I have no stomach for political division right now. If your inclination—or worse, obsessed compulsion—is to respond with partisan, propagandist vitriol, then I have no patience for it, right now.
Right now, I’m concerned about my older friends and family members who, after living through WWII, Vietnam, Korea, the War on Terror, and the Cold War, are facing a new and novel danger.
Right now, I’m concerned about my friends and family who, after surviving AIDS and discrimination and the inherent dangers of blazing “out-ness” in the era of Gay Rights, are facing a new and novel danger.
Right now, I’m concerned about my friends and family who, after battling cancer, are immunocompromised and threatened by a new and novel danger.
Right now, I’m concerned about my friends and family who work in the service industry who, to make their own ends meet are required to handle dishes and utensils and linens that may be deadly, are facing a new and novel danger.
Right now, I’m concerned about my friends and family that are first responders who, on a normal day put their lives in peril to support and defend strangers, are facing a new and novel danger.
Right now, I’m concerned about teachers.
I’m concerned about grocery store clerks.
I’m concerned about doctors.
I’m concerned about those kids who work the front desk at my gym.
I’m concerned about Uber drivers and pilots and the people who keep the water flowing and the cell service working and the electricity buzzing.
I’m concerned about the farmers and the soldiers and the scientists and the politicians.
I’m concerned about people whose workplaces have closed who— on top of the fear of illness and the anxiety of loss—are of diminished financial means to survive and cope.
Right now, I’m concerned for people— people of different economic strata, who worship different gods, of different educational levels—who, just weeks ago, I figured could fend for themselves: for people I don’t know, facing a new and novel danger.
Right now, I’m scared to death of the idea of anything happening to my spouse. I’m paralyzed with fear, in fact: overcome with a tear-gushing anxiety of life without him: with an anxiety that many people might emerge on the other side of this without their own best pals.
Right now, I’m scared to death for all of humanity, not just friends and family, but for the viability of life and liberty and knowledge.
Right now, I know that authoritarianism concretizes it’s grip in the midst of emergencies.
Right now, I’m riddled by those who would minimize or dismiss these anxieties, whose own lack of empathy or concern for others is so blinded by their own selfishness.
Right now, even if you’re not, I’m riddled with anxiety for you who, in the face of uncertainty about it’s deadliness and spread, are facing a new and novel danger.
So, if your concern is about how to weaponize fear and despair and difference: if your game is about how to leverage concerns, anxieties, and loss for political or selfish economic gain, then you are probably doing America—and your own friends and family— wrong right now. If you are indifferent or calloused to the concerns of fellow human beings—of the anxieties and loss of life—then you are doing life wrong right now.
As Americans and citizens of Earth, we are called to a higher cause than rancor and division.
I have no stomach for political division right now.
Right now is not the time for scapegoating, finger pointing, or political theater.
Right now, I just want a hug: from a loved one or even a stranger. I’ve never craved a hug more than I do right now, when it could be toxic.
Right now, I have one purpose and that’s survival: yours, loved ones’, strangers’, and humanity’s. If your purpose is different, I honestly have no place for it, right now.
God bless America and God bless you.