Breaking: Tornado causes significant damage in Jonesboro; at least 3 reported injured
Today's Paper Search Latest Coronavirus Elections Core values App Listen Story ideas iPad Weather Newsletters Obits Puzzles Archive

The papers are filled with worst-case scenarios. CNN certainly is.

No matter, some young people think. They social-distance themselves by gathering on the beaches to party and generally ignore the facts. The president had to warn them to take this thing seriously.

But what about a best-case scenario? Why can't we take one day--one editorial column--to discuss that possibility?

Maybe we can reprint this editorial, say, a month from now, on April 23:

Boy, that was close. Americans should continue to send supplies to Italy and Iran and other nations that were hit so hard by the coronavirus, covid-19, the Wuhan virus, or whatever it'll be called tomorrow. Even during major pandemics, we humans will find something silly to fight about.

Now that spring has sprung, and Americans are more interested in attending to their new tomato gardens than that awful virus, let us take this time for a little small-t thanksgiving.

First, thanks to all of you. It took a while, but folks finally began taking the virus seriously in mid-March. And began not just washing hands and stocking up on Purell, but depriving the virus of hosts by staying away from each other. That perhaps was the hardest part of the last month. It gave us a new phrase: social distancing.

On the way to the pharmacy one particular Friday, we noticed the streets were mostly empty. The parking lot at the courthouse was spotless. The gym lights were dark. That took a lot of discipline. But all the doctors said it did the most good.

This would have been much more difficult 10 years ago. But with computers today, many folks could work at home. With these chromebooks, kids were even able to "attend" classes without actually going to school.

There was a downside. Most of those people who worked at restaurants and casinos and gyms have gone a month without their hourly wages. (Although we have heard about some small businesses that continued to pay employees somehow, bless them.)

Even more worrisome are those who own small businesses like restaurants, bookstores, etc. The government--that is, all of us--needs to remember that many of these folks put their lives, their fortunes, their families, into these businesses, and there must be some sort of special aid for them, too.

Those $1,000 checks that Congress gave to each adult a couple of times in the last month certainly helped folks buy groceries and pay a few bills, but what about the entrepreneur who lost everything when the economy seized up? This was a once-in-a-lifetime problem. It should be met with a once-in-a-lifetime answer.

We like that our leaders have talked about a Marshall Plan-sized effort to keep these businesses, and dreams, alive.

This state's congressional delegation, especially, and Dr. Anthony Fauci--this nation's Doc--deserve special mention.

But we wouldn't want to know how this state in particular would have handled such a crisis without the calming hand of Asa Hutchinson in the governor's office. Certainly there were more hysterical politicians who didn't help things at all. (And more than a few hysterical columns in the commentariat.) But Asa Hutchinson seems to have been built to calm fears. His whole demeanor is reassuring.

And thank you to all those who had to work for the rest of us.

The pharmacies were open. The clerks and pharmacists there continued to put themselves at risk to fill prescriptions--some long-term medicines, some virus-inspired, all necessary.

Then there were those who stocked the stores, traveled the country to bring goods to market, kept gas stations filled with fuel, cooked food in the hospitals, tested virus kits, delivered mail, fixed power lines, repaired water lines, and policed the streets. Not to mention all those doctors and nurses and emergency workers.

We even heard shooting at Camp Robinson. The military would stay on that wall through thick and thicker.

This year, we have a lot of blessings to acknowledge on the capital-T Thanksgiving. But nothing's to stop us from getting a jump on November.

Editorial on 03/22/2020

Print Headline: A look ahead


Sponsor Content

COMMENTS - It looks like you're using Internet Explorer, which isn't compatible with the Democrat-Gazette commenting system. You can join the discussion by using another browser, like Firefox or Google Chrome.
It looks like you're using Microsoft Edge. The Democrat-Gazette commenting system is more compatible with Firefox and Google Chrome.