I Hope The History Books Talk About The Goodness Of Humanity, Too
When the history books speak about the COVID-19 pandemic, I know they’ll talk about statistics.
They’ll talk about the lives that we lost. They’ll talk about other countries. They’ll talk about the faults of our leaders. They’ll talk about what the current administration did and did not do. They’ll talk about China and Italy, and South Korea, too. They’ll talk about how there was no mass in the Vatican on Easter Sunday and how people streamed religious services from their home. They’ll talk about the leadership that soothed anxious souls — how Governor Andrew Cuomo’s press conferences were a comfort, even when the news was hard to hear.
They’ll talk about all that, and I’m sure they’ll talk about even more.
But I hope that when they write the history books about these pandemic times, they’ll talk about the goodness of humanity that we see, too.
I hope they’ll talk about how people in New York City held a sing-a-long and sang out on their fire escapes, and front stoops, and out their windows — “New York, New York.”
I hope they talk about how, every night at 7 pm, New York City clapped for the doctors, nurses, and first responders.
I hope they’ll talk about how, even without a million people in it, Times Square is truly magnificent.
I hope they’ll talk about how artists poured their hearts into their screens, brightening the days of anyone who wished to tune in.
I hope they talk about how fashion designers made masks for the ones who had none, how they showed up for our doctors and our nurses and our healthcare staff.
I hope they talk about how the people that work at Trader Joe’s still managed to greet you with a smile, and that grocery store workers across the country continued to show up to work. They kept stocking shelves and helped you bag your groceries and told you what aisle to find your hand soap — even though they too were afraid.
I hope they’ll talk about the new mothers who were warriors and gave birth during a pandemic.
I hope they talk about how teachers threw themselves into making sure their students were still learning — that their needs were met the best way they could be, and that they knew that their educators always wanted them to succeed, even if from behind a screen.
I hope they talk about how children left rainbows in windows and wrote uplifting messages in chalk on the sidewalks and streets.
I hope they talk about the doctors and nurses who put pictures of their faces on their PPE so that patients would feel less afraid.
I hope they talk about the families who found new ways to connect — the Zoom calls, and the FaceTime chats, the virtual game nights, and holiday celebrations.
I hope they talk about neighbors reaching out to help one another — supporting their local business, and running errands for their elderly neighbors, and leaving care packages at the front doors of those who were sick.
I hope they talk about how most people understood the importance of staying home — and did so, even though it wasn’t fun.
I hope they talk about how most people learned how to put their wants aside for the greater good — and that now we understood the difference between a need and a want.
I hope they talk about how we grew an appreciation for jobs that we too often overlooked. That we would never think of the word ‘essential’ in the same way ever again.
I hope they talk about how before 2020 — social and distant didn’t go hand in hand.
I hope they talk about how, for the most part, even though people were distant, they were kinder and more compassionate than they had ever been.
I hope they talk about that, too.