The coronavirus pandemic has shaken the world. People are dying, the economy is in the tank, workers are being laid off and tomorrow is uncertain. How long will it last? Am I in danger? Is the media hype helping or hurting? Is our government over-reaching trying to control our actions? Will we ever recoup our investments? These and a hundred other questions won’t be answered until the history is written. Till then, we should take comfort in who we are.
America has overcome every obstacle during its evolution into the greatest nation on earth and this virus is no different. Our country has always been a sleeping giant and, once awakened, we are mighty and we are fierce. America’s vast resources are on the job working around the clock to save lives and defeat this thing. We will win, lessons will be learned and we’ll be better prepared for next time. It’s our nature.
Too often it takes a Pearl Harbor, 9/11 or coronavirus to remind us of our priorities and force us come together as a nation. Except for a few idiots, the daily barrage of bickering and finger pointing in Congress and the media have been silenced. For the moment, we are working as one. Most businesses are putting people ahead of profit. Millions of good folks are doing kind things for their neighbors, employees, and even strangers to ease the bourdon a bit. It’s our nature.
Members of our military have been sent to the hardest hit areas handing out food, medicine and other critical supplies putting their own health at risk. They don’t complain. They don’t shirk from their duty. They complete their mission with honor and self-sacrifice. It’s our nature.
Once we have it under control at home, we will look to help others. As the leader of the free world, we have taken many a struggling nation under our wing to provide support and comfort in the face of tyranny and disaster. This will be one of those times. We are the most generous and compassionate nation on earth. It’s our nature.
So fear not! At some point soon really smart people will get ahead of this virus, find cures and life will return to normal. Politicians will go back to finger pointing and blaming others for the outbreak. Our true priorities will once again be abandoned and we’ll revert to our normal pettiness and selfish goals. It’s our nature.
And as we quickly forget what is really important, the sleeping giant we call American will quietly wait until called on once again to show its greatness. When our people and ideals are threatened, it will open an eye keeping careful watch. When they are suffering, it will cradle them in its soothing arms. When attacked, it will unleash hell. This too is our nature.
Matt Russell is a USMC Vietnam combat veteran and Commander of the Boone County DAV. The opinions expressed in this column are his alone and do not represent the position of this newspaper, the Disabled American Veterans or any other organization. You can contact Matt at firstname.lastname@example.org .