Choosing Hope

by Mark Stash

I’d like to extend a heartfelt warm hug to all of our readers. In these unprecedented times of social isolation where human contact has become rare and potentially dangerous, I believe that we can find other ways of reaching out to our fellow humans.

As this MayJune issue was being put together, COVID-19 became a reality to people living in the United States and around the world. At first we were told by Governor Andrew Cuomo that we needed to avoid crowds of 50 people or more, and then within a day or two that rule changed to 10 people or more. Then businesses were told to cut their workforce by 50 percent, and then 75 percent. Now we find ourselves as a “non-essential business,” working remotely from our own homes. Thank goodness modern technology allows us and many businesses to still conduct our work in this way.

But there are other businesses and organizations that have had to shut their doors, or proceed in a much abbreviated fashion. Yet they are finding creative ways to get their products into the hands of their customers, and some are using technology to get the job done.

We don’t know how long we will continue to be isolated from each other, but we have the power to reach out to our local businesses, art groups, museums and organizations to let them know that we still support them. If we have the means, we can help through an online purchase of products or gift cards, or by taking advantage of home delivery and curbside services.

Also, we need to reach out to people who are truly isolated – those living alone and the elderly who absolutely cannot be exposed to the virus. A phone call or a video chat can make a huge difference, both to the isolated person and to each of us.

This too shall pass. I keep repeating that to myself. We can choose to be fearful or we can choose to be hopeful, knowing that we will all come out the other side of this better than we were before.

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