This will certainly be the most profound experience of Independence Day in my lifetime. I think I’ve learned more about the truths we hold to be self-evident these past several months, and especially these past few weeks, than in all the years I lived before them.
It started, for me, about a month into the coronavirus. I had asked everyone I talked with, as the weeks went by, if they knew anyone who was sick, or had died, from the virus. Except for one well-known man who died early on, no one knew anyone, and we were all so grateful.
This continued for weeks and weeks, and as we learned more about who was most vulnerable to this disease I became more and more embarrassed to ask the question. Why? Because it was painfully clear, as time went on, that it was the elderly, and those “essential workers” driving the buses and cleaning the nursing homes, who were dying at the greatest numbers. No wonder all the people who look like me didn’t know any of those people who don’t.
The other self-evident truth is now evident to the whole world: people who work in health care are just what they appeared to be when they applied to nursing school, pharmacy school, and medical school years ago. They are utterly devoted to caring for the sick, even at the risk of their health. Years of working in their field may have scarred them in some ways, but this virus has proven that they will lay down their own lives to save their patients.
Celebrate this Independence weekend. That we have so much to be proud of, and so much still to change, should be self-evident.
What things do you think our country needs to change first?
Kathy McGovern ©2020