Recently Governor Andrew Cuomo has said that New York state is a microcosm of America. They’ve got the big city of New York, but also rural upstate New York where ‘we’ve got more cows than people’.
If New York is a microcosm of America, we are in for a steep ride my friends, one that at this point, none of us personally can do anything to stop. That just sucks, doesn’t it?
But if New York is a representative of the rest of the country, the Cuomo brothers are too. For my Canadian friends, Andrew Cuomo is the Governor of embattled New York state. His brother, Chris Cuomo is a television journalist for CNN and if you didn’t catch the press conference from yesterday, here is the link from NBC:
Chris confirmed he had COVID-19 three days ago, and they talk about what it’s like mid-sickness.
At times funny, sad, loving, anxious, clearly worried about each other, yet resolved to get through this. It was so nice to see a leader being honest, vulnerable, and humble. The main take away was… ‘Don’t kick a brother when he’s down’, and we’re all having weird dreams.
My heart goes out to all of us, really. Each person locked inside alone, every family with young kids, all of our older people risking their health and life to get groceries.
I have young kids at home, and I’m trying to settle into the role of ‘crises-teaching’. I can’t call this ‘home-school’ because I didn’t spend months researching and planning for it, laying out and debating lesson plans and deciding which home school group I wanted to join. I don’t have group trips with other home schooled children planned and competitions between our kids like spelling bees and math games.
Thankfully our pre-school is offering online support and sends me the lesson plans already made up with sheets to print off for the week. We’re muddling through, but it isn’t pretty. I’m ‘crises teaching’ – filling in the gaps the best I can, and having compassion for them and me in our weird new world.
I am worried about our teachers – are they healthy, are they able to pay their bills?
I’m worried about our community doctors and nurses who are on the front lines.
If it hasn’t hit you yet, it will, and hopefully not to the extent Yew York is currently experiencing.
It isn’t what anyone signed up for but our doctors and nurses are there, pushing through – putting their lives on the line – risking their own families – for strangers. We’re horrified, and grateful. Not to mention the thousands of truckers on the highways making sure our food supply stays up, and our grocery clerks who certainly didn’t sign up to risk their lives to bag bread. Our hearts, everywhere, globally, are hurting.
Here in Texas the recent data has suggested our peak is still up to three weeks away. I feel like we’re on one of those old-timey wooden roller coasters with the frayed seat belts and we’re clicking our way inexorably up a steep mountain.
And when we finally come down on the other side, who will we be? Who will we be as individual human beings sharing this planet and who will we be as countries, as nations?
I think we decide here, now, who we want to be.
We take one crises at a time. First this, the health crises, making sure the hardest hit areas are getting the most help. They need staff, PPE, ventilators and beds. Then we move to the next crises and the next state. And it is as simple and as daunting as that. One crises at a time. One step at a time. It’s all any of us can do. Like Anna sings, ‘Do the next right thing.’
For me it means staying at home, it means washing my hands frequently and disinfecting the most used surfaces of the house daily. It means not watching the news in front of the kids. It means not hoarding supplies and it means taking this seriously.
It means remembering where my eyes follow, there too my heart. I’m watching the news, it makes me feel anxious now when I don’t, but I’m choosing my news carefully. I am making sure what I’m watching is credible, fair, and transparent.
I’ve been watching Andrew Cuomo every day. Maybe it’s nice to see a leader who isn’t bumbling, ranty, self absorbed and misinformed. (Tell me how you really feel Angela) Maybe it’s nice to see a leader getting things done, and doing it with integrity, honesty, and humbleness.
It’s nice to see a leader with real human feelings, who doesn’t get personally offended by tough questions from reporters.
I didn’t realize I, as mentally strong as I think I am, needed to see a leader…leading. But I did. And I know this because I felt so much better after watching the brothers banter, one with COVID-19, one running the sickest state so far. For the first time in a long time I thought, if these two guys can get through this, and still have a sense of humor, maybe we can too.
You don’t need to ‘chin-up’ America, or any of that macho garbage. You just need to ask for help when you need it. Then do what you always do when it matters – you step up and take care of your neighbor.
Stay home, stay safe, wash your hands, and stay together by staying apart.