So here we are, like so many others, sheltering in place.
Every so often—masked and gloved—one of us ventures out to the grocery store. We don't need to stop often at the gas station, these days.
We drive into town to walk less frequently. It's depressing. This once bustling community's now a ghost town, no stores open except the pharmacies, empty parking spaces everywhere, just a few walkers hurrying by, masked like us.
Here's what the coronavirus epidemic has taught us—
It's the people around us who truly matter in our lives.
Friends, certainly, and we keep in touch via telephone and e-mail. It's others, too, though. People we may have taken for granted, who now seem essential.
Three cheers for the billionaire tycoon who invents a new internet company, or an electric car. Bravo to the actor who wins an Oscar. However, they're in another galaxy, far away.
Michelle cuts Joyce's hair—she's important to us. Also, our lawn-service team, and the fuel-truck driver who keeps us warm. There's Jim, all-around fixer (carpenter, electrician, plumber), upon whom we rely, totally. Then, an appreciative nod to all the mask-and-glove-wearing workers at the health-food co-op and the supermarket, who stock the shelves and answer our questions and check us out, and stay cheerful.
We shouldn't forget Joyce's cousin, who drives a propane-delivery truck, but always has with him a special telephone, because he's a volunteer EMT and, any time, day or night, a call can come in: somebody's life needs saving.
If we still lived in the city, we'd be appreciating the bus drivers and subway drivers who every day put on a mask and go to work, knowing that it may be today they take a viral bullet.
Nurses, too, of course, and physicians, and hospital staffs. Police officers, firefighters….
We live in a celebrity obsessed culture. We hope this pandemic, amidst all the terrible damage, helps us realize it's unsung people around us who really should be sung. Because, in our actual daily lives, it's they who matter.
Our society is them. Among them are heroes.
When all this is over, we'll try to remember.
--Richard and Joyce