Ahl: Now it's war against the virus
No more games! When Chris Cuomo, one of the best CNN newscasters, tells you eyeball to eyeball that he has the coronavirus and there is nothing to take for it except Tylenol, you know things are serious!
Like when I heard over the radio in 1941 that some 3,000 people died by an air attack on Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, and saw on TV that about the same amount of people died by airplanes crashing into the World Trade Center in New York City on 9/11 — you really start thinking about what you will be doing now.
In some ways, things are different today, but in other ways, there are a lot of similarities. Back then:
• Dads had to leave their work for "essential" jobs or go into the military.
• Moms became Rosy the Riveters.
• Boy Scouts collected newspaper or scrap, while girls delivered newspapers.
• We had to manage our food supply with government coupons for sugar, butter and meat.
• Rationed gas for old cars. No new ones being built.
• Kids had to do chores and figure out their own games.
• There were war jobs, but rents were frozen.
Now, this war is different in that we are dealing with an invisible enemy, but we still need to do what we have to by staying home and practice social distancing with a minimum of exposure to others, such as:
• Email your doctors.
• Use food pantries for a source of free food.
• Have food and items you buy online delivered to you.
• Find a way to teach kids classroom and cooking skills at home.
• Adults work from home with new high-tech equipment and make your commute to work down the stairways, not an hour each way.
If your job has changed, look for opportunities in the food and delivery industries as they will be needed in the new job force. There are resources available, so call:
• The Employment Department for lost income.
• Your landlord or mortgage company about deferring rent/loan payments.
• Your car insurance agent and ask about reducing or suspending your liability and collision coverage payments while your car is not being used.
• The CARES Act phone number about small business loans and other benefits now available.
Don't worry too much about most seniors and retirees — they are the lucky ones — but communicate with them about your family situation. They have a lot of experience and can be supportive in times of need.
There now is evidence staying home, social distancing and protective equipment is working as the best defense against this new enemy. So, until preventative medicine and a vaccine is developed, keep tuned and don't give up. You are tough, and we will get through this, just like some other adversities. Have faith in your God to give you strength and remember, where one door closes, another will open.
Jim Ahl is a retired insurance consultant and regular volunteer with the Murray Hills Christian Church food pantry. He lives in the Raleigh Hills area.
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