Christian charitable organization, set up a huge fully staffed and equipped tent hospital in Central Park in nothing flat. Who knew that this even existed? They use these frequently in the United States and around the world for emergency humanitarian disasters. What a bright and shining example of American ingenuity and generosity.
l And finally, now that our political leaders have proven that they can come together when the chips are down and compromise for the good of our country, they have no excuse to return to squabbling and getting nothing done.
Dugger retired as a journeyman carpenter from Clearwater Paper. He lives in Lewiston.