Coronavirus Hitting Home

A couple of days ago, I learned that someone in my extended family had reason to receive a coronavirus test. Results are due today. If, somehow, one failed to register that we’re in the midst of a pandemic that’s the kind of news that really brings it home.

These are extraordinary and worrying times from both a health and financial perspective. No one has lived through anything quite like this and it’s testing our courage, patience and perhaps our humanity as well. The closest historical comparison is the global pandemic of 1918. The so-called Spanish Flu virus killed over six hundred and seventy-five thousand Americans and millions worldwide. Did you learn about it in school? Probably not. Columnist David Brooks suggests in his recent article in the New York Times that the reason is shame. When officials pleaded for volunteers to help take care of the sick no one stepped up. Unlike other kinds of disasters, selfishness reigned during that pandemic. Perhaps the reason we didn’t learn more about the 1918 outbreak is that no one wants to devote time in the history texts to such a public failing.

Health care workers today, at least, are heroically stepping up with their efforts and time. It’s not going unnoticed by the public. The other day, I saw a social media-organized, country-wide applause for them in Spain. I was heartened by that mass display of appreciation. All of us value the healthcare community’s devotion to public health but how do we as ordinary citizens measure up in treating each other? To be sure I have noted several examples of public concern for others in my locale. I do not let myself off the hook either. Besides doing little things like delivering supplies to front doors when needed, I also constantly remind people to wash their hands as a Public Service Announcement (PSA).

As another helpful suggestion, it couldn’t hurt your mental outlook to take a break from the news every once in a while. And to get through times like these I’ve read that it can be helpful to lose ourselves in some kind of escapism from time to time. Too bad all the sports leagues are shut down. At least the NFL made some interesting news with drafts and trades. Although if you’re a New Englander, there was some other news too that wasn’t quite welcome.

With escapism in mind, there is another small way that I may be able to help too. As a novelist I’d like to think I’ve transported readers to places where they can forget their troubles for at least a while. To those who like to read about fantastical adventures, perhaps I can provide a little diversion with giveaways. I’ve recently launched a new program where I publish a short story a month. The latest story, The Adventure of the Moon Gate, is free when you supply your name and email at https://michaeljfoy.com/contact/. Just mention the word blog or giveaway in the message block. I plan on more giveaways and special sales in the coming weeks and months.

In any case the Coronavirus pandemic will end. The public’s health and finances will recover. And when that happens, will we be proud of how we collectively handled the emergency? Let’s avoid the shame label from future historians.

Comments

  1. I hope wherever in the world you are, that you are safe, and that your relative is going to be ‘okay’ as well. Thank you for the offer of the free book – I see it is listed on Amazon, as well. The world is collapsing, and you are reaching out, providing us with a welcome distraction from our sometimes grim, always wondrous reality. I just wanted to say ‘thank you’ for doing this.

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