By William S. Coleman III
Massachusetts/Worcester residents (80+% Americans) have been ordered to shelter in place. If you go out, SOCIAL DISTANCE – GOING OUT FOR NECESSITIES LIKE GROCERY SHOPPING, TRIP TO PHARMACY. You will lose people if you are lax – and never have a chance to say goodbye to them.
We are living in a time of change; we’re living in a very fearful environment. We are living in the pandemic of 2020.
People are afraid.
People don’t know where to turn.
Some folks think this is an act of God, some folks think, from a scientific standpoint, that COVID 19 is just another evolutionary time in our world history.
I remind people that this is real.
People are dying every day. Daily predictions are being made that before this pandemic of 2020 is over or settles down, we will see two 200,000 plus Americans killed by this virus – an Invisible War. A war that we are fighting face to face against an unknown assailant.
World wide the numbers are frighting to think of.
Deaths – not by bombs or bullets – but by biological means – microbes being spread by us – to each other.
Through it all we ask what are we doing locally, as we look at the world response to this Global Pandemic. We realize that everything we do locally will have a tremendous impact on how we protect each other … how we encourage each other and how we can help save each other.
In 1917 through 1918 there was an influenza virus that swept across the world. We learned that this “Spanish Flu” impact has no favorites – everybody was impacted. In 1918 we lost over 600,000 American lives due to the influenza virus – that was more people than we lost during the first, second, Korean and Viet Nam wars.
As the daily news broadcasts announce the number of deaths worldwide that are being reported to the John Hopkins University Health Center statistics agency that is collecting information, we realize that everything is happening in a very fluid way. The statistics reported one day may be increased by the amount of research that is done and reporting that is being submitted by other countries other communities cities and towns. We are finding everything happening so quickly that the moment you report on one statistic, 15 minutes later you could end up reporting other statistics!
Still, in all, we are telling the story of lives being lost and families going through fear, anxiety, depression, loss … communities looking for hope and wondering when this is going to end.
I write this post as much for the people today as much as for the people of the future who will look back on these events we are living through now in March, April and May of 2020 in Worcester Massachusetts. And America. And the world.
I have witnessed the kindness of strangers reaching out to help people asking for help. Our schools are closed, our places of worship are no longer gathering places, our meeting embraces are limited by a distant acknowledgement.
COVID 19 will change us forever. We are a social people, but we must be vigilant in our efforts to remain healthy. Still we reach out to help others by kind words, through electronic communication, or a distant wave.
We as a consumer society are forever grateful to the frontline workers who keep the peace in our streets, the health care workers who save lives, health care educators who are teaching our students through distance learning.
We will change, but will we learn from this time of world in crisis.