It’s in the nineties out there here in the great Northeast. I joined three of my tennis buddies at 9 AM ET and played doubles tennis in Schenectady’s Central Park for an hour-and-a-half of leisurely doubles. We’re all of “a certain age,” so we can’t play much longer than that in this heat. Everyone’s cordial, everyone’s been playing for a long time, and we all find this to be a great outlet during these times of COVID19. We can social distance to a certain extent, although we do handle the tennis balls frequently.
When we finished, we socially distanced again and discussed the nation’s political situation again. Still, here in New York, we had the benefit of having a strong governor who took nearly immediate action when the pandemic began. We learned so much from the early days in March, and now, we are down to fewer than one percent of infections across the state. We wear masks and are very careful. Rarely do I see people outside without masks.
One of the women owns a home in Tucson, Arizona, where she normally goes for the winter. She’s worried about packing up and heading to Arizona, given the situation there. Her daughter lives in Tucson as well, but with the resistance to social distancing and masks in Arizona, and the fact that she will be 68 next Monday, she’s worried.
We all need to think globally about this situation. We can’t just think about ourselves. That’s what I taught my kids when they were young (they ain’t so young anymore!), and that’s what they’re teaching their kids today. It’s not just about us–it’s about the whole community, the entire world. My late mother always told me that if I went to school (seems like 100 years ago now), and I saw someone who didn’t have a sandwich, I should share mine with that kid. She said that kid might now have any food when he or she went home, and there was always food in our house. That was before we had lunches provided in the schools (I told you I was old!).
Today, I am concerned about those kids who have no one to share with them, and the kids who are in danger of becoming homeless because they may be evicted because their unemployed parents cannot pay the rent or mortgage, due to having lost their jobs in the pandemic. In my own family, we have one person who’s lost her job and may have problems paying the mortgage. Fortunately, we can help out. But what about those people who have no one to help out?
Last weekend, I got a call from my out-of-town niece, who was ill and has no insurance, because the governor of her state decided he didn’t like former President Barack Obama, so he wouldn’t expand Medicaid in his state to thumb his nose at Obama. In the process, he hurt the people of his state. Bully for him. My niece had an infection. She’s a hard worker and works every day as an “essential” worker during the pandemic for a place that won’t provide her with insurance until she’s been there for six months (November). Fortunately, again, we were able to help her out and pay for her to go to a walk-in clinic, where they treated the infection. They told her it was just in time, because if she’d let it go, she might have faced a systemic infection and a long, expensive hospital stay, which we wouldn’t have been able to cover financially.
I’m bowled over by the fact that, in this day and age, it can cost $350,000 annually to belong to a country club and we have people who are going without food and medicine. I cannot fathom that people who are that wealthy cannot see the forest for the trees when it comes to helping others during this pandemic. I cannot imagine one of those people sharing a sandwich with a poor kid because there’s no food at that kid’s home.
My mother’s looking down at this and shaking her head, I’m sure. Her motto, when she volunteered at the local food bank after having retired from work, was “sharing and caring.” Where’s the sharing and caring today? In a pandemic, which we’ve never faced before, it’s more important than ever.
Wear a mask, everyone, Stay safe. It’s the only way to be,