To say these are unprecedented times would be an understatement.
Some people are saying the U.S. hasnâ€™t seen this type of crisis since the Great Depression.
Businesses are closed, with the hospitality sector taking a real beating. Bars, restaurants, theaters, arenas and other venues are shuttered. Even churches have closed. Millions of people have filed for unemployment insurance.
The stock market has taken a beating. A tumultuous March saw the Dow Jones Industrial average drop from 25,409.36 on Feb. 28 to 21,917.16 on March 31. (The rollercoaster month saw the average close under 20,000 several times.)
Closer to home â€“ and I mean home â€“ my business is dead for now. I cancelled four individual clinics and my Easter Safari, along with trips to Death Valley and the San Rafael Swell.
Time to look on the bright side
Itâ€™s important to take stock of what we have. To remember that despite all the gloomy news, there is reason to be confident and hopeful.
My wife and I are in good health overall. No symptoms of coronavirus. And other than a few aches and pains that come with getting old, weâ€™re fine.
Americans have many things to be thankful for. Clean air and water. A bountiful food supply. Good schools and safe streets. Unemployment was low prior to the pandemic. We should return to low unemployment once the crisis has passed.
Our nationâ€™s involvement in Afghanistan is winding down. Other flashpoints, such as North Korea, have abated for the time being.
Manufacturers are ramping up production of safety gear. Others are converting their production lines to churn out masks, hand sanitizers and respirator components.
Examples of philanthropy abound. A quick search on the internet turned up many good deeds. Here are several:
*Bill and Melinda Gates, through their foundation, have partnered with Mark Zuckerberg and his wife, Dr. Priscilla Chan. Together, they are donating $25 million for research into a cure.
*Celebrities, including Justin Bieber, Lady Gaga, Justin Timberlake and Jimmy Fallon have pledged or donated to organizations across the country.
*The Terminator, Arnold Schwarzenegger, reportedly donated $1 million to a GoFundMe page that provides masks, gowns and other critical supplies to medical professionals across the country and around the world.
*PWORA (Post Wildfire OHV Recovery Alliance) is collecting unopened boxes or packages of masks, gowns, safety glasses and gloves. These will be distributed to healthcare facilities where needed.
Even communities are getting in the act. According to the Sioux Falls (South Dakota) Argus Leader, a group of residents raised money shoveling driveways. Their efforts netted more than $1,000 for a local need.
Thatâ€™s an important point. Most communities are affected greatly by COVID-19. If yours isnâ€™t by now, it most likely will be. Call around. Learn about the needy organizations in your area. You donâ€™t have to be super wealthy to be a superman (or superwoman) to your neighbors.
Sure, weâ€™re experiencing the most challenging time this nation has faced in decades. But weâ€™ve been through crises before â€“ the Civil War, Great Depression, the tumultuous â€˜60s and 9/11.
The Coronavirus pandemic is far from over. The federal government predicts infections and deaths will peak in mid to late April. Americans are heeding the call to stay home and practice social distancing. Those tactics are helping to minimize the virusâ€™ impact on our nation.
We Americans have proven that we are willing to face a challenge head on â€“ and conquer it. While the present is still a little bleak, the future definitely looks bright.
I am confident weâ€™ll snap out of this soon. I recently updated the activities calendar on my website. Â I know four-wheelers and other outdoors enthusiasts are eager to get back to their hobbies. You can bet Iâ€™ll be among the many when the time is right. Thatâ€™s why I happily proclaim, Iâ€™ll see you on the trails!
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