Rumor Has It
Making it through
Wednesday, March 18, 2020
What a difference a week makes.
Last week, I wrote an earnest but still sort of glib (it’s my way) column about COVID-19 and my fears for the local small-business community. In that column, I urged people to go out a little more, spend a little more money, show a little more support.
It seemed like not the worst advice at the time, given the available information.
My heart was in the right place, but it was indeed the worst advice, even at the time. Mea culpa.
Since then, much of what I’d feared about the economic impact of COVID-19 has materialized—boy has it ever. I’m not saying I manifested this outcome, but I am saying that I vow to try and manifest better outcomes in the future. Hell, if I can manifest this, I’m taking requests. I’ll try and conjure up all kinds of amazing things for all of us.
One thing I said last week holds true: That we’re all in this together, and we’ll get through it together. Even if we have to do this social distancing thing for a while, we’re in it together for the long haul. I know this because I’m seeing it happen all around me.
It’s important to me to write this column in my own voice and in a way that is true to who I am. The person you read on this page is, by and large, the person you’ll encounter in the street, in real life. However, I do tend to hold some of myself back a bit.
I’d like to drop that curtain a little bit.
As with so many of you, the past week has been one of the most personally difficult of my life. No hyperbole in that, just plain talk.
Throughout it, I’ve watched people who have their own worries—very big, very real, life-altering worries—set aside their problems to support each other. These are folks with small businesses on the line, people who are now out of work or are soon to be, friends who are trying to juggle homeschooling children or lack of childcare, folks with distress about mortgage payments or health problems that are going untreated because seeing doctors is hard to impossible right now—the full gamut.
Along with all of that hard life stuff caused by the pandemic, they’re also trying to manage the same existential dread and trepidation about the unknown we’re all feeling right now. That alone is a lot to handle. But still they’ve unfailingly shown up for me as I have tried to for them, if not so much in person.
They say that the only way out is through. But I know for a fact that the only way out is together. And that’s how we’re getting through. Together.