Coronavirus reminds us we’re all connected — so let’s watch out for each other
We don’t have to act out of fear. We can still think, and we can still act, with compassion and sense.
I know things are scary right now, but I think we are learning some useful lessons.
First, in a society that elevates productivity as the highest good, this crisis is showing that some things aren’t worth sacrificing, such as our health. I applaud those elected officials and policy leaders who are making hard decisions to prioritize the health of our communities, especially those most vulnerable to the coronavirus.
Second, we are discovering our interconnectedness. It turns out that paid sick leave is good for the whole community, not just for those who have it. No one wants their bus driver, hair dresser, house cleaner, or checkout clerk to be sick. They should get the resources they need (and deserve) so they can stay home and get treatment, for the sake of all of us.
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Third, perhaps we will learn that it’s okay to do less and go slower. As things get canceled, it’s true that businesses will suffer, wages will take big hits, and parents will scramble for childcare. We should do everything we can to create alternatives and compensate for loss of income. I hope elected officials will put these mechanisms in place, prioritizing people first as opposed to business profits.
In the meantime, maybe this break from our usual frenzied pace can help us connect with ourselves and our loved ones (at a distance if necessary), and notice the world around us as it moves into spring (fingers crossed). We can feel our disappointment about all those canceled events, then go ahead and play our own basketball games.
Here in Chicago, we haven’t had any of the big climate-related disasters that other parts of the U.S. and the world have started experiencing, but I suspect things are coming our way. This current crisis can help us prepare — both seeing what our reactions are and practicing our responses. We can help the most vulnerable among us, share what we have, and do what we in the U.S. sometimes struggle with — reach beyond our individual selves and families, and act for the collective greater good.
Being scared is a feeling that is completely justified and good to acknowledge, but we don’t have to act out of fear. We can still think, and we can still act, with compassion and sense. We have a chance to rise to the occasion here. Let’s take it.
JeeYeun Lee, Albany Park
Hoarding water makes no sense
I can’t believe that people are stocking up on and hoarding bottled water. Are they afraid Lake Michigan will dry up and no water will flow from their faucets? The very water that we flush down our toilets is infinitely better than the available water in many countries of the world. I grew up on tap water and drank from public water fountains in high schools and in public parks with no ill effect. Bottled water is a waste of money!
Daniel M. Filipek, Mount Prospect
Making sense of presidential ads
The ads for Joe Biden include former President Barack Obama telling us how he was the best vice president ever. Then, I see ads for Bernie Sanders, and Obama is telling us to “feel the Bern.” I also recall ads for Mike Bloomberg with Obama seemingly supporting him.
I find it impossible to find any sense in any of this. If there is any, could someone please enlighten me.
Ray Lemieux, Hometown