April 9, 2020
We’re living through something completely unprecedented in the modern age and it’s horrifying. As of today, the number of confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the United States stands at 462,180 and the total confirmed deaths in the U.S. is at 16,444.
In Ohio, we have 5,512 confirmed cases and 213 confirmed COVID-19 deaths. Furthermore, the coronavirus has devastated our economy and put hundreds of thousands of Ohioans out of work. According to the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services, 696,519 claims have been made for unemployment in Ohio in the past three weeks. This is close to double the total number for 2019.
It’s a harrowing time. And, as a result, life looks much different for many of us. For health care professionals, it is a time of grave personal danger – especially for those working in hard hit areas. I don’t know if words alone can adequately extol their fierce dedication to caring for those who are sick, often at great personal risk. They are heroes. And, I join the rest of the world in applauding them.
For essential employees who continue to work while we all hunker down at home, I say thank you! And, when I see you in the future, I promise to say thank you again in person. You are the reason I have food in my refrigerator and gas in my generator and potable running water in my kitchen sink. You’re the reason I still have working electricity and internet service. Thank you all from the bottom of my heart. Please stay safe.
And, for the rest of you – those of you who have had to hunker down at home – thank you as well. You are the reason that we have been able to begin to flatten the curve and avoid an even bigger cost to human life. Please stay well, and know that we are all in this together.
I don’t know how our lives are going to be different when this is all over. Maybe we’ll all continue to wear homemade masks to the supermarket. Maybe we’ll continue to stand 6 feet apart in public spaces. Maybe we’ll keep flocking to parks and open spaces because we can’t stand being trapped in our houses any longer. But, no matter how life is different, I hope we hang on to gratitude – for all those folks who labored and bore the risk of keeping us fed and well and who took care of us when we were sick. Gratitude is powerful. It binds us together through adversity and makes us stronger as a community.
Take care and thank you!