I Feel Badly About What The Coronavirus Is Doing To Us

I feel badly for my friends, the New Yorkers. They’re at ground zero of the coronavirus crisis, and their nerves are fraying.

It sounds like it’s about to be a stigma to be a New Yorker, what with orders to quarantine if you’ve visited the city, instead of something to be proud about.

I feel badly for my friends in New Orleans. The city thrives on hospitality businesses, and so many have lost their jobs, and illness is everywhere. For the moment, joy is gone.

I feel badly for my friends in Detroit, which per capital, has more coronavirus cases per capita than any major city except New York and New Orleans.

I know several people who are hospitalized, and two that have died. I wish this hadn’t happened when Detroit was enjoying a fragile upswing.

I feel badly for my Asian friends, who have taken all kinds of abuse, and who have been worried for months about their friends and family at home.

I feel badly for the people I know in the U.K. and Europe, who are struggling right along with us. I join them in clapping for the carers.

I feel badly for all the elderly people, who’ve repeatedly been told that they’re in the high risk group and probably wonder whether they will be a victim next. Some now have to worry whether they’ll even get treatment, since there is talk of triaging patients due to scarce medical equipment.

I feel badly for people in assisted living and nursing homes and memory care who can’t see their loved ones. Those visits are often the highlight of their day and their week.

I feel badly for my nephew, who is the new chief resident at a small hospital north of Detroit, and who is assuming responsibility for all the med students there at this crucial time, along with working overnights in the ER.

I feel badly for performing artists, whose main venue is now YouTube, rather than filling theaters with their art. The chefs and cooks and servers and hosts who would dearly love to feed us in their dining rooms.

I feel badly for the athletes, both professional and amateur, and the people who have lost jobs because there is no sports to watch.

I feel badly for anyone who doesn’t have medical insurance, who has a chronic medical condition, and who has no idea what they’ll do if they get sick.

I feel badly for our country, because we don’t have the leader in the White House that could guide us through this and make science based decisions.

I’m grateful for Dr. Anthony Fauci, Dr. Deborah Birx, Gov. Andrew Cuomo, the governors and mayors here in the Midwest who have been proactive in taking steps against the virus, and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau. The leaders who are showing leadership.

I’m grateful for people who are trying to inform us. And for those who are looking at this situation and seeing human beings, and not just statistics.

I am grateful to see all the ingenuity among my friends in the restaurant world. They’re determined to feed us and help their staffs, in ways they never might have imagined.

I’m especially grateful for friends checking in on friends. Those texts and emails and calls often are the bright spots of my day.

If you read this far, tell me if you’re grateful for anything right now.

Journalist. Author. The Check blog on Forbes.com. NPR and NYT alum

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