A Note from Steve…
If you’re like me, you’re not a member of the Greatest Generation, and I’m writing this for you. So, please read on:
Tom Brokaw is credited for naming Americans born between the 1900s and 1920s the Greatest Generation. In 1998, as a journalist, Brokaw covered 40th anniversary observances of World War II. He was inspired to write his book about the people who weathered the Great Depression and went on to fight against historic levels of economic collapse, hateful division, and global violence.
He shared stories of those who sacrificed as soldiers, as well as those who found other ways to participate in the effort from home. Some were obvious heroes. Others made quieter sacrifices that when added up, made all the difference, and saved the free world. They did this selflessly because it was “the right thing to do.”
Now, the COVID-19 pandemic presents a historic challenge. One thing making this time different is where we direct our frustration and anger and how we’re motivated by it. It’s human nature to blame a person or group of people for mayhem. During World War II, they had Hitler, the Nazis, and others to blame. Today, some blame the president for not acting quickly or wisely enough while others blame governors for making decisions that restrict us, strain our emotional wellbeing, and harm our economy.
It’s more difficult to blame a thing, in this case, an invisible particle. I believe blaming the right thing and acting accordingly is vital to our success in fighting this pandemic. This is our time to rise to the challenge together, each doing our part, to kick this virus where it counts. The virus is our enemy. Let’s fight it together and be the next Greatest Generation.
There are many ways we can do this together. Healthcare providers need our help. Responding to the current pause and its negative impact on jobs, PioneerCare has created a new program called the Pioneer Care Force. New, temporary positions make it possible for people to keep working, even if they have little or no experience in healthcare. Pioneer leadership plans to coordinate with local businesses to help individuals transition back when their employer can rehire them.
With the Holidays upon us, other options include getting past the “Worst Thanksgiving Ever” and finding creative and selfless ways to help others. I once had Thanksgiving Dinner with my brother at a greasy fast-food chicken place in Bozeman, Montana. The only guy working there had cigarettes dropping from his shirt pocket to the counter as he served us. That was my “Worst Thanksgiving Ever” and likely not my last.
Go ahead and cook that big bird. Or a pan of enchiladas. Or some good, hearty soup. Separate it into individual meals. Call your neighbor – you know, the one living alone with no family nearby – and arrange a no-contact drop off. No doubt, they’ll appreciate a specially home-cooked meal.
If you can handle it financially, support our local restaurants and businesses. Many of them are facing deep financial uncertainty and finding creative ways to weather this. Honor and support their efforts at no-contact pickup and delivery. And tip their employees generously if you can.
Finally, please take care of yourself and those around you. Take time to monitor your health and emotional wellbeing. Finish something you’ve meant to get done. After all this time, there’s probably still something on your to-do list. Do something safe and enjoyable every day. And please be safe and stay well. Our front line is counting on us.