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We are broken … but not forever

In major cities across the US yesterday, people marched to protest the nearly universal lockdown orders designed to slow the spread of the coronavirus. And Denver was no exception. An estimated 400 individuals gathered at the capitol, waving flags and signs, shouting, honking, and doing whatever protesters usually do.

Not until this morning was I aware that there was also a small counter-protest — nurses in scrubs steadfastly blocking the circling cars.

REUTERS/Alyson McClaran

My heart goes out to those nurses. They are working ungodly hours, putting their own health at great risk, to care for those among us who fall victim to Covid-19. And to reward their courage and diligence, there are protesters in the streets!? Some of those doctors and nurses have died as a result of their work. And this is their reward? This is how the public repays their sacrifice?

On the other hand, my heart breaks for the people who have lost their businesses, their jobs, their paychecks, and even their homes as a result of the stay-at-home orders. There are massive breadlines and food giveaways. Businesses, even big ones, are declaring bankruptcy. Mom and pop shops, often operating on a shoestring, forced to close, will probably never reopen. Help, where there is any, has been slow in coming or may not come at all. It’s devastating. I can only imagine the frustration, desperation, and anger.

Still, what is accomplished by gathering shoulder-to-shoulder with a mass of strangers, most of whom are not wearing masks? (Wearing a mask, after all, would be an admission that the danger is real.) Will those protesters be better off if they go home with Covid-19?

I appreciate that I am very lucky. Yes, at age 77, I’m in a high-risk group and I am very afraid that Covid-19, if I contract it, will kill me as I lie in a hospital, alone, with no family allowed to visit me. But I’m lucky in that I’m retired, with Social Security and Medicare supporting me. I live alone and have for many years, and as an introvert, I am used to and enjoy the solitude. My income has not been cut off, my small business has not failed, I have not had to lay off employees, I have a roof over my head and ample groceries in the kitchen. My family members are still safe.

I believe the doctors (my dad was a doctor). The real doctors, the ones in the trenches, not the tv celebrity doctors like Dr. Phil and Dr. Oz. I will do what the real doctors say. I will help as much as I can and stay out of the way when I can’t. I will try to be part of the solution, not part of the problem.

Eventually, this too shall pass. And we’ll emerge wiser and stronger than before.

14 Comments »

    • Wiser about such threats, I think. Other threats, other challenges? Who can say? And yes, we will be changed, although I’m not sure how. I hope it will be for the better.

  1. Well written and fairly presented with both sides included. I also hope the world emerges from this crisis with a better view of everything and with a commitment to change things for the better of all. But I’m not too optimistic. I hope to be proven wrong.

  2. I agree also. There are many people that will probably get sick now from their eagerness to get back out there. I’m sad about that, but I guess they would rather take their chances on sickness vs. whatever it’s like for them at home. I dare say they aren’t able to cope as well as you and I are. I just want to stay alive a few more years.

  3. I see both sides of the issue here, for sure. I work for a small company. Salaried and so far lucky my owner/boss has been able to pay my salary. But we work in tourism….. Meeting planners for corporate meetings, conventions, incentive trips, etc. Which we are working on events further down the road – September and later. But without events going on now, then there’s no money coming in. I know the owner applied for a small business payroll protection type of loan, and still waiting to hear back from the bank on that. I’m terrified. I don’t have any other income. I’m the only programmer so I’m fairly high up on the “need” ladder, but that’s no guarantee.

    trump so handled this wrong. Those countries who closed their borders early are now opening back up and their numbers are so much better than other countries. I firmly believe that had anyone else been president, regardless of party affiliation, it would have been handled much differently, and all numbers would be considerably better than they are now.

    Never put an infant in place of a man’s job.

    • I have several friends in similar situations and it breaks my heart. All I have to do is think of my working years and what suddenly losing my job would have done to me. No second income, no savings, no hope of another job in that market. I wish I could give you a hug. I wish I could do a lot more than that.

      We have an idiot child, a megalomaniac in the White House during perhaps the biggest crisis this country has faced in my lifetime. Anybody — anybody — else could have done a better job, if only by stepping aside and letting the medical experts take over.

      Hang in there, Michelle. You are smart and resilient and I know you can get through this.

      • Thanks. Just found out Friday that I will no longer be salaried but change to hourly and only for “work critical.” However, I am an independent contractor and I do qualify for the PPP Loan, which opens back up on Monday, 10:30 ET. I already have my paperwork done and will call my bank at 9:30 am when they open and see if I can come in immediately. They are allowing people in by appointment only. I expect the funds to run out quickly so I must get in early Monday. Wish me luck. Things like this usually don’t go in my favor.

    • Now that you mention it, I should have included that I’m lucky to have received a decent education so that I can better understand what’s going on.

      You and yours also take care and stay well.

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