Opinion: Be Kind. We Cannot Fight the Coronavirus Pandemic If We Turn on Each Other.

It’s starting. I see it in myself, and I see it in others. I certainly feel it as I watch the video of the stupid 20-somethings partying in Miami while the rest of us hunker down and fearfully watch the graphs on computer screens. The hate is starting.

The coronavirus has caught our country, state and communities ill-prepared for a pandemic, in terms of resources, supplies and medical capacity. That much has become obvious. But it has also come at a time when we, as a nation, are ill-prepared to come together and support one another in the many ways that will be needed in the days ahead.

Our United States are divided, perhaps more than we ever have been in modern times. The polarizing nature of the media we consume, the comments we make and share on social media, the things we think and say without thinking, have created tribalistic habits in our society, which will only be reinforced in the current crisis. Unless we fight them.

If you see someone being stupid, please forgive them. Please try to understand. Please try to remember what it was like to be young and stupid.

If you are being stupid, please stop being stupid. We are all in this together, and you are not helping anybody.

We cannot fight the coronavirus if we turn on one another. Poverty, housing crises, economic turmoil and, obviously, illness and death, are our enemies in the days and weeks to come. And believe me, that is plenty. People are not the enemy. Let’s keep the fight where it belongs.

Stay strong. Stay together. Lean on people when you need to. Be there for others when you can. Be kind. We got this.

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