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The Silver Lining

April 3, 2020
By Joseph Schany , Emmetsburg News

The past couple of weeks have been (insert adjective here). Strange, frustrating, and worrisome instantly come to my mind. Our small community has shuttered its doors to brace for the onslaught of a viral pandemic the likes of which most of us have never before experienced. The last instance of a major global outbreak occurred over 100 years ago when the Spanish flu of 1918 tore across the globe, infecting over a third of the world's population and ending the lives of around 50 million people.

With that said, it's easy to get caught up in all of the gloom and anxiety, so let's focus on a few positives instead.

First, the community response to the threat of COVID-19 has been outstanding. While the many closures and activity postponements/cancellations may undoubtedly leave some feeling disappointed, it's encouraging to know that this threat is being tackled head on. This active approach to "Stop the Spread" will not only go a long way to saving many lives but may also help in curbing other illnesses such as influenza and colds from spreading.

Second, unlike our ancestors a century ago, we live in a world dominated by technology, and nowhere is that more evident than in the field of medicine. Advancements in medications in the last 100 years, including penicillin in the late 20s and antiviral medications in the 1960s, along with technological breakthroughs in diagnosis and treatment, ensure a society in far better shape to treat illnesses from which many would have died in years past.

Speaking of technology, a third positive to be mindful of in the face of the coronavirus is our ability to stay connected to each other without leaving our homes. Social distancing and self-quarantine have forced society to limit face-to-face interaction. However, the prominence of social media and other forms of electronic communication allow for continued conversations with friends and family without the risk of exposure, combatting the dangers of loneliness and despair that befall many in times of crisis.

One of the most heartening aspects I've seen during this troubling time has been the level of support from the community towards the wellbeing of others. Messages offering hope and reassurance from local leaders, schools and restaurants providing free and discounted meals to children, and citizens organizing support systems for the elderly and families in need are just a few examples of the ongoing effort to get through this challenge together.

This list is by no means comprehensive and I encourage everyone to find their own list of pros at a time that seems dominated by cons. A little positivity can go a long way in getting through another seemingly endless day.

 
 
 

 

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