Greetings, dear readers.
Here in the US we are in the middle of Memorial Day weekend, traditionally a day to honor those who died in service; also traditionally, the first weekend of summer relaxation.
How different each of those feels right now. We are in a time when a summer vacation can feel like an uncomfortably risky proposition. And the greatest service and sacrifice is asked, not of our military, but of medical professionals, delivery drivers, grocery clerks, and nursing home staff. And, as if working at risk in a pandemic isn’t enough, some have been threatened with violence for doing the jobs that keep all of us safe, comfortable, and fed. That is a disgrace.
They don’t do it for the glory. They do it to serve, they do it to make a better world, they do it to provide care for those who are forgotten, they do it so that all may have access to healthy food and needed products. For the life we live. For the families we love. Sometimes at risk to their own. They just do it.
We need to do right by them.
For them, let’s at least do the small things asked of us to keep each other safe – because, while it is the individual that gets sick, the dynamics of an epidemic are those of populations. What each of us does affects our friends, families, neighbors, and every person we are near.
So here’s my PSA: keep your distance, wash your hands, don’t touch your face, and put on a mask in public. A mask isn’t an instrument of politics. It’s a recognition of the responsiblity that comes with citizenry. Our national motto is NOT “every man for himself”. It is “E pluribus unum” – Out of many, one. We are ONE nation. That means it is entirely, proudly, American to act as if the wellbeing of those around us is worth caring for.
Readers, like many of you, I live in a region beginning to re-open as stay at home orders are lifted. I wish you good health and safety as we slowly return to workplaces and marketplaces and all the many places we have been away from these months. I am grateful you are here.
Special thoughts here to readers who have family members who served and are now gone. I do, too.