How we are responding to the moment

Column by Michael Alcorn
Posted 4/15/20

So, where do we stand? No, this is not going to be a medical/epidemiological/economic briefing. I’m not qualified to do any of that, and, frankly, if you wanted that, there’s only about 73 other …

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How we are responding to the moment

Posted

So, where do we stand?

No, this is not going to be a medical/epidemiological/economic briefing. I’m not qualified to do any of that, and, frankly, if you wanted that, there’s only about 73 other outlets you could go to for much better information than you’ll get from me.

Though, I do want to take this opportunity to point out that there was a limited study that came out from Germany last week that indicates that seven TIMES as many people seem to be getting exposed to the Wuhan coronavirus and fight it off before they become symptomatic or have a chance to get tested for it than are actually contracting SARS-CoViD 19. So there’s that.

But, no — I’m more interested in how we are responding to it.

For instance, the Kia Motor Corporation has pledged a donation of $1 million dollars through its Accelerate the Good program specifically targeted to help homeless youth during the CoViD-19 crisis. As they say in their ad, how can you shelter in place when you live on the streets?

Kia is not alone in its good corporate citizenship. Simple gestures matter: King Soopers dedicates the first hour of business two days a week specifically to serve the most vulnerable population during this pandemic, the elderly. Dow Chemical has tasked five of its production sites with producing over 200 metric tons of hand sanitizer for donation to local health systems and government agencies.

Lowe’s, the home repair company, donated $10 million worth of personal protective gear to help protect healthcare workers on the front lines of the crisis; Target and UPS have followed suit with their own donations of P.P.E. The Hilton Corporation has partnered up with American Express to donate 1 million hotel rooms for nurses, doctors, EMTs, paramedics and others who need a night (or an afternoon) of peace and quiet in isolation from their families, before jumping back in to the battle.

Daniel Murphy, the first baseman for the Colorado Rockies, has personally donated $100k to a foundation helping keep paychecks flowing to the minor league players who are still working their way up. In other words, he and his family just gave a big chunk of money to help people who are trying to replace him.

The quarterback of the New Orleans Saints, Drew Brees, announced a couple weeks ago that he and his family are donating $5 million to the state of Louisiana, through a number of charities, to guarantee that ten thousand meals a day can be delivered to children on meal plans, seniors and families that require them.

All of these are impressive, and wonderful, and indicative of the big hearts and generous spirits of Americans and companies all over. But, frankly, what I’ve been most impressed by are smaller acts of dedication and service. Tens of thousands of teachers all over the metro area going through crash courses on technology so that they can reinvent the education system in a matter of weeks. The lady I saw in the store last week, rushing to the paper products aisle to grab a pack of toilet paper so that she could hand it to the elderly woman who couldn’t quite move quickly enough to get to that aisle before it was all gone. One church in Arvada, hastily erecting a drive-in theater setup in their parking lot — the day before it snowed — so that they could hold an Easter Service for people who came up in their cars.

And let’s not forget the howl. That nightly display of respect and support for the healthcare workers in our neighborhoods by — I’m sure no metaphor was intended — howling at the moon (or the night sky) at 8 p.m.

In other words, our best selves are looking pretty good right now. Keep it up, folks. We can do this!

Michael Alcorn is a teacher and writer who lives in Arvada with his wife and three children. His new novel, “Charon’s Blade,” is available at Amazon.com, on Kindle, or through MichaelJAlcorn.com.” His opinions are not necessarily those of Colorado Community Media.

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