And for all that remains uncertain—about the extent of this crisis and the ways that things may change—there is plenty we do know:
We know that facts matter—and that there is a difference between educating the public and stoking anxiety with hearsay and speculation. We must not succumb to fear and falsehood (especially online), and instead find ways to cope with our anxiety and console others. Above all, we must keep our heads and our cool.
We know that the devastating impacts of this crisis will be measured in cases and deaths, as well as the economic ripple effects for workers and their families. As with so many crises, inequality in the United States and around the world accelerates and intensifies these effects for untold millions. To paraphrase the old line, when the privileged sneeze, the poor get pneumonia.
We know our systems—our health systems, and our economic and political systems—will need to be rebuilt and repaired in order to address all manner of inequalities, and in order to handle continued disruption and dislocation.
We know that as this pandemic continues to evolve, we will need to bend without breaking—to be nimble, and agile, and flexible as the times require.
We know we must not act as though we are headed “back” to some kind of “normal”—because we also know this will not be the last crisis. We ought to learn from this moment and prepare for the next.
And we cannot say it enough: We will get through this, even if it is difficult to remember at every moment of every day. We know we will.
We will get through this. And we will be the reason.
After all, our “inescapable network of mutuality” is more than a web that ties us together. It’s the way we serve, and give to, and honor, and love one another—especially in times of trial. If our destinies are bound together, let us wrap ourselves in this garment of care, and let it shield us from the storm.
Wishing you renewed mutuality and good health,