I’m not the first to say that what we’ve seen across this town, state and country in the last week is an astonishing act of solidarity — painful, anxious, strange, disruptive solidarity, but solidarity still. And we’ve done it by moving, as one, apart from each other.
It reminds me of World War II, when every aspect of society realigned toward a single goal. We’re nowhere near the scale or carnage of that conflict, obviously, and this situation has been around only a short while locally. But we have a similarly singular aim: to withstand and weaken a coronavirus’s attack on society.
The key, state and federal epidemiologists tell us, is knowing it’s not just about ourselves. I (or you) might not catch this virus; if I do, I’ll probably turn out OK. But it’s not just about me; my parents, grandparents, my neighbors and friends, their relatives, their relatives’ friends, their relatives’ relatives and on and on, could suffer or die from the same.
Judging from the sheer amount of selflessness and hard work on behalf of others that we’ve seen this week, I might not need to tell you that. So many people are doing something good that it’s literally dizzying.
We want to tell all of these stories in this newspaper. The virus presents a particular challenge to that work because our usual mode — visiting lots of people, going to busy meetings, sitting down with families for a good chat, taking closeup portraits — can make the problem worse.
We’ve ventured out cautiously, maintaining a good distance from others and sanitizing hands, but we’re limiting that and working more often from home, and we’ll need some help.
Can you help us tell these stories in another way?
Good deeds, bad deeds, struggles, triumphs, fears, joys — please share your experiences. They can be small or big, like how your family started game nights for the first time, or how you’re keeping your small business going and people working, how your neighborhood has banded together in some silly way or how someone, even if it’s you, needs help.
We’re still here and ready to spread the word. Thank you, as always, for reading and helping us tell this town’s story.