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America Held Hostage

Originally I was going to write a more serious toned column on the coronavirus that was going to include websites and statistics about projected deaths and where the trouble spots were going to be.

The chart above was going to play a part in that story, but I wanted to try to cheer us up instead. I know there is nothing funny, or lighthearted, about hundreds of thousands of our fellow Americans dying, and I'm not going to try to pretend otherwise. You can get all the bad news from a number of other places.

There is no doubt that we are about to be in the middle of a major health crisis like we haven't seen in a long time. It is also impossible to overstate how completely lost the federal government's response to this crisis has become. Luckily, America still has people in key positions that have been able to tackle this head on with leadership, planning, and foresight which will, hopefully, mitigate some of the severity of this problem.

The first wave of governors to step up and take control include Mike DeWine of Ohio, Gavin Newsom of California, J. B. Pritzker of Illinois, and Jay Inslee of Washington. Their early read that this was going to be a big problem likely has saved tens of thousands of lives in each of their states. Shutting things down and keeping people inside has proven to be the most effective action against this virus, so far.

The next group of governors have been the most vocal about the lack of leadership in Washington D.C., and have not backed down from calling out the feds for not doing their job. They include Andrew Cuomo of New York, Charlie Baker of Massachusetts, Gretchen Whitmer of Michigan, and Steve Bullock of Montana. All four have lit up the leadership in D.C. and have been adamant about the lack of supplies coming from Washington to help them, and save the lives of their people.

We could go on from there with more governors, mayors, senators, etc but you get the point. It has been the state and local governments that have had to step up and take control of this situation. While it would be better with a national plan, any plan is helpful, and thank goodness these men and women have not been afraid.

This is what America has always been about. Strong people stepping into tough situations and taking charge. We don't wait for someone else to do it. We Americans just jump in and get things done with what he have at our disposal.

We also have some of the bravest men and women on earth here, and our medical professionals, first responders, grocery store clerks, and truck drivers are proving it every day. These people are on the front lines of this battle, being exposed to infection all day long, just to make sure we are taken care of and have the help, or things, we need to get through another day. Hopefully they will be remembered when this is over for all their sacrifices.

I'm finding it interesting to see on the news, and on social media, stories of families spending time together once again. We have become so fast paced in our world today that we have forgotten how to enjoy the company of family. Don't get me wrong, family still drives us insane, but for those of us of a certain age, this is bringing back memories of growing up and how we spent our time back in the day.

A lot of families used to have game night, or did jigsaw puzzles together, or just sat and watched our favorite TV show as a family. Those days have been long gone for most, and now we are forced back into doing those things with each other again. I have no doubt that once things get back to our new normal everyone will be back behind closed doors texting their friends and ignoring each other.

Just like we saw in the days after 9/11, people are waving to each other, flags are up each day, and people are helping each other get through this mess. Again, like our families above, once this ends we will be back to ignoring each other, and flipping each other off, instead of waving.

It has also been interesting to see how so many people are struggling with being locked up all day. We have become so used to run, run, run each and every day, that now having to slow down we don't know what the hell to do with ourselves. I know there are more organized garages, basements, and refrigerators in America than we have ever had in our history.

Unfortunately once Tuesday is over and you've reorganized your house what do you do next? Read a book, listen to some music, paint, or exercise are all good things to start doing. Who knows, you may find that you actually like slowing down a bit and will incorporate it into your new lifestyle once you can leave the house again.

I've started to reach out to some old friends to make sure they are ok, and you know what, it felt good to reconnect with people I've known for 50 years. I strongly recommend you try it and enjoy the conversations and moment, we are all day to day.

So, there you have my medical and death update, reconfigured into a different column. I actually feel better than I know I would have if I had stayed with the original plan. Adaptability has become our new foundation I guess.

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