New Kent Charles City Chronicle

News for New Kent County and Charles City County, Virginia | August 14, 2020

Editorial: Be appreciative and humble yourself during the pandemic

By Andre Jones | July 22, 2020 3:15 am

As I write this editorial in the wee hours of the night/early morning, the biggest takeaway is that our vision of 2020 was something we never saw coming. Hopefully, it will also teach us how to humble and appreciate what we have.

Sports from all levels were taken away. The cling of bats in softball games to the sound of athletes breathing hard in races were replaced by echoes of silence. Cheers from fans were quickly drowned out by the pinging of raindrops on metal bleachers during affairs that consisted of rainfall. Football fans and bands for the Fall are now temporary memories to savor.

High school and college graduations became individual standout events for students. Students are supposed to be happy on this day to celebrate with their peers. And while family members commemorated the moment, spending time with people you spent nearly every day for the last 13 years is a real damper.

Gone are high school proms and several community events. County fairs? They’re not there. The Chickahominy Pow-Wow in Charles City? Not happening. Fans at Colonial Downs cheering on their favorite horses? All bets are off for the 2020 season.

While we have done our best to cope with the changes caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, this is a stern reminder to all to appreciate what we have.

There are opportunities for us to go get food and put it on the table. And even if we don’t have the money to do so, food banks are local organizations are providing meals. We have the ability to pick up the phone, and with technology, we can see our loved ones from a safe distance.

In our climate today, we are caught up on everything but the right thing. I’ll be the first to say that while I don’t particularly like to wear the mask, I do it because I care for others. I appreciate the ability for myself to live, and I don’t want somebody to get sick, let alone lose their life because of my selfish act.

We are caught up in a world of misinformation, greed, and accountability. There’s an ongoing race to find a vaccine for the virus, but yet when other cures such as cancer, HIV, and AIDS are still in our community, it goes by the wayside. Greed has caused businesses to open up early, disregarding the warnings. And yes, we are in an economic depression (note I said depression, not recession), there is no price on a person’s life.

The biggest culprit of them all is accountability. Schools are the main target of this, as the decision to open doors for students to return to buildings are in the hands of superintendents. But schools are working on limited resources. Some districts can afford to go virtual for the first half of the year, but others don’t have the adequate Internet access to do so. Parents are held accountable because they may have a job. But do they choose a job or their child’s education? Do they send them to a physical building, or do they monitor them at home? Do daycares cut off their enrollment due to capacity or do they try to make room for them so that parents can work? Do kids stay indoors all day glued to technology or do they go out and enjoy the sunshine and participate in recreation sports?

One thing I will say is this: No matter what happens, the coronavirus will be contracted by someone we know. No matter if it’s at a public place, school, or even our homes, it will happen. I’m not saying that to scare you away, I’m saying that because it’s a truthful fact that we are going to have to live in a world like this until we, as humans, take the responsibility to do our part to eradicate this virus.

The time away from civilization and interaction provides each of us a reminder of what we love. It could be sitting down at our favorite meal at a restaurant. It could be sitting on a swing with a loved one. It could be just picking up a child from school. It’s a tough world we are living in, but guess what? We are living.

It’s time to humble ourselves and get on the same page. We all have reasons to go out and work, run errands, and so forth. Let’s do our part and do it responsibility and not let our egos and pride take the forefront in what should be a unification of every person in the nation to take down this pandemic with as few casualties as possible.