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Were we all living in a bubble before?

With the threat of the coronavirus, there is uncertainty, foreboding and an unnerving feeling of helplessness. We question our life that went before.

Washington, DC Cherry Blossoms Reach Peak As Coronavirus Brings City To Standstill
Tourists in Washington, wearing masks to ward off the coronavirus, visit the Tidal Basin at the peak bloom season for the cherry trees on Wednesday.
Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

I’m pushing 93. Did I ever consider that I might reach this number? Life seemed to be an eternal spring.

Oh, there were plenty of winter days, but our family was blessed with good health, smart kids and a sense that the future was something taken for granted. You worked hard, you played by the rules, you tried to treat everyone fairly, and you felt that a good death would somehow be inevitable.

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We shared sadness in my immediate family over the years, a sadness that never really went away. But we survived it with the application of faith and a certain sense of humor that cancelled some of the hardship.

That was then, and this is now. With the threat of the coronavirus, there is uncertainty, foreboding and an unnerving feeling of helplessness. We question our life that went before. Were we all living in a bubble?

Being of German ancestry, I frequently had somber thoughts about my end of days, but something — a beautiful day, the smile of a loved one, a good Chicago hot dog, a laugh with friends — would banish those distractions almost immediately.

Even in the darkest days, we humans have a survival gene that kicks in to lessen the blow.

Today, we are called to consider a situation — the spreading coronavirus — that was unimaginable just months ago. Common sense has to prevail, not panic. Should we look on this as a wake-up call to remember all the good things in life and rally together to defeat this damn virus in all our individual ways?

Wash your hands. Be kind to those you meet. And fight for your right to die as you want, with family around you and the knowledge that you mattered in some small way — and we will survive this crisis.

Charlie Maier, Lincolnwood

Trump lying again or incompetent again

President Trump on Tuesday had the audacity to say that he “had long known” that the spread of the coronavirus “was a pandemic.” That statement, of course, flies in the face of his many earlier efforts to trivialized the threat of the disease.

If Trump did recognize the threat early on, one can only wonder why he did not do anything much sooner and stronger.

William Gottschalk, Lake Forest

Bringing out the best and worst

A crisis brings out the best and worst in people. Excessive hoarding of products from grocery stores reveals the worst since. It means many people cannot buy the necessities they need at this time.

The employees who work in these stores represent the best of us. Stocking shelves, aiding customers, and handling transactions at the registers for hundreds of people in close proximity — they are true heroes, putting themselves at risk.

Larry Vigon, Jefferson Park

Suddenly, GOP wants subsidies

Isn’t it amazing how fast Republicans, even the most fiscally responsible ones, become free-spending socialists when the economy goes south. Especially with one of their own in the White House.

Barrack Obama is still taking his lumps for a stimulus package that was passed on his watch. But today there are calls from everywhere to save small businesses from the ravages of the coronavirus.

Nobody wants to hear about deficits now, not when the stock market is crashing, flights are being cancelled and a recession is right around the proverbial corner.

Republicans find subsidies a good thing when their ship is going down and bailing is far superior to drowning.

Bob Ory, Elgin