Today, America is number one. Not in science. Not in healthcare. Not in climate control. Not in manufacturing. But, we are number one in Covid-19 cases. Whether or not other countries have fewer or more, is not the point. As of today, one million people are infected. Fifty-five thousand are dead. And while some areas of the country have seen a leveling of numbers, people are still contracting the virus. And the death count will continue.
Being far from the big city can give us small towners a false sense of security. But we must take heed. The pandemics of the past hit cities first and then rolled into rural areas. And round two was far more virulent than the first one. It’s quite possible that this pandemic could get worse, before it ever gets better.
Americans tend to feel indestructible. We’ve ridden a wave of success, domination and power since our forefathers created our republic. Not so much any more. We’ve taken a back seat to Europe and Asia in the current war against an elusive virus. This time, we’re all soldiers, with little or imperfect ammunition and no Eisenhower or Patton to lead the charge. We all must do what we can to protect ourselves and our loved ones.
A new world is, indeed, on the horizon. But new isn’t always better. Everything about our world has changed. It will be a long time before we can right this ship, if indeed, we can survive the storm.
Americans have always been generous. They donate, tip and volunteer more than any other country. Giving USA’s annual report on philanthropy shows that, in 2018, donations totaled nearly $428,000,000,000. Tax law changes hurt some, as giving was down 4% from the year before. But the country still gave.
It is estimated that 6 in 10 Americans donated something in 2019, with individuals over the age of 55 giving the most. Corporations provide the largest share, with foundations in second place and individuals coming in third. Wherever it comes from, charitable giving keeps the country going. It assists schools, the environment, the arts and the needy. Without it, important programs and safeguards would disappear.
Local charities are suffering. Agencies that serve our communities need your help. Families are hurting. Fund raisers have been shelved. Donations have plummeted. Consider choosing 5 favorite charities and send them each $5.00. Every month. If 100 do this, that’s $6,000/yr for each one. Give now. Please.
I grew up with Republicans. The ancient ones. The “fiscally conservative/socially moderate” folks. People like Eisenhower, who built the Interstate System, continued the New Deal and expanded Social Security. Nixon, who resigned in disgrace, eased Cold War tensions, ended the draft, formed the EPA, created the first affirmative action program, enforced desegregation, saw the passage of the Clean Water Act and implemented Supplemental Social Security for the needy. Closer to home, Everett Dirksen, war monger that he was, also fought to create the Civil Rights Acts of ’64 and ’68. The Rockefellers were probably the best example. They favored big business and Wall Street, but supported Unions, the building trades, and government spending on the environment, healthcare and higher education. Six decades ago, the GOP fought for Civil Rights, Gender Equality, welfare programs and environmental protections. I miss those people. Their old, familiar elephant is now in a museum. Next to integrity.
The pleas for “social distancing” have me puzzled. Such a strategy sounds more like advice for young teens with racing hormones than a public health necessity. I find little about the current pandemic precautions to be social in any way. To me, a call for “personal distancing” is more suitable advice.
Social drinking, along with pot lucks, bridge parties and birthday celebrations are what I consider entertaining contact with others. A deadly virus not so much. And yet, people in my own community continue to gather on porches, in garages and on their decks to socialize – thinking, I assume, that being outside is a “no-virus bubble.” Furthermore, large delegations of family and friends still march in tandem though big box grocery stores, checking out the bargain bins and gathering up the necessary allotment of beef jerky and toilet tissue.
This is not a party, folks. Take this personally. Stay home!