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Chatterbox: Between the dark and the light

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Most of the world population is now confined by a virus. You can actually see the tarmac in Times Square.

Some of us are overwhelmed, but we should also be really proud of what Americans are doing. We should all give a shout out to so many Americans called on to go the extra mile, and under these conditions, every mile is extra, and there are no perks except the knowledge of helping in a crisis.

There are no words to even approach what emergency workers are doing. Risking one’s life in a hospital or crisis situation to help others has no description. Tonight, I heard the local fire alarm go up from our neighborhood firehouse. Volunteer firefighters will respond, with nothing but more than the usual danger in it for them. There’s no way to thank any of these heroes.

Financial donations are wonderful and can be done now, requiring no social interaction. Perhaps, when this is all over, we all will remember to bring wonderful food or treats to our local hospital, police station or firehouse. Let’s not forget the postal workers, grocery store employees and pharmacy workers, and too many more to mention, all helping us stay alive.

Most of us are praying while we send love, visit and stay abreast of global developments via all we have that’s interactive: technology. Honoring quarantine is essential too – let’s not be fooled by subliminal messages. Let’s be smart, do our part, stop the spread, keep our distance, and follow every procedure to halt this nightmare virus, which is killing too many and threatening us all.

Let’s keep our heads and remember that people have been through worse crises before. We can do this. One crisis at a time – we’ve got to stay alive first, stop this virus by following protocol and not impulses. Then, we’ll repair the economic setback.

We’ve said before that America can afford anything she needs. There’s plenty of money to invest in her people and we can’t let that be forgotten. Our military budget is inexcusable. We’ve exempted hugely profitable corporate cartels from taxes for decades, and many other spigots of financial resources can be painlessly tapped.

This impediment in our lives is fearsome, but it is steeling us. Americans are mighty when challenged. As always, we’re finding our spine, gumption and grit. We see fear won’t overwhelm us, and rediscover that every dinner with loved ones is a gift.

We’re finding out that poor old Mother Nature still can rebound if we just give her a little bit of care and that our planet’s health actually is in our control. The ozone hole is decreasing in this crisis. The clean waters have returned to the canals of Venice, with fish and swans, and its water has dropped to a safe level, easing corrosion. NASA photos show the noxious gas clouds over China have virtually disappeared. Hopefully, we’ll learn moderation, that new energy is plausible and implement vital advancements.

Last, we are finding our true selves again. Many people have reconnected with long lost friends and family, just to see that everyone is OK and express love. People have rediscovered the sanctity and value of home and family, their penchant for cooking, writing, or art. We’re using media to send messages of laughter, hope and love, and sharing original entertainment and humorous videos to cheer up and engage each other. Even Andrew Lloyd Webber has a performance challenge with prizes of tickets to a night with him on Broadway when this all ends … and it will end, sooner or later. Let’s remember not to do anything we can’t live with on the other side of it.

Sure, there are always predators who’ll take advantage of a crisis but, for most of us, this is a test of our mettle, our intellect, sensibility, creativity, magnanimousness and gratitude. I’m proud of what I’m seeing in our American people doing. We’re all hopeful that this will end as soon and as best as it can.

We can keep the quarantine in perspective, use it to grow more beautiful inside and out, be inventive and realize, again, how much we all need and love all others, not just family and friends.

The Italians, who have been beaten to the core, are holding vigils, serenading each other and even working out together from their balconies in confinement. We can do this thing. We must do this thing. We have to be smart, stay strong and hold onto our introspective new selves.


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