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“In Times Like These, Our Hearts Beat as One”-Veteran and Author Roger Mannon

The Faces of Quarantine-One Virus Many Faces

I am worried but hopeful.
Worried because I am in my 70s, I have both COPD and Asthma. My lungs were damaged by on-again, off-again smoking for several years but mostly by breathing Agent Orange for 2 1/2 years in Vietnam. I am also hopeful because so many folks seem to be trying to do the right thing to “flatten the curve.” Maybe we, as a culture, are not the greedy little shits we so often seem to be.
My daily life has definitely changed. The most obvious is that we have sheltered ourselves inside the house. We don’t get to see our children or grandchildren just now. And, we have also set aside living space in the basement bedroom just in case we need to separate from each other.


I don’t think we are doing the best we can to get rid of this virus. There are still a substantial number of deniers, people who believe it all to be a hoax or the younger ones who think they’re immortal.
I really don’t know how the world will change. I want to believe we (all of us) will realize we are all interconnected, kinder, more aware of the value of each life, maybe even live a little slower, a little less in the digital world, and be more personal in a connected world. A part of me believes we will just shrug it all off and go back to exactly who we were before the pandemic, but I really hope that part of me is dead wrong.
I have realized nothing I did not already know, although what I trusted to be real has been reinforced. We get one life, and we need to make it the best experience we can. I wish we would all live each day, love hard, dream big, share good fortune with others, give back, and pay forward.

I would want to tell my great-grandchildren how the family “circled the wagons” and protected the most vulnerable, made sure we were safe, brought us food, and other necessities to prevent us from harm. And, how we reached out and depended on one another for strength, emotional support, and love. I think it is true that in times like these, all our hearts beat as one. Old friends not seen for decades reaching out, families, neighbors, and, sometimes, complete strangers, each coming out in support, will stay in my memories forever.

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