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Listen to the experts, look to the positive

Listen to the experts, look to the positive

By Stephen Knight

My favorite part of the Saturday Record-Journal is the editorial Winners & Losers, especially We liked this week. I am especially appreciative that those items they report as liking far, far outnumber the We didn’t like this week items. This attitude needs to be replicated exponentially in both the news media and in our own actions. Here are four suggestions that you might consider: 

Listen for POSITIVE broadcast news media stories: Yes, we are in a health crisis. Yes, it is important to hear the terrible news. Finally, finally, our television stations and especially this paper are beginning to report some wonderful examples of neighborliness, sharing, upbeat attitudes, creative celebrations of birthdays, standup companies and their employees, and especially the contributions of people in healthcare, transportation, and other industries that are on the front lines of the coronavirus pandemic fight. I recommend liberal use of the Mute button on your television remote, but by all means watch or listen to the great things Americans are doing for each other. 

Support the efforts the various governments are making to quell this pandemic: No, these people are not perfect. And no, not everything is happening as fast as it should. And yes, those of you who despise Trump can return to that mindset when this pandemic is not a national threat. But, while it pains you to acknowledge this, he is the leader of our country.

And yes, I know, President Trump has annoying habits of self-congratulation and self-promotion. But he is stepping away from the microphone and leaving the answering of the few non-Gotcha questions that these ”journalists”ask in the daily briefings to experts such as Dr. Fauci, Deborah Birx, and others who have excellent command of the facts to which we all need access. The entire federal government is mobilized. Not to worry; you’ll have plenty of time later to return to being “the resistance.”

As for the governor, it does not pain me in the least to say that Governor Lamont has been doing quite a good job. His responses have been timely, his demeanor has been calm and reassuring, and he, too, has let the experts handle much of the media coverage. He has ramped up the precautions as warranted when the timing is right. Some of the creative measures he has taken, such as new rules for supermarket operators, no doubt came from the industry itself, but that shows that he, too, is listening to the experts.

Please, please look for the positives: Because almost every aspect of our lives has been altered by the necessity to fight the spread of coronavirus, we might be distracted from the fact that good things both connected to and separate from this crisis are happening. For instance, just in case you may have missed it, Spring is here! If you are at all able, go outside, look around and listen. The world as we know it still exists. Birds have returned and are singing. The trees are budding. Days are getting warmer.

More people than ever are taking walks around town. Family members are actually all eating dinner together. What a concept! Have you seen all the “Chalk the Walk” drawings around town? Have you seen the Teachers Parades in the news? We Americans have an almost limitless reservoir of “we can do it” spirit and attitude when put to the test. You can’t help but be cheered to see them in action.

Find out how you can help: Describing the devastation being visited on our nonprofit community is worthy of an entire column, but today’s will highlight the needs of one in Wallingford: Master’s Manna at 428 South Cherry Street. They are adding at least twenty families a week to the long list of those they feed regularly. They are in need of food, volunteers and money.

Food: any non-perishable food, especially canned ones. Protein-based foods such as soups, cans of tuna, peanut butter and meat. Interestingly, because schools are closed and kids are home, they especially also need healthy cereals, cookies, crackers – foods that kids love to eat that are good for them. Pasta, rice, mac ‘n cheese are also on the list. Receiving hours: M-F, 9am to Noon.

Volunteers: They need volunteers that can put in a two-hour shift at least once a week to augment the fantastic work that the staff and regular volunteers are doing in this emergency. Call them at 203-678-3042.

Money: If you can donate, go on mastersmanna.org or send a check to them at P. O. 4032 here in Wallingford.

I am highlighting Master’s Manna because they are helping people who never, ever thought they would face such a need. Now is the time for us to open our hearts and wallets. Remember the articles every day in this newspaper about people stepping up? Let’s join them.

Stephen Knight is a former Wallingford town councilor.

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