Time and journalism have a weird relationship. As articulators of the new, we feel a need to reveal our discovery to the public as soon as we learn it. Yet as curators of history, and as human beings capable of being wrong, journalists often can learn a lot more by exercising patience and letting the story develop.
I have searched for words more than usual these past few days. A lot of time and brain power went into the creation of this piece, motivated by a desire to speak truth and encouragement to a world that is anxious and confused.
In my 21 years, I have never seen anything like humanity’s response to the coronavirus. The media has sensationalized it into an international threat that will surely kill us all with enough time and effort on its part. Major cities across the world have shut their societies down in fear of the resulting mass infection and chaos. On a more local level, colleges across the nation have closed their campuses to students to minimize the threat of infection. As my student audience knows well, Mississippi College has closed the week after spring break to grant professors time to prepare for nearly a month’s worth of online education.
It is wild to me that I could spend the rest of the spring semester away from the campus I love. I shudder at the thought of not returning to campus before the semester ends. With all this uncertainty in the air, I have wondered, with countless others, could life possibly exist after the coronavirus?
Yes, life can exist after the coronavirus, and I feel reasonably confident that it will.
A human being, for better or for worse, is a remarkably resilient creature. We have existed on this planet for a good while, and, as long as the Lord allows it, we will continue to do so. In the collective and comprehensive life of man, we have endured a variety of pestilences and plagues, catastrophes and calamities, ailments and otherwise. We’ve weathered everything from the black plague in the 14th century to the West Nile virus in the 21st century. If history is worth anything, we will get through this pandemic just fine.
If you’re working from home, for college or for work or otherwise, accomplish what you can and enjoy yourself. Most everybody is working at home under duress or quarantine, so do what you can and do your best to make it work.
But do not forget to be flexible, and get rested too. If you can, make somebody else’s day easier by being willing to work as usual despite the hoopla of the outside world.
Call a friend, a family member, somebody who means a lot to you, and check on them. Make sure they are doing alright, and maybe pass along my song suggestions or some of your own.
Do your best to spread joy and positivity. Remember you are a card-carrying member of a world family of conquerors. Remember your humanity and cherish it more than your mortality. I believe everybody has a purpose to perform in their lifetime, so take heart.
We will come through this alright, I am sure of it. With a little faith and a lot of hand sanitizer, we will conquer the coronavirus.
I close with a lyric from “Cabaret” by Liza Minnelli:
What good’s permitting/
Some prophet of doom/
To wipe every smile away?/
Life is a cabaret, old chum!/
Come to the cabaret!
I hope to see my fellow Choctaws soon. I count the days until I can return to my second home in Clinton. And to the readers of this newspaper wherever you may be, may you all be happy, healthy, and blessed.