Virus: In our hour of darkness. . .

Let’s take a walk on the sunny side of the street today.

Our darkest period. Artist: Dan Nance

Should I mention “sunny” when this is one of the darkest periods of American history?

But I say “one of,” not “the” darkest period of American history.

What was darker? There are several candidates. 

Start at the beginning, 1776, when our Declaration of Independence was nearly quashed by the world’s most potent military force, which the Revolutionaries challenged. The baby of Liberty was nearly throttled in her cradle. 

Americans suffered defeat after defeat after defeat. Gen. George Washington lost almost every battle, but bled and frustrated the British, denying them victory until they drank the cup of defeat.

To quote Bernie Sanders, that was “huuuge.”

I include slavery as a dark period, which led to our most dark period — as more than 600,000 Americans died at their own hands to remove the evil of slavery and establish the foreverness of the United States.

The next time the lights went out was the Great Depression. It broke America’s economy, but worse, America’s spirit, and it lingered for more than a decade.

The darkness of World War II ended the Depression, and also restored America’s can-do spirit. The ‘50s was probably the brightest decade America ever knew — the economy exploded, after Korea we were at peace, the middle class mushroomed, Freedom Rides awakened America’s conscience, as rock ‘n’ roll launched a brand of musical freedom that thrives more than 60 years later. 

9/11 was the first time the homeland had been attacked by a foreign adversary, negating the safety our oceans had provided. I specify foreign, because we had been attacked by some home grown deviants.

And now, the Great Isolation, or World War III, I call it.

Yes, we had some panic hoarding of toilet paper, of all things, plus cleaning supplies and some foods. Granted.

At this moment of crisis, we could have turned against each other, as we did during the Civil War. 

But we haven’t. As a matter of fact, the opposite happened.

People reached out to their neighbors. 

When New York was drowning under a deluge of patients, thousands of retired health professionals raced to the Empire State to offer a hand, often risking their own health.

Instead of dog eat dog, as a society we have moved to protect the vulnerable — the elderly, the infirm. 

People have become creative. 

A child has a birthday, but no party because we can’t have crowds, so neighbors pile into their balloon-decorated cars and drive by the child’s home.

People gather outside the windows of rest homes to wave at the people inside, sometimes bringing dogs, bunnies or ponies for the people inside to look at.

Across America, people are applauding health workers, sometimes first responders doIng it from their emergency vehicles.

Those who can are making donations of time, money, or stocks of personal protective equipment they may have.

In our hour of darkness, there are shafts of light. 

12 thoughts on “Virus: In our hour of darkness. . .”

  1. You have just pointed out how lucky we are, especially those of us from the awesome 50’s, despite how bad it now is. I can’t imagine what it was like at our beginning, and all the other dark times you speak of. We are a good people. Thanks for the uplift!

    ( HAPPY EASTER {Orthodox} ) !!!
    Well Done ! You are so right, that as a nation of immigrants, we all come together during a crisis. As you pointed out, The Revolution was the start. There are no real accurate numbers for the toll. Warriors from both sides probably totaled 150,000 casualties. What about the civilians ? Brother against brother, etc. Loyalty to the King kept you alive if you were a civilian, but the hand was much heavier coming from the crown. You and your family were traitors, therefore, the enemy. You were hanged and your family was persecuted. And then we healed.
    You pointed out the low lites of our country. Two other such horrors were the KKK and anti whoever – pick a war. Again, we healed ourselves.
    Today, we are family. We always come back to “family”.

      1. not much turn out in the Holy Land. Bullets never kept the people away, but the virus sure does. go figure

  3. Many great things have happened in difficult times.

    🎭 Shakespeare wrote King Lear in quarantine

    Shakespeare’s life, like the lives of many people in England in the early 1600s, was turned upside down by the plague. The plague closed the theaters in London and during this time, he focused on writing his plays, including King Lear.

    🍏 Isaac Newton invented calculus under lockdown

    A few years later, Isaac Newton was studying at Cambridge when the university closed because of the Great Plague. He was stuck at home for more than a year and did a lot of work on calculus and optics, not to mention that it was during this time a certain apple fell on his head and informed his work on gravity.

    If Moses were alive today he would come down from Mount Sinai with the Ten Commandments and spend the next five years trying to get them published.

  4. I think William F. Buckley, Jr. said it best: “We are sinners seeking to be saints.”

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